Mitsubishi Electric’s involvement in the UK-based rail industry started
back in the late 1980s when Mitsubishi Programmable Logic Controllers
(PLCs) were used as monitoring equipment and operator Interface systems
on a variety of signalling installations on the London Underground
Mitsubishi Electric is renowned for manufacturing high quality
automation and control solutions and has continued to supply equipment
to the rail industry for mainline, underground and overground
infrastructure projects over the last 30 years.
Mitsubishi’s technology is based on adopting open standards and
providing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products both at a hardware,
network, programming and data transfer level to give its customers total
Another key factor is Mitsubishi’s ethos of ‘evolution’ rather than
‘revolution’ in product design, allowing legacy systems to be supported
over many years and the migration of the old to the new in an easy and
cost-effective way. This is vital when considering the asset lifetimes
demanded by the rail industry.
Mitsubishi is a registered and approved supplier of these solutions to the UK rail industry.
Diverse UK and global applications
Within the London Underground, Mitsubishi has been involved in many
diverse applications including the escalator & lift refurbishment
programme, the Jubilee line extension, Victoria line, station and tunnel
ventilation, pumps and drainage, platform edge doors obstruction
detection and Central line and Bakerloo line signal monitoring
refurbishment. Recent involvement included the ‘Cooling the Tube’
project and routing & timetable management for the Piccadilly line,
Heathrow T5 and depot protection.
In the UK overground infrastructure, Mitsubishi has been involved with,
amongst others, environment control and building management systems,
waste extraction, remote condition monitoring, points heating, tunnel
ventilation and train washing. Overseas installations have included,
Oslo Railway, Hong Kong Railways, Jakarta Mainline Railways, Singapore
MRT, Taiwan and of course Japan Railways.
These applications have used a variety of Mitsubishi solutions including
PLCs, Variable Speed Drives, HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) and SCADA
(Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition).
Innovation going forward
Recently some of Mitsubishi Electric’s innovative technology solutions
have been used in applications where traditional automation technology
had previously not ventured. Mitsubishi’s ‘C Controller’ platform offers
a flexible, robust, secure environment that can house multiple ‘apps’
to perform complex and challenging tasks. The C Controller forms part of
the integrated iQ Platform and therefore sits in a ruggedised
On one level, the C Controller can offer a flexible C++ programming
environment to extend the processing power of a standard PLC CPU, often
held back by the constraints of traditional PLC programming languages.
This has already been used on rail applications in this mode. However,
it is the flexibility of the C Controller to take on a functional
persona based on the “loaded app” which really makes this solution an
exciting development and platform for the future.
As part of Mitsubishi’s e-Factory Alliance, partner companies have
embedded their technology onto the C Controller platform enabling a
whole host of Mitsubishi solutions to be developed, including a
distributed secure database application and various connection options
from asset to enterprise level, interfacing to SAP, Oracle, DB2 and
other business systems solutions. A recent development has been an RTU
product, complete with an open IEC 61131-1 programming environment and
embedded IEC 61850 and DNP3 protocols.
It is also possible to develop industry standard applications in this
environment which means that, going forward, Mitsubishi is well placed
to work with and react to the needs of its customers. The company
already has examples in the motor industry where the standard product
was modified to interface with the company’s specific enterprise level
solution. As the C Controller ‘apps’ are firmware/software based,
modifications can easily be made and new systems engineered without the
need for costly and lengthy product development.
The rail infrastructure sector remains a key focus area for Mitsubishi
Electric, both in the UK and worldwide. The company will continue to
build on a proven track record and sound industry knowledge and
experience as it moves forward, whilst seeking to bring innovation and
reliability through its products and solutions.
Mitsubishi Electric UK
Tel: 01707 288 780