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International safety specialist HIMA is enhancing its value to the rail sector through additional development capacities and an adapted sales structure
HIMA provides alternate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems to many of the rail industry’s proprietary technology that is no longer up to date and or too expensive.
Dutch consulting and engineering firm Movares was one of HIMA’s first rail sector customers. The PLC interlocking it implemented based on industrial COTS hardware led to approximately 30 per cent lower lifecycle costs. Successful implementation of the project resulted in multiple follow-up orders for HIMA. For Reuschling, the Westphalian locomotive factory, COTS safety controllers from HIMA were also the right solution. “We use COTS solutions 100 per cent. Nothing is better and more profitable than using a traditional, developed and finished solution," stated CEO Walter Schreiber.
As COTS products, safety controllers from HIMA provide customers with economic advantages, and they can be optimally adapted to different conditions and customer-specific requirements. This applies for long-distance and regional traffic, as well as for industrial infrastructures and railway crossings for urban transport.
In addition, as Sedat Sezgün points out, "HIMA is the only COTS supplier in the rail segment that can meet—with just a single controller—the SIL 4 requirements specified by CENELEC. Unlike our competitors, HIMA offers products that not only facilitate the certification process for our customers but also provide the best COTS capabilities on the market."
The cost advantages of COTS come from more than just lower hardware costs. Cabling efforts, for example, are significantly reduced because the controllers can be used centrally and in a distributed topology—such as at the railway interlocking and at the remote points where sensors systems and train signalling are located.