Electronic brake control system
Introduction of microelectronics into a failure tolerant and highly reliable anti slide braking system improves the safety of high speed trains
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    333 Industrial Process Control Equipment
    35 Railway and Tramway Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Poli Costruzione Materiali Trazione S.p.a. a more than 150 years old Italian company with about 70 employees, designs, manufactures and sells brake equipment and additional electro-mechanical parts for railway vehicles. The company in this AE has developed an electronic brake control system that it will be used to control the brake cylinder pressure of a rail vehicle, in order to ensure an anti-slide braking action.
The Company has only mechanical experience and was forced to introduce an electronic control since the train speed has been strongly increased in the recent years and an anti slide control was necessary to increase the reliability and to reduce the maintenance costs Before the AE the customer had to acquire the breaking control system separately, since POLI was note able to provide it. This was also contradicting the Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) recommendation aimed at making one company only responsible for the correct functioning of the whole system.
This caused a steep reduction of POLI profit and a forecasted market share significant decrease as Poli Costruzioni Materiale Trazione had to face competitors which were already manufacturing some kind of electronic controller.
The objective has been therefore to develop the design of electronic brake control system, and to learn the process to procure the hardware, test it for in-coming quality control, install it when on field, manage customer specific upgrades. The adopted technology makes use of microcontroller based electronic control implemented on PCB's. The choice was due to the advantage offered from this technology in terms of flexibility, programmability and difficulty to be copied. The total cost of the AE is 90 kECU and it has been completed in 13 months.
The company is now independent in dealing with the client's and final user's requirements, both at the whole system design and after-sale assistance level. The production of our electronic control results in a saving of about 33% in comparison with the purchase cost of the electronic control in the railway market. Payback period is supposed to be 2 years from the termination of the AE and return on investment (ROI) is estimated to be about 2.. ROI is calculated using the actual AE cost and the differential cumulated profit margin achieved in 4 years of investment life, thanks to the introduction of the new electronic technology.
During the AE we could realise that it is possible for us to work with electronics and that this technology can be used to improve performance of different products we already produce.
Poli Costruzione Materiali Trazione S.p.a
Via Fontanella 11
26010 Camisano (CR)

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microprocessor technology provided Poli Costruzione Materiali Trazione S.p.a with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

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