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The braking system is one of the most important components of any locomotive as any defect or failure in them can cause a runaway train and in some cases train wrecks. Considering the history of railways and their evolution, Braking systems have transformed a lot.
Initially, brakes were applied to the wheels of the locomotive but with time and technological improvements advanced brakes have been employed depending on the type of locomotive and their applications.
Based on Infrastructure and technology countries have variance in their braking system technology. The braking system can be categorized on the basis of their type asPneumatic brake, Electromagnetic brake, Mechanical brake, Electrodynamic brake.
To keep up with reliability, safety, and noise standards in the field of railway braking systems, technological evolution has been observed.
The railway and automotive industry has emphasized a lot on maintaining advancements in their technology, which can be judged by the fact that accidents and failures concerning the braking system of locomotives have been reduced by a significant amount although very fast trains have come into the picture with speeds of around 350 kmph.
Globally many companies are competing in the sphere of railway braking system technologies with their innovations in the field. A country-wise analysis of the giants in the field is discussed below.
Being prominent and focused in the field of automotive technology, Japan delivers high-speed trains requiring cutting edge braking technology. Nabtesco Corporation of Japan is known for maintaining its safety and reliability standards in high-speed rail transportations.
They have been known for their shinkansen brake systems and contribute to around 50percent share in the railroad vehicle brake system market of japan.
Their unit brake system incorporates the operation of brake rigging foundation which is a conventional technology and automatic slack adjustments built-in within the system for easy maintenance, weight size reductions, and improvements in the braking efficiency.
The brake operating units offered by the company provides a system for commanding the air brake valves to release the pressure of the brake cylinders facilitating service and emergency braking.
Mitsubishi electric of Japan has supplied brake equipment for over 90 years since 1924 and has its presence all over the world. Under co-operation with Mitsubishi heavy industries, the company has delivered around 90000 brake equipment.
The braking system is equipped with a close blend of pneumatic and electric brakes to reduce rolling stock power consumption and wear in frictional materials.
Wabtec railway electronics with over 4000 active patents and a presence in around 50 countries has their fair share of the braking system market. The company is known for its Fastbrake which is an advanced electronic air brake controlled through a microprocessor.
For locomotive applications, the electro-pneumatic braking system with its two major components Pneumatic Operating Unit(POU) and the Handle Controller Unit (HCU) works synchronously to control the train air brakes.
New York Air Brake is another company known for its reliability in the railway braking market. The braking products offered include the CCB11 and EP60 which are the computer-controlled brake and electronically controlled pneumatic brakes.
The former is famous for its high reliability offered due to its Electronic Brake Valve (EBV) and Electro-Pneumatic Control Unit (EPCU) while the latter finds its applications in the control of heavy haul freight trains.
Knorr Bremse is amongst the leading manufacturers of brake equipment and is currently holding several contracts for brake equipment delivery around the world.
The company has an experience of over 100 years in the manufacturing of complex pneumatic control systems. The brake systems manufactured by the company imbibe four major technologies in electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, and complex control of braking systems.
Voith Group of Germany is also a specialist when it comes to the manufacturing of hydrodynamic drive, coupling, and braking systems. It produces its braking equipment for commercial vehicles, rail, and ship propulsion systems under Voith Turbo a group division of Voith.
Hanning and Kahl have been indulged in the railway braking system since 1928 and had produced their first electro-hydraulic spring-applied brake system in 1959.
Their current products for rail-based vehicles brake division are highly sophisticated incorporated with microprocessor control.
Faiveley Transport of France is named amongst the world leaders for the supply of railway systems. They supply a modular range of pneumatic, hydraulic, electronic control, and friction brake products.
With headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu Rane group of companies started early in the 1920s as dealers of auto parts currently they provide brake linings, disc pads, and other composite brake blocks.
Yujin Machinery was founded in 1972 with its foundations in the supply of contracted brake system for high-speed trains. Their products range from air suppliers, electronic control units, brake control, and bogie brake equipment.
Siemens Mobility Contract to equip high speed ‘Sapsan’ train won by Knorr-Bremse. 13 sapsan high-speed trains are to be delivered with Braking and other equipment in Q4 2020 by Knorr Bremse with the contract being worth of tens of millions of euros.
Knorr-Bremse lands braking modernization contract by DB. The duration of the contract extends till 2024 and covers the delivery of 155 Esra evolution kits with 30 kits per year rate.
DB congo freight cars to be equipped with composite and quite a brake shoes by the end of 2020. The investment is of 200 million euros for the upgrade program.
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