Keeping portal cranes at a safe distance - New anti-collision system for heavy-duty track-laying and renewal trains


EIC2 SA, agent of HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH + Co KG in Switzerland, has developed a new anti-collision system for the P95 heavy-duty track-laying and renewal train produced by MATISA Matériel Industriel SA, Switzerland.

This anti-collision system is based on HIMatrix safety controllers from HIMA, for which EIC2 developed special application software. The system meets the requirements of DIN EN 14033-3 and EN ISO 13849-1, and prevents portal cranes on track-laying and renewal trains from colliding with each other or the train. For the first time, the new system allows workers to carry out work on railway tracks uninterrupted. Until now, it has been necessary to frequently shut down the portal cranes manually.

There are two portal cranes on each track-laying and renewal train. One F35 HIMatrix safety controller is used for each portal crane. The controllers are certified for use up to SIL 4 (CENELEC) and communicate with each other via Ethernet with laser-based distance sensors. All calculations to stop the portal cranes are made in a 20-millisecond cycle.

Thanks to the HIMA engineering tool, SILworX with ComUserTask (CUT) and a PC simulation of the crane’s movement, EIC2 was able to carry out a complete simulation of the application, enabling it to be put into operation in just four days.

EIC2 SA took responsibility for project management and commissioned the safety systems. The company had previously implemented a few projects in the safety field for MATISA Matériel Industriel SA. Its skills lie in developing industrial software and automation solutions based on HIMA safety systems.

For more information about the anticollision project please contact MATISA Matériel Industriel S.A. by email: