Thursday, October 4, 2012

Robotic welding repairs railway tracks deftly at low cost

Ashraf Jamal, TNN | Oct 4, 2012, 07.51AM IST
ALLAHABAD: In its continuous tryst to adopt the latest technologies, North Central Railway is employing the translamotic robotic welding technique in track maintenance work. The welding of points and crossing on railway tracks is done automatically without any manual interference eliminating errors. This new technology saves time and is also cost effective.

The North Central Railway has a network of more than 4,600 track kilometers of which more than 5,000 turnouts are in service. Turnouts (also called points and crossings) are used for diverting the route on the railway track. The component crossing which is made of cast manganese steel (CMS) is an important part of the point and crossings.

Due to movement of trains, there is wear and tear on the CMS crossings and on a busy high traffic density section like Allahabad division, replacement/reconditioning is warranted in about two years time.

Due to high density of traffic, points and crossings wear out within a short period. Earlier, this repair and reconditioning was done in track depot after taking out the worn-out crossing, which involves huge manpower and time and also block traffic. This repair method takes only about five minutes. To avoid loss of time for removal of CMS crossings and put them back after reconditioning along with transportation it was considered to use the new translamotic robotic welding technology. It is a handy machine and can be lifted by two persons. It works through software for which data is fed in the logger. The welding is done by 'core flaxed fire called translamagna wire of 1.6 mm diameter.

Translamotic robotic welding machine is put on track and date of area to be covered under welding is fed in a device called 'Charlie' Maper. Welding is done automatically and is controlled completely by a computer programme. Robotic welding increases life of CMS crossings and requires only about six hours of welding without any traffic block. Spare CMS crossings are not required. Further, in the process of taking out CMS crossing from track, transportation to welding depot and back to site, the insertion in track is also saved. This new technology saves time and it is cost effective.

Talking to TOI, chief public relations officer of North Central Railway Sandeep Mathur informed that with the use of new technology, time is saved and frequent blocks are also not taken out, ensuring safety of the rail movement and punctuality of trains.


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