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Digital Automatic Coupler: Knorr-Bremse's DAC is revolutionizing freight transport.
To ensure that more freight is transported by rail, the rail freight industry needs to become more efficient and competitive. The Digital Freight Train (DFT), with the Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC) as its core component, is initiating a groundbreaking transformation that will make a key contribution to achieving the European Union’s climate targets.
Knorr-Bremse's Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC)
Knorr-Bremse’s FreightLink DAC for freight cars and HybridLink for locomotives are paving the way for the upgrade of rail freight transportation into the digital age. First, because they are automating the train coupling process, which is currently still manual. And second, because their electrical interfaces will enable the automation and digitalization of the entire rail freight transportation sector. This is why Knorr-Bremse regards these new center buffer couplers as an integral part of the Digital Freight Train (DFT) . This in turn is part of a much broader concept for making rail freight operations faster, more flexible, and easier to organize by using digital solutions.
Knorr-Bremse is a member of the “European DAC Delivery Programme” (EDDP) and a founding member of the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (ERJU) – a public-private partnership between the European Union and the rail industry. As such, the company is playing a key role in the development of and impending migration to the DAC. The retrofitting program, involving up to 500,000 freight cars and 21,000 locomotives throughout the European Union, is due to start mid-decade. Thanks to its extensive product and industrialization expertise, backed up by a highly responsive local service network, Knorr-Bremse is positioning itself as a leading supplier of DAC and DFT applications.
The electric contact coupler for the Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC)
One key part of the Knorr-Bremse DAC is the innovative concept of the electric contact coupler (e-coupler). By connecting power and data lines from the locomotive all the way to the last freight car, e-couplers act as a crucial interface in the digital freight train. As such, they are essential for the digitized, intelligent, competitive transportation of freight by rail.
The Knorr-Bremse e-coupler satisfies all requirements of the European DAC Delivery Programme (EDDP) specification used as the framework for coordinating the Europe-wide launch of the DAC. They include, among other things, very restricted dimensions, high weathering resistance, and the ability to establish a connection between the delicate electrical contacts on two freight cars safely and gently during the coupling process. In addition, an unauthorized access by hand is not possible, so there is no risk being harmed by the current of the e-coupler.