PANDROL remains in the forefront of rail fastening development. Here are some of our latest innovations.
ROBOTIC PRODUCTION LINES OPEN FOR PANDROL VICTOR TIE PLATES
Pandrol USA, Arkansas Steel Associates and Southwest Steel Processing held an open house for railroad industry officials in early November in Newport, Arkansas. The event introduced the new robotic tie plate production lines designed to manufacture Pandrol VICTOR tie plates for wood ties. Used in conjunction with either Pandrol 'e' clip or FASTCLIP fastenings, the VICTOR tie plate is becoming the standard Class 1 railroad tie plate system on wood ties for curves of two degrees or greater on bridges, on curves of more than 6 degrees and on steep grades.
Robot inserting heated plate into the 1,000 ton press
"This effort was a successful collaborative effort by Pandrol USA, Arkansas Steel Associates and Southwest Steel Processing," said Frank Brady, President of Pandrol USA. "Our design, engineering and technical staff worked with the staffs of Arkansas Steel and Southwest Steel Processing at every step along the way.
"The market is expanding rapidly for VICTOR plates using both Pandrol 'e' clips and FASTCLIPS. The VICTOR wood tie system, which has been in development for more than ten years, is designed for the demanding conditions facing heavy haul railroads on curves, grades and bridges. Following extensive testing and in-track trials, the system was installed on a number of railroads in heavy haul service and has passed all performance requirements.
"The new robotic VICTOR tie plate production lines represent a major investment in both time and money by all three of the companies involved and will enable us to meet the growing demand for this product.
"The robotic production lines more than double the capacity to supply these plates. Each of the lines, is equipped with an induction furnace, a robot to take the heated base plate to a 1,000 ton press, and a robot to place the cast shoulders in place to be swaged into the base plate. Each of the production lines produces a finished VICTOR plate every 17 seconds," concluded Brady.
Finished VICTOR plate being ejected from the other side of the press
The cast shoulders are swaged in place on the 1,000 ton presses. Once the shoulders are swaged in place they produce a pull out strength more than double those specified for shoulders in concrete ties.
The Pandrol VICTOR plates will be available in both 16" and 18" versions and will allow the railroads and transit systems to specify both the type of shoulder and the hole punching type and pattern they require. The tie plates can be supplied with a shoulder suitable for either Pandrol 'e' or FASTCLIP fasteners or with a ROLLBLOCK. The tie plates can have holes punched for cut spikes, screw spikes or some combination of the two.
The PANDROL VICTOR system combines the durability of an AREMA tie plate with the benefits of resilient fastenings. The flat tie plate provides the maximum bearing area, while the use of Pandrol's fastenings provides all of the advantages of resilient fastenings - holding power, prevention of rail rollover and reduced maintenance. Testing at TTCI, with 39-ton axle loads, has shown a five-fold decrease in gauge widening when using resilient fastenings on wood ties.
VICTOR tie plates are rolled to AREMA material specifications by Arkansas Steel and when installed in track provide the full Pandrol clip toe load. They are designed for today's and tomorrow's high axle loads. They are normally packed 100 per crate.
Pandrol USA's Plastic Plant
Pandrol USA's plastic injection molding plant is now in full production with 8 high capacity injection molding machines and a ninth smaller machine for prototyping and short production runs.
The plant is dedicated to the production of railroad tie pads and insulators that are used with Pandrol's track fastening systems. By vertically integrating, to produce tie pads and insulators, as well as rail clips for the various Pandrol fastening systems, we are able to more effectively meet our customers' requirements. No longer, do our customers need to compete with non-railroad customers at injection molding manufacturers.
By controlling the process, from design through material specification, material purchase, and production we have greater flexibility to meet railroads needs. The injection molding machines are tightly computer controlled and monitored to insure accurate parts production. The use of State-of-the-Art robotics reduces material handling.
In addition, with the capability to do our own design and prototyping, we have significantly increased our ability to assist the railroads in developing new products and to test new resins and product designs to improve and enhance product performance.
We maintain an inventory of the most commonly used resins so that we can respond rapidly to our customers' requirements. We also maintain an inventory of the most commonly called for tie pads and insulators to meet emergency requirements.
We take pride in our new plant. It was designed using LEAN production concepts and meets ISO 14001 requirements. The result is a plant the efficiently and effectively handles production from resin delivery through the entire production process to final shipping.
NEW PACKAGING IMPROVES HANDLING, REDUCES RISK
Low back pain and injuries attributed to manual lifting activities are one of the leading causes of occupational health and safety issues. In an effort to minimize these health and safety issues for our employees and the employees of our customers, effective July 8, 2013, Pandrol USA will be reducing the maximum weight per bag of resilient fastenings to 48 pounds. FASTCLIPs and 'e' Clips will be packed 25 per bag. 'PR' Clips will be packed 15 per bag. The total piece count per pallet will remain unchanged.
While there are no specific standards in place for how much a person can lift or carry, the new packaging weigh limits are based upon the National Institute of Occupational Health's (NIOSH) mathematical model which helps predict the risk of injury from repetitive strain. Pandrol USA's new fastening packaging is below the acceptable weigh which nearly all healthy workers could lift over the course of an eight hour shift without increasing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) to the lower back. In addition, NIOSH calculates a Lifting Index that provides a relative estimate of the level of physical stress and MSD risk associated with the manual lifting task evaluated. These guidelines are based upon medical research into the compressive forces known to cause damage to bones and ligaments. The new packaging is also below the calculated Lifting Index.
PANDROL FASTCLIP FE
The new PANDROL FASTCLIP FE system utilizes the proven technology of the original FASTCLIP assembly to create a lower cost assembly which retains the features that have provided railroads and contractors with reduced costs for installation, de-stressing and maintenance.
An optimized clip shape results in a cost savings and the newly designed and strengthened shoulder reduces weight and provides a lower profile. The new and innovative collar, which combines the side post insulator and heel seat for the clip, has excellent insulation properties and its high lateral stiffness and durability give excellent gage retention.
The PANDROL FASTCLIP FE system provides a nominal toe load of 2,250 pounds per clip. As with all FASTCLIP assemblies, all components are pre-assembled on the tie at the tie plant and arrive at the site ready for installation. The system is fully compatible with automated track machinery.
The innovative PANDROL VICTOR® system combines the durability of an AREMA tie plate with the benefits of Pandrol's line of resilient fastenings. The flat tie plate provides the maximum bearing area, while the use of Pandrol's fastenings provides all of the advantages of resilient fastenings - holding power, prevention of rail rollover and reduced maintenance.
Testing at TTCI, with 39 ton axle loads, has shown a five-fold decrease in gage widening when using resilient fastenings on wood ties.
Vortok® De-Stressing Roller System
Pandrol USA is marketing the Vortok® De-Stressing Roller system in the United States. The system is designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of rail de-stressing operations. The VSR system brings a new level of performance, safety and efficiency to the de-stressing process. The system reduces the time it takes to complete the work, reduces the number of people required, provides a safer operation than current de-stressing methods, and results in higher quality track.
Shoulder Face Repair Shim
Pandrol has developed and has a patent pending on a stainless steel shim for replacing worn shoulders in track. When epoxied onto worn shoulders and used with custom designed insulators, track gauge can be restored. This repair procedure renews tie life and eliminates the need for tie replacement.
PANDROL® SAFELOK I Long Reach Clip
PANDROL® Long Reach SAFELOK I clips provide a fastener that extends 1/2 inch further on the rail base and generates a slightly higher toe load. This longer reach SAFELOK I fastener has been developed as a safety feature to ensure clip retention and increase holding capabilities on high degree curves where shoulder wear and insulator wear are more prevalent.
ANTI-ABRASION PAD AND INSULATOR ASSEMBLY
The new four-part integral abrasion resistant tie pad and insulator assembly is designed to control rail seat abrasion on concrete ties. The components are manufactured from high quality engineered polymers.
These assemblies include a resilient and durable top pad, an anti-abrasion plate, a sand resistant and water repellent gasket, and the side post insulators. All components are assembled on snap fit restraining lugs to ensure security during shipping and service life and arrive at the job site as a single unit. The system is designed to seal out sand, dirt and water from the rail seat. Interlocking studs and dimples, which are an integral part of the plastic plate and pad, resist differential movement of the parts and improve longitudinal restraint.
The pad shown is used with the SAFELOK III fastener. This type of pad is also available for FASTCLIP, SAFELOK I, and 'e' Clip.
PANDROL® SAFELOK III
The SAFELOK III system meets the need for fast, efficient track installation and reduced maintenance cost. SAFELOK III is pre-installed on concrete ties with clip, pad and insulators in place, ready for track installation. The dual insulator design results in extended component life and significantly reduced maintenance costs.
The SAFELOK III system meets or exceeds the standards and requirements established by the world's major railroads and provides optimal performance over a wide range of operating conditions.
Since SAFELOK III is captive on the tie, there is a significant reduction in manpower during rail installation and adjustment.Benefits Include:
- All components can be pre-assembled on concrete ties
- Fast, fully mechanized application
- All components remain on the track during rail change out or de-stressing
- Outstanding durability
- Exceptional gage retention
- Dual insulator design promotes long insulator life
- No metal-to-metal contact to the clip/rail interface
PANDROL SRS is designed to reduce vibration and noise and is ideally suited for transit and freight applications. The Single Resilient System (SRS) assembly consists of a cast base plate and a resilient pad and can be used on wood, composite ties or slab track. This non-bonded, low-profile system is fully insulated, provides excellent stray current protection and is available in FASTCLIP and 'e' clip designs.Benefits Include:
- It is economical and competes favorably with standard DF assemblies
- It can withstand freight traffic
- Components can be easily changed to meet loading requirements
- All common rail sizes can be accommodated
- Vertically serrated holes allow for lateral adjustment
- Footprint designs that match current DF assemblies
- FASTCLIP plates are pre-assembled
PANGUARD is designed to provide a rail fastening system that would reduce both noise and vibration. Such a system is highly desirable in tunnels in transit applications.
The PANDROL PANGUARD system suspends the rail from the web and fishing surface with resilient blocks. The resilient blocks are held in ductile iron side plates that transfer the vertical load to the tie. This system is in use on MBTA and various properties around the world.