Safety solutions and technology
To propose solutions and technologies for the safety, control and enhancement of railway infrastructures has been ECM's mission for 50 years in its constant pursuit for synergy with its customers.
Over 50 years of innovation and progress
Founded in 1958 by Giulio Cappellini
Elettromeccanica CM, as it was originally called, was founded in 1958 by Giulio Cappellini together with his sons Mario and Roberto (who still manage the company today) and began its growth and development with the production of electric power supply stabilisers for television equipment and various types of electric transformers, for both industrial and domestic use. As early as 1961-62 ECM began to supply its products to the Italian Navy. Materials produced ranged from transformers to direct current power packs as well as small ferroresonance inverters. In that period it also began production of small battery chargers for motor vehicle electricians and emergency back-up systems.
First cooperation with the Ferrovie dello Stato
In 1966 ECM began working with the Ferrovie dello Stato, the Italian State Railway (today known as RFI). Over the years, it was this organisation that emerged as the company's main development driving force.
The first supplies included low voltage transformers for the powering of relay based equipment and dc power supply packs. In the years that immediately followed, ECM dedicated all of its economic, design and manpower resources to the railway sector. It was during these years that the number of orders in the railway signalling power packs increased exponentially.
In the meanwhile, new needs were emerging in the railway transportation market. Consolidation of technology connected to safe automatic spacing of trains along the lines led the company to develop 1000 V ac power transmission systems. Towards the end of the decade, ECM designed and certified the new static junction boxes for the powering of level crossings. In the same period they began professional training to railway personnel on the use and maintenance of ECM products.
Eighties and nineties
In a rapidly evolving world, during the 1980's ECM was still a driving force in technology and research that accelerated decisively during this decade. The company began offering the market with a range of new products dedicated to the world of railway signalling. Consequently the company developed modular power panels for relay based interlocking, three- phase static UPS power supply units up to 300 kVA, as well as low reactance sub transient emergency generators.
During the second half of the 1990's new optoelectronic light signals with LED technology were produced for level crossings and engineering work signals. It was in this phase that an extremely interesting technological sector opened up: diagnostics and remote controlling of railway signalling systems. During this period participation in the design and development of on-board power subsystems for the Eurotunnel project was very important.
The new millennium
For ECM, the coming of the new millennium meant the expansion to greater levels. The most important and fundamental event was the passage from supplying high quality products to the ability of being able to design, supply, install and maintain turn-key systems such as the new ATP/ATC systems for the Ferrovie Dello Stato.
In the first few years of the new millennium ECM contributed to the total coverage of the RFI network with train protection systems and SCMT and SSC equipping large numbers of railway lines with both systems and using their own products both for the trackside and on-board equipment as well as the application engineering capabilities for signalling. Progress in research in various sectors made it possible to create other products such as optoelectronic light signals of various types. In particular, research aimed at the migration of traditional halogen lamp signals to LED technology, with minimum impact on existing control systems.
HMR9 and the new research frontier
The new frontier is represented by ECM’s showcase product consisting of a computer based interlocking known as HMR9. It is completely designed and developed in-house and is capable of remotely controlling and supervising railway traffic for large station areas and long sections of railway all from one control centre.
Moreover, HMR9 is capable of controlling all other systems that today assist the railway traffic such as the above mentioned SCMT and SSC, as well as ERTMS, block sections using axle counters, etc.
Currently the Company is participating in ambitious technological innovation projects aimed at achieving interoperability at a European level (as set out in Directives and supported by EU funding), both in terms of safety and signalling, with its products already designed to be installed on systems in compliance with ETCS standards for vehicle interoperability, with the development of modular on-board systems. It is also working with other overseas manufacturers for the parts relative to national systems in other countries.
- Elettromeccanica CM was founded
- ECM began working with the Ferrovie dello Stato
- A range of new products dedicated to the world of railway signalling
- New optoelectronic light signals with LED technology were produced for level crossings and engineering work signals
- The new millennium
- The passage from supplying high quality products to the ability of being able to design, supply, install and maintain turn-key systems
- The new frontier is represented by ECM’s showcase product consisting of a computer based interlocking known as HMR9.
Where research becomes a product
The main facilities are located at Cantagrillo in the Municipality of Serravalle Pistoiese, province of Pistoia, a stone's throw away from the Montalbano hills, home to centuries-old genius Leonardo Da Vinci.
The Pistoia facilities
The main facilities are located at Cantagrillo in the Municipality of Serravalle Pistoiese, province of Pistoia, a stone's throw away from the Montalbano hills, home to centuries-old genius Leonardo Da Vinci (Vinci, Leonardo's birthplace is only a few kilometres away). This is where the majority of design, production and testing takes place.
The Genoa and Rome offices
The mission of the Genoa office is primarily focused on software development, whilst the Rome office offers an ideal location near to the national institutional bodies as well as the possibility of providing support and assistance to ECM's main customers.