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Extended System Functionality in Safe, Modular Train Control from MEN Micro

  • Four new boards offer various I/O to meet specific requirements
  • Significant system extension in remote or complex railway applications
  • Safe, reliable operation ensured with EN 50155-compliant boards and systems

BLUE BELL, Pa. January 2017 – MEN Micro now offers a series of rugged I/O boards for use with the menTCS (MEN Train Control System), designed for safe train operation.  The four new EN 50155-compliant cards offer added system functionality with a variety of safe I/O functions as well as certifications up to SIL 4 (safety integration level) depending on the number of boards implemented.

Safe I/O Extension

The new I/O boards comprise the typical functions required for railway applications.  The K1 provides eight digital high-side switch outputs with 300 mA per channel, while the K7 offers eight digital low-side switch outputs.  The K2 boasts 16 binary inputs and the K4 delivers four frequency inputs with four signals each. 

A SIL 4 certification package is available for all I/O boards together and a single I/O board can be used to reach SIL 2. Two combined boards are required to reach SIL 3 and SIL 4. This scalable approach reduces cost in case a lower SIL level is sufficient. Alternatively, two identical I/O boards can support hot stand-by, ensuring availability when required for critical functions. 

Each board includes integrated supervisor functions, including FSoE communication (Fail Safe over Ethernet), and is optically isolated from other cards within the system. 

All I/O components are connected via spring cage terminal blocks, reducing wiring for fast installation and support the full voltage range from 14.4 VDC to 154 V DC.

Modular Train Control

The menTCS family is built on standardized electronics and interfaces to the software, making it the first open computer platform for automatic train operation (ATO) and safe train control.  It consists of MEN Micro’s MH50C controller unit including the safe, SIL 4-certified F75P CPU board and up to 6 I/O cards. 

MEN Micro also offers the KT8, a 19″-based, safe, remote I/O box that accommodates up to eight different I/O boards.  For more complex applications, or remote installations, up to 63 boxes can be connected together in a ring topology, allowing the units to be controlled from two directions. 

The menTCS as well as the remote I/O boxes can be flexibly configured with the new I/O boards in regards to number and functionality.

MEN Micro – Profile and Mission

“Reliable Embedded Computing for a World in Motion.”

Established in 1998, MEN Micro is the United States subsidiary of MEN Mikro Elektronik with sales, technical support, and production. Since the founding of the headquarters in 1982 – and with approx. 300 employees worldwide – MEN has focused on innovation, reliability and flexibility to develop and produce standard and custom computing solutions that employ the highest technology levels. The company provides a robust offering of highly reliable embedded COTS boards and devices widely used in extreme environmental conditions found in mobile, industrial and safety-critical applications.

  • Safe computers and systems certifiable up to SIL 4 and DAL-A
  • Robust built-to-order box PCs
  • Panel PCs for HMIs and digital signage
  • Pre-configured built-to-order 19” systems
  • Rugged CompactPCI boards and systems
  • Network components in compact box format or 40 HP format
  • Robust computer-on-modules for individual system designs

For individual requirements, starting with development through design-in and beyond, MEN provides its customers with advice and support as well as with system design, configuration and environmental qualification in accordance with industry standards.

The company’s core competencies encompass x86 and RISC processor architectures, development rules for safe applications, analog I/O design, FPGA technology and Windows, Linux and real-time operating systems. Additional expertise includes RAMS and obsolescence management as well as the development of computing hardware for operation in harsh and extreme environmental conditions. Development, production and on-site testing laboratories guarantee traceability and high-quality products.

MEN Micro’s computer solutions are used in harsh mission- and safety-critical environments found in the transportation (rail & public transport, off-road & heavy vehicles, aerospace, marine) and industrial (automation, power & energy, medical) markets.

The company is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 (environment), EN 9100 (aerospace) and IRIS (railway) quality management systems, provides systems according to ISO 7637-2 (road traffic) requirements and is a member of several industry associations, consortiums and alliances, including VITA and PICMG.

MEN Mikro Elektronik is a member of:

  • AMD Fusion Partner Program
  • APTA (American Public Transportation Association)
  • ARINC (Aeronautical Radio Incorporated)
  • CAN in Automation
  • NXP Design Alliance
  • Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance
  • Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL)
  • PCI-SIG (Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group)
  • PICMG (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group)
  • RSSI (Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc.)
  • USB-IF (Universal Serial Bus Implementers Forum, Inc.)
  • VITA (VMEbus International Trade Association)
  • Wind River Partner Eco System


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