Inauen Schätti, a construction company whose areas of specialism include ropeways, is working to improve piste safety for skiers. As part of a pilot test project on the Parpaner Rothorn mountain, the company installed an avalanche mast for the selective remote-controlled detonation of charges above the snow pack. Triggering controlled avalanches protects winter sports enthusiasts and walkers from potentially hazardous snow build-up. Ensuring failsafe operation of the detonation mechanism is a controller from the Siemens portfolio. The controller is continuously self-monitoring, and operates without problems even under the most inhospitable mountain weather conditions at temperatures as low as -40°C.
Five kilograms of explosive are required for each charge. A standard hand grenade contains just 200 to 300 grams. As this enormous quantity of explosive triggers a detonation creating a pressure wave of up to 4000 metres per second, Inauen Schätti needs absolute assurance that a charge can only be detonated once the relevant command has reached the communication module on the avalanche mast via the cellphone network. As the consequences of any malfunction could be fatal, it was the absolute reliability of the Siemens solution that prompted the company to choose fail-safe components from the Siplus portfolio for the project.
Failsafe even in sub-zero conditions
High up on the mountain side, a magazine loaded with 32 explosive charges rotates using the same principle as a revolver. The charge slips into the detonating mechanism, the flap opens and the descending explosive device detonates around two to three metres above ground level, triggering the avalanche. Operators working on the computer down in the valley are able to monitor the detonation. To ensure a reliable, trouble-free detonation without any chance of a misfire, the entire process is protected by safety mechanisms: to be precise, the failsafe Siplus variant of the Simatic ET 200SP CPU controller from Siemens used in combination with the Logo! CMR2020 communication module.
“Obviously, this type of mechanism only guarantees absolute safety if the controller is reliable and fully functional at all times,” emphasises Deputy CEO of Masora, Thomas Tschudin. Masora was responsible for development of the control, communication and power supply systems for the pilot project. The entire technical system is designed to operate at very low temperatures and even works reliably at 100% humidity. Moreover, the controller can even be used at altitudes of over 5000 metres.
Siemens and Iraqi government sign roadmap agreement June 2019, Siemens Digital Industries
In a move that takes the roadmap for rebuilding Iraq’s power sector a step further, Siemens and the Ministry of Electricity of the Republic of Iraq have signed an implementation agreement. This builds ...
Read more...Siemens launches Atlas of Digitalisation June 2019, Siemens Digital Industries
Siemens has launched a new web-based application that reveals the readiness and potential of six major cities to embrace digitalisation and develop new ways of living, working and interacting. The Atlas ...
Read more...Siemens extends the Simine portfolio June 2019, Siemens Digital Industries
, PLCs, DCSs & Controllers
Siemens has extended the Simine portfolio for high-pressure grinding mills (HPGR) to include a new controller. Plug-and-play functionality makes the load share controller available for immediate use. ...
Read more...Faster results with a digital twin June 2019, Siemens Digital Industries
, IT in Manufacturing
The high-tech company Grenzebach’s portfolio includes the simulation of material flow in complex plants in the glass industry, which it achieves using Siemens simulation solutions. Together, the two companies ...
Read more...Mobile application for barcode scanning Africa Automation Fair 2019 Preview, Extech Safety Systems
, IS & Ex
Extech is exhibiting the mobXscan app for use in hazardous areas, which adds the capability of barcode scanning to any Windows 10 tablet or Android device. It can be seen at Stand E03. It uses the built-in ...
Read more...A product family for the factory of the future Africa Automation Fair 2019 Preview, Siemens Digital Industries
, IT in Manufacturing
Siemens is showcasing its SIMATIC portfolio of automation products that together prepare factories for digitalisation, totally integrated automation solutions and Industry 4.0. Proven for 60 years, SIMATIC ...
Read more...TIA Portal engineering goes cloud May 2019, Siemens Digital Industries
, IT in Manufacturing
With the TIA Portal (Totally Integrated Automation Portal) in the cloud, Siemens is expanding the options of using the engineering framework even more flexibly in the various phases of planning, engineering ...
Read more...Siemens extends drive system functionality May 2019, Siemens Digital Industries
, Motion Control & Drives
Siemens now offers new features in the firmware and hardware for the Sinamics S120 drive system. Operation is made easier in firmware V5.2 through the integration of the web server, which has a new, responsive ...