PROJECT: Taiwan High Speed Rail Project – Train Lifting System
CUSTOMER: Maint-Elect (WA) / Vector Lifting
DESCRIPTION: Maint-Elect specialises in the electrical/electronics design and installation of lifting and handling systems for the transport industry. Maint-Elect works in conjunction with another WA company, Vector Lifting, which handles the mechanical design and manufacture of specialised lifting systems.
REQUIREMENTS: KAPP Engineering was approached by Maint-Elect to design, supply and commission a PLC-based control system to control the synchronised lifting of a 12-car train lifting system for the new High-Speed Rail project in Taiwan. This system allows the operators to lift a train in order to perform under-carriage work or to repair/replace the bogies.
SOLUTION: The control solution for this project comprises of 13 x Koyo DL405 PLCs communicating over a high-speed Ethernet network and interfacing to more than 2,000 I/O points. The system is capable of performing 1, 3, 4, 8, and 12 car train lifting operations, selectable via a UniOp touch screen installed at the Main Control Centre. When lifting a multi-car train, the control system synchronises the lifting process by ensuring that all lifting platforms involved in the operation are raised and lowered at the same rate. This requires high speed communications between each of the lifting platforms, which the Ethernet communications network is able to provide, updating all PLCs on the network in less than 200 milliseconds. Graphical Operator Interface Panels installed at the Main Control Centre and each Lifting Station allow the operator to monitor and control the system at any time. The operators can even select whether the information is displayed in English or Chinese.

A graphical software package built around the KEPDirect I/O Server has also been developed to allow the system designers to dial into the control system from their office in Perth WA to monitor and trouble-shoot the system. This value-adding feature allows our client to offer continued support and maintenance without the need to travel to Taiwan.