Return to overview
Home Page / Stories / Schunk creates real added ...

Schunk creates real added value with focused analysis of maintenance data

Schunk - The Power of Connection

Maintenance Railway Industry
close

Video

More information:

When trains are cancelled due to engineering works or damage, annoyance among the passengers and negative headlines are automatic. Yet these costly downtimes can often be avoided, says Daniel Pfeffer, responsible for current transmission systems at Schunk’s globally active business unit “Transit”. This technology company analyzes data from projects and maintenance work around the world in order to help prevent problems arising in the first place.

When trains are cancelled due to engineering works or damage, annoyance among the passengers and negative headlines are automatic. Yet these costly downtimes can often be avoided, says Daniel Pfeffer, responsible for current transmission systems at Schunk’s globally active business unit “Transit”. This technology company analyzes data from projects and maintenance work around the world in order to help prevent problems arising in the first place.

 

Mr. Pfeffer, Schunk offers railway operators and OEMs systems and components based on carbon. These include current collectors (pantographs) for overhead wire and third-rail systems, grounding contacts, flange lubrication systems, brushes for traction motors and much more. What do these components reveal to you and your customers when they are being maintained? 

Daniel Pfeffer: Our products sit directly on the overhead wire or power rail or over the wheel sets, and thus on the central interfaces of the rails. Here they are constantly subjected to mechanical, electrical and environmental stresses. This results in wear to the system. Regular maintenance protects the rail operator from costly downtimes and thus also ensures excellent operational reliability and economic viability. Together with our customers, we pay attention during the maintenance of our carbon brushes, collector strips and collector shoes to HOW they wear out. This helps us determine whether there are problems with the infrastructure somewhere along the route that require correction or optimization. So we don’t just replace our components, we also use carefully focused maintenance and analysis to ensure that they achieve the longest possible life cycle.

How do you go about this? Can you give us an example?

Pfeffer: As well as the analysis carried out by our application engineers, we provide our customers with a comprehensive set of guidelines. These indicate the different types of wear and their possible causes. This enables a more focused optimization to take place. For example, a local transit operator reported an above-average level of grounding brush wear. In some cases there were even flaking and scrape marks. When we looked more closely at the data we noticed that wheels that were no longer circular, together with decrepit tracks, were causing particularly high levels of vibration and thus a higher than normal level of mechanical stress on the components. Simply re-machining the wheel profiles more regularly thus had a direct effect in reducing the wear on our grounding brushes – and probably also on other systems linked to the bogies.

One of the biggest challenges is avoiding unplanned downtimes. What part does Schunk play here?

Pfeffer: That’s correct. That is why we try to point out possible problems even in the preparatory discussions to help prevent them from occurring to begin with. Thanks to our network with our colleagues all over the world, our customers profit from experience from projects and maintenance activities worldwide. We now know, for example, that the contrast agent that is used in the ultrasound testing of train axles has to be removed completely to prevent carbon parts that carry current from becoming contaminated. Once this has been discovered, it is not a big deal. Experiences of this kind from earlier projects help us continue to improve, continuously optimize our products and processes as well as prevent downtimes.

Do you see a change in the technical requirements for rail projects? And how do you respond to it?

Pfeffer: More and more people need to be transported at the same time – including under extreme climatic conditions. Today, components must withstand enormous temperature ranges. On top of this is the cost pressure. It is therefore more important than ever to avoid costly downtimes. Here our analysis of the maintenance data can offer an exceptional chance to prevent problems occurring in the first place. Finally, our systems cannot be simply tested on finished railways. And when they are in use they must function without problems. To be able to prevent unplanned downtimes even more reliably in future, we are working on intelligent systems that will give timely warnings before key components require replacement. This happens in precisely the same way as your car tells you when it needs an inspection.

Click here for more information on our railway technology product portfolio!


View now: Maintenance Railway Industry
close

Video

More information:

When trains are cancelled due to engineering works or damage, annoyance among the passengers and negative headlines are automatic. Yet these costly downtimes can often be avoided, says Daniel Pfeffer, responsible for current transmission systems at Schunk’s globally active business unit “Transit”. This technology company analyzes data from projects and maintenance work around the world in order to help prevent problems arising in the first place.

Downloads

Share this content:

Your contact person for this article is:

Daniel Pfeffer

Strategic Business Area Managament Traction

Tel.: +49641-803 555
daniel.pfeffer@schunk-group.com

Hauptstraße 97
35435 Wettenberg
Germany

Send e-mail