Harsco Rail advances technology in track maintenance and repair
Track maintenance in North America is similar to the rest of the world, in that many functions can be quite labour intensive and subject to countless variations. Over the past 10 years, track maintenance machines have become increasingly automated, but certain areas still require the strength and attention of trained operators. Chris Larsen, Harsco Rail Product Manager, writes about their progress in track maintenance automation, providing information about their machine vision system; the functions it performs and plans for future development.
Harsco Rail’s camera sensor and Tie Finder probes mounted under a Drone Anchor Spreader
Particular tasks related to track maintenance, such as spike/fastener application or removal, or spot tie removal, are examples of work that still require the trained eye of an operator to accurately find the area to be worked on. Not only does the operator have to move a machine weighing over 20 tonnes from tie to tie, but then they must finely move a workhead to within a fraction of an inch of a spike to be pulled. Such work requires precision, strength and concentration, allowing little room for error and so its automation would be of great benefit to rail companies.
The rest of this article is restricted - login or subscribe free to access
Thank you for visiting our website. To access this content in full you'll need to login. It's completely free to subscribe, and in less than a minute you can continue reading. If you've already subscribed, great - just login.
Why subscribe? Join our growing community of thousands of industry professionals and gain access to:
- bi-monthly issues in print and/or digital format
- case studies, whitepapers, webinars and industry-leading content
- breaking news and features
- our extensive online archive of thousands of articles and years of past issues
- ...And it's all free!