Increasing gridlock challenges were reduced through large-scale operating system upgrades, in partnership with Hirschmann, a Belden brand.
Sitting among the top 20 most populated cities in the United States, this has been no small feat for the City and County of Denver, which began its journey to modernization after its primary devices were discontinued by its long-standing vendor. Denver’s network had already experienced dozens of failures with its existing technology, and with its main technician retiring, they had to act fast. City planners reasonably began to worry there was only a matter of time before bottlenecks and outages—or worst-case scenario, a complete crash of the system—would cause detrimental effects.
As Denver continued to experience rapid population growth, its traffic control network (TCN) currently consisting of more than 6,000 devices, legacy systems wouldn’t cut it. Continued network expansion was inevitable for this large-scale project. Its massive size and complexities required a highly configurable, reliable and comprehensible solution that could grow along with its network.
For any traffic control network (TCN), signal management consists of many moving parts. Aside from maintaining outages, teams are tasked with geographic configuration, proportioning population to the number of signals, congestion mitigation, signal timing and more.
The increasing number of high-throughput devices, such as cameras, have only made this more complex. While traffic divisions rely on the active prioritization and collection of information to expedite critical data transfer, higher bandwidth requirements have created issues for legacy systems. As one of the transportation industry’s most visible services, officials must prioritize traffic engineering and operations.
To meet the City and County’s performance and uptime requirements, as well as provide the evidence the team needed to continue modernization, a combination of existing and Hirschmann devices were suggested for the first phase of the migration.
In 2013, Belden field application engineers joined City and County engineers out in the field for testing, making sure the suggested plans and recommendations were ideally suited for the network’s environment. Approximately 20 MACH1040 switches were installed to match the redundancy requirements of Denver’s TCN and the migration project was in full swing.
The second phase centered on the annual replacement of legacy equipment with Hirschmann devices. These gradual upgrades involve the migration from switches with underperforming redundancy capabilities, to the faster, more dependable performance of Hirschmann switches.
Although Belden’s engineers are not always actively on-site to address network gaps as they arise, the graphical interface of the Industrial HiVision management software and seamless configuration capabilities has enabled Denver’s technicians to complete tasks that once seemed impossible.
Considering the constant replacement of lights and installation of other devices to improve Denver’s TCN, it’s no surprise the project is still underway. Complemented by the dedicated, day-to-day technical and design support of Belden’s engineers and the graphical features of Industrial HiVision, a slow—but steady—transformation has allowed Denver to maintain system integrity without compromising comprehensibility.
The ability to offer a robust, easy-to-use solution that could both meet the needs of today and scale to meet the challenges of tomorrow solidified Denver’s decision to partner with Belden in modernizing its TCN infrastructure. The increasing benefits of the migration, however, are not solely reliant on the consultancy and conversion of Denver’s devices to Hirschmann switches.
Thanks to the success Denver has found in the industrial hardware, the City has also turned to Belden’s Tripwire and Tofino brands to enhance the visual capabilities of its Industrial HiVision software. The highly configurable offerings were introduced to Denver to help them achieve a holistic view and better management of its massive network. Together, Belden’s solutions will provide virtually foolproof detection of behavioral anomalies, as well as maximize efficiency at every point of the network.
At the heart of the Belden network solution is a core redundant ring topology, which facilitates multiple subrings that provide redundant network connectivity and robustness to Denver’s TCN.
By using this technology, as opposed to integrating other redundancy techniques, Belden significantly increased the availability and resiliency of the network—providing multiple paths for communication. Apart from the industrial-grade equipment recommended, Belden has the advantage of a fault-tolerant network that can handle multiple consecutive failures happening in a very short period.
The design integrated robustness and contingencies that allow the TCN to operate transparently, regardless of the disruptions that arise—whether it be a network failure, disconnection of copper or fiber cables, or another unexpected circumstance. Essentially, the industrial ring topology makes transition more seamless and comprehensive for engineers with little or no experience in design or upkeep.
DIN Rail Switches
Designed for networks that require 100% availability for data communications, these compact and extremely robust switches comprise of a basic device that supports Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet.
Rack Mount Fast/Gigabit/Full Gigabit Switches
Designed specifically for extremely robust network requirements bringing the highest level of both flexibility and security
Industrial HiVision Network Management Software
Industrial HiVision safely and automatically identifies network devices and helps you configure and monitor them. The result is all-around network protection and high-performance network management, all while making engineering teams more efficient.