The reach of companies in the North Fork Valley can stretch far beyond the valley's borders. Convergent Communications, Inc. (CCI) of Paonia is one such company.
CCI began in 2006 working in the railroad signaling industry. Today the company has 13 engineering employees plus support staff. The employees all telecommute. They design railroad command and control networks, assemble and test specialized electronic equipment, develop software, consult with major railroads and build simulators.
Francois Pretorius, chairman of the board, recently talked about the company at a Rotary meeting. Based in Paonia, CCI has offices in Florida, Tennessee, California and Kentucky. CCI has done railraod projects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Europe and Australia.
Pretorius said railroad signaling controls the speed of trains, prevents conflicting moves, monitors track conditions for hazards and allows for efficient remote control of the railroad.
A freight train needs two miles to stop. Because the engineer can't see the signal two miles down the track, the railroad uses a set of signals to alert the engineer along the way. A green signal indicates the engineer is to keep the train running at speed. A yellow green signal tells the engineer to slow down to 40 m.p.h., the yellow signal to slow down to 30, the yellow yellow signal means to proceed at 15 m.p.h. and the red tells the engineer to stop.
Communication is key so accidents do not happen. Modern signaling communications are radio-based.
CCI designs and develops custom equipment. In Paonia, Randy Campbell does the final test and assembly of the electronic modules.
Pretorius said CCI is working on the Brazil Project. In Brazil, iron exported to China is shipped by train. CCI designed the communications system for the project plus tested and commissioned the system remotely from Paonia. This is a three-year project involving 500 locomotives, 3,000 miles of track and 300 base radios.
The purpose of the $60 million Brazil Project is to upgrade the signaling system to modern standards, increase capacity and increase safety. The system automatically stops the trains if the engineer makes a mistake. This system is designed as a pilot project which could be used by railroads around the world.
CCI built a monitoring system for railroad and simulation system. The simulation system proved the monitoring system would work and had enough bandwidth.
For more information about Convergent Communications, Inc. go online to www.ccinet.us.blog comments powered by Disqus