An automated railway wheel set maintenance facility utilizes a variety of modern automation systems. This technology primarily moves wheel set components such as bearings, wheels, or axles and assemblies such as wheel sets, pairs of wheels, and bearing pallets between machine tools and throughout the wheel shop. Their use decreases human contact with wheel set components and machines, increasing personnel safety and reducing opportunities for error. It also decreases the need for forklifts and manual overhead cranes to move the work pieces.
The shop floor of an automated facility does not rely on in-floor rails or raised rails to convey wheel sets, allowing easier access to key machines and measuring systems. This also permits adding machines to a particular cell or area without having to rework material handling systems.
The automation systems include:
- Programmable Robots
- Overhead Gantry Cranes
These automation systems communicate with the wheel shop’s Production Control System (PCS) and the machines’ integrated measurement capabilities to route the wheel set components to the relevant machine or machine cell for assembly, disassembly, machining, and measurement. They can be reprogrammed to avoid machines that are temporarily down for maintenance, allowing the shop to remain productive and limiting overall downtime.
Simmons customizes all automation systems to meet the wheel shop’s current and future production capabilities, with overhead gantry crane robots being easily reprogrammable to accommodate additional machines and operations. We have the experience and technology for successful design, manufacturing, installation, and total integration of all machines and automation systems.