Fairs, congresses and seminars

InnoTrans 2016: Boosting innovation in track laying and maintenance

At InnoTrans 2016, we introduced numerous innovations and activities.

Yet again in 2016, InnoTrans was a record-breaker. The trade fair impressively showed that the railway system is among the most dynamic industries of our times. Patron of the fair, Alexander Dobrindt, German Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, also arrived at this conclusion during his obligatory tour through the exhibition on the first day. With 2,761 exhibitors from 55 countries participating, the Federal Minister could only visit a representative selection of them. Therefore, we appreciated his visit to our booth and his interest in our main topics at this InnoTrans all the more.

New 8x4 tamping unit. Our new 8x4 tamping unit was among the highlights. It combines the flexibility of universal 1-sleeper tamping units in Split Head design with the output achieved during 2-sleeper tamping. For operation on plain track, the two tamping unit segments are locked together to form a powerful track tamping unit. Its ground-breaking flexibility is most noticeable in the frog and tongue area of the turnout, in check rails and other obstacles in the track. Here, one tamping unit half can work in 1-sleeper mode while the other half is used in 2-sleeper mode. As a result, sleepers are neither omitted, nor unnecessarily tamped twice. This leads to considerable time-savings and enables all tamping zones to be reached optimally. 

New rotation speed modulation for tamping units. The new 8x4 tamping unit has already been fitted with our new rotation speed modulation. It allows modulating the rotation speed during the individual work phases and enables cost savings of up to 10 %. Moreover, it reduces the noise emitted. For the consolidation of the ballast underneath the sleepers, we continue to use the optimal frequency of 35 Hz.

Smart technology setting the course for Industry 4.0. Smart operation has become state of the art also for track maintenance machines. Our innovations in control technology contribute to this. At InnoTrans 2016 we introduced the new automatic guiding computer SmartALC. It redefines computer-assisted track geometry production. The clearly arranged new 21.5 inch display ensures a significantly improved overview. Its touch screen facilitates intuitive operation. Important and often recurring functions are activated via integrated buttons. Depending on the needs, the system can be operated in different modes.

Plasser Intelligent Control 2.0, DRP data recording processor and PlasserDatamatic – the standard for remote diagnosis, were also shown. These devices prove the consistent implementation of Industry 4.0 on our machines. 

Official handover of the Unimat 09-32/4S Dynamic E³ with hybrid drive to Krebs Gleisbau AG. At InnoTrans, we introduced the first continuous action universal tamping machine with hybrid drive on the outdoor exhibition grounds. The machine can be powered via a diesel engine or an electric motor. At the trade fair, we handed the machine over to Krebs Gleisbau AG. It enables the company to meet demands for reduced CO2 and noise emissions already today. 

Handover of TIF tunnel inspection vehicle to DB Netz AG. The new TIF tunnel inspection vehicle was the sixth machine to be handed over to DB Netz AG. Five new vehicles for the maintenance fleet of DB Netz AG have already been put into operation. The vehicles were designed and manufactured subject to the requirements for motor vehicles. This demonstrates that we are able to implement extraordinary quality standards without difficulty. Fitted with three cranes, work basket and accessible roof, the TIF will be used for maintenance work in tunnels and tunnel portals. At the official handover, Roland Bosch, DB Netz AG Board Member for Operations, said, “We are immensely grateful to Plasser & Theurer for making it possible to hand the vehicles over on time, on budget and in quality.”

Environment and noise protection dia­logue at Spitzke Impuls. At InnoTrans 2016, Spitzke SE held a discussion session on innovations in noise reduction and CO2 reduction in track laying and maintenance. Hosted by Dirk Flege, Managing Director of Allianz pro Schiene, the discussion session was able to attract top-level representatives. 

Apart from Uwe Günther, Chief Procurement Officer of DB AG, Markus Egerer, Manager of DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH, and Martin Werner, CTO of Spitzke SE, Johannes Max-Theurer, CEO of Plasser & Theurer, also participated in the interesting discussions. 

On the topic of noise reduction, Mr Max-Theurer presented the sound-insulating features for tamping machines enabling noise reductions of up to 5 db(A). Moreover, he focused on the new rotation speed modulation for tamping units reducing not only noise emitted but also wear and costs caused during tamping operations. Johannes Max-Theurer also introduced our new E³ hybrid drive system. This ground-breaking innovation for climate protection contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions in particular. 

This discussion round demonstrated, yet again, the innovative power on all levels of the railway system from operators to contractors and manufacturers and it showed the stakeholders’ willingness and interest to work towards new solutions together.

Apart from Uwe Günther, Chief Procurement Officer of DB AG, Markus Egerer, Manager of DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH, and Martin Werner, CTO of Spitzke SE, Johannes Max-Theurer, CEO of Plasser & Theurer, also participated in the interesting discussions. 

On the topic of noise reduction, Mr Max-Theurer presented the sound-insulating features for tamping machines enabling noise reductions of up to 5 db(A). Moreover, he focused on the new rotation speed modulation for tamping units reducing not only noise emitted but also wear and costs caused during tamping operations. Johannes Max-Theurer also introduced our new E³ hybrid drive system. This ground-breaking innovation for climate protection contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions in particular. 

This discussion round demonstrated, yet again, the innovative power on all levels of the railway system from operators to contractors and manufacturers and it showed the stakeholders’ willingness and interest to work towards new solutions together.