Industry 4.0

Real world application: A train’s emergency braking is a pneumatic system and as a train is built one car at a time, the train yard air supply pressurizes the tank to a correct value. An electronic device, end of train (EOT), transmits proprietary radio containing the car identity and the tank’s current air pressure.

Electronic Realization is the electronic design house located in Bozeman, MT hired to design a yard area controller. The design was to capture the EOT radio signal actuating pneumatic valves to pressurize the last car until a correct value. A signed data packet was created by the yard air controller and sent out to a web server through a cellular network. The design was completed with a generic 32 bit microprocessor automating the transparency and traceability of the proprietary radio, the cellular communication, and the pneumatic actuation.

The interest in this technology lead ER to the design of a single pneumatic actuator driven by a 32 bit ARM processor with Bluetooth communication. That is 100 watts of power actuating a 1″ ball screw valve accessible online and perhaps soon via Starlink.