NEW BLAST-ROOM IS KEY TO DOUBLING OVERHAUL CAPACITY
Wabtec Rail Ltd, the UK’s leading company specialising in the overhaul and repair of railway rolling stock, has doubled capacity for servicing wheel-sets at its premises in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, with the installation of a self-contained blast-room with an automatic abrasive recovery system from Hodge Clemco.
An existing Hodge Clemco blast-room has been in use at the works for eight years for cleaning wheel-sets before they are inspected to determine the work required. In order to meet growing demand for these services, Wabtec has installed a second HC blast-room as part of a new work-flow system costing some £450,000, allowing the company to process 150 wheel-sets a week.
Wheel-sets are delivered to the blast-room on rail track that runs from an external storage area and integrates with a pneumatic manipulator inside the room that allows them to be moved to a convenient position for cleaning. This work is performed with a high-production single-chamber direct-pressure unit, using aluminium oxide abrasive.
The blast-room measures 6m long x 3m wide x 2.4m high overall and incorporates a 4m x 3m work chamber with double doors at both ends and a plant room containing a blast machine, media recovery system and control panel. Walls and roof are double-skin steel panels filled with mineral wool slab, considerably reducing noise levels outside the room, which is particularly beneficial when other staff are working nearby.
The floor is constructed from steel plate with gratings through which used abrasive falls and is recovered by a mechanical underfloor scraper system. The material then passes to a cleaning system that extracts re-usable media and deposits it in the storage hopper that feeds the blast machine.
Air inlet ducts and exhaust air outlets in the chamber ensure highly effective cross-draught ventilation in order to provide good visibility for operators. All doors are interlocked to prevent blasting when they are open. Hodge Clemco also supplied a protective suit and an Apollo 600CE helmet with several advanced features for operator safety and comfort.
Two further Hodge Clemco blast-rooms at Wabtec are used for cleaning bogies and rolling stock components.