In a world where trains must function on time, every time, pressure is on railway operators to ensure regular upgrades and repairs of their infrastructure, all driven by the needs and expectations of the customer.
When it comes to the components and control systems of rail carriages, the pneumatic door controls and locking systems are often some of the most complex and costly items to refurbish. When planning such a refurbishment, several steps need careful consideration to ensure the best solution is achieved for both commercial and technical purposes.
Step 1. Perform an initial assessment
An initial assessment of the contamination levels present within the existing pneumatic components and system manifold can help identify issues down the line with air preparation filtration and dryers, which if not also addressed, will immediately negatively impact any refurbished equipment.
Step 2. Define required outcomes
Developing clearly defined objectives and agreed key deliverables, such as warranty, life and reliability of the delivered refurbishment activity, will help to deliver the required outcomes. The impact of these issues on the actual scope of work undertaken is key to the decision making process in deciding not only what is undertaken and how, but also the impact on project costs, hence defining best technical and commercial value.
Step 3. Assess value
In refurbishment projects involving a pneumatic system, the costs of manpower for the labour-intensive processes involved with any potential rebuild of a system that retains the original manifold must be weighed up against the relative cost of supplying a completely new manifold, with the obvious benefits of all new warranted parts.
The difference in cost between these two options is frequently minimal, especially in projects with a large number of units requiring refurbishment. When the total cost of the project is considered, it often works out to be more economical to replace the entire system with a newly manufactured unit. However, it's imperative to consider this three step process before making that decision.
If you do decide that rail refurbishment is for you then we have actively supplied the rail market for many years with a range of components and control systems for use across a wide range of applications where reliable motion and control technologies are required.
Depending on the requirements of each specific project, we can refurbish existing manifold systems, re-use manifolds to rebuild systems or provide complete newly manufactured systems.
Article contributed by Dave Walker, market development manager for Rail, Automation Group, Parker Hannifin Corporation.