Reducing the change-out time of a single wheelset on an iron ore wagon to just ten minutes.
Historically, replacing wheel axles on iron ore wagons required several hours of intensive labour. There were also health and safety risks associated with jacking a wagon up.
The Axel Replacement In-line Unit (ARI Unit) overcomes several operational issues. Changing axels in a remote location meant designing a solution with minimal infrastructure requirements and high and low-pressure hydraulic circuits needed to be integrated into one hydraulic power unit. In addition, the ARI Unit would be installed in live signaled rail areas under train control, making maintaining rail continuity a primary objective. The construction, fabrication, and commissioning of the ARI Unit was completed offsite and installed in under one week.
The ARI Units use a self-contained solar-charged battery-powered sump pump and hydraulic power unit. It includes a bogie jack locking system, safeguarding the maintainer from the line-of-fire of a suspended load, and a shoeing and brake adjustment bar. In addition to changing axles on iron ore wagons, this system can also be used for heavy haul rail, bulk material wagons, tankers, and container freight wagons.
Two ARI Units were successfully delivered and installed, immediately improving safety by eliminating the need to hoist wagons, and in doing so, saving time. A single wheelset change-out can occur in just 10 minutes in any remote location—including shunt.
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