Pfaff-silberblau Verkehrstechnik GmbH & Co. KG of Derching/Friedberg, Germany, has put two new jacking systems into service for SNCF, France’s national railway company. At the Amiens-Longueau yard (north of Paris), the German specialist for road and rail technology installed a bogie drop table for changing the trains’ bogies. For lifting up to four coupled vehicles, a jacking system consisting of 16 lifting jacks, with a lifting capacity of 18 t each, was installed in Épernay (in the Champagne-Ardenne region). The decisive criterion leading to the contract was the high quality of the Pfaff-silberblau jacking systems, which SNCF had already used successfully in the past.
Amiens-Longueau: Special Solution for a Shallower Pit
The bogie drop table at the SNCF depot in Amiens-Longueau uses a scissors lift design with a walk-on platform and an overlying track bridge. With this configuration, the platform, which is 5,660 mm long and 5,500 mm wide, can be used as a working platform when the rail bridge is uncoupled. The lifting capacity for the system built by Pfaff-silberblau is 25 t at a lifting speed of 720 mm/min or 45 t at 360 mm/min. The lifting height is 2,200 mm plus 50 mm of overstroke.
By employing a hydraulic scissors lift instead of a conventional design with worm gears, Pfaff-silberblau’s engineers were able to reduce the pit depth by 40 percent from 6,100 mm to 3,600 mm. In this way, it was possible to meet an important requirement for SNCF, because the ground water is high on the depot grounds, which prevents installation of deep workshop pits.
Frequency-controlled drives are used to moderately accelerate and brake the platform via a separate start-up and braking ramp. Here, it is possible to define several customer-specific speeds, which makes performing the work significantly more convenient. A Siemens-SPS S7 serves as the control unit, which, besides steering the basic lifting, lowering, and horizontal movement operations, releases and locks the doors and barriers in the pit area. This ensures that people can only pass the pit barrier, when there is no danger of falling.
The lifting platform can be controlled manually from both sides of the track using a handheld control unit with an open holder. This enables the operators to work from any point on the platform, especially when doing so is required to maintain a clear view of what is happening or to perform certain work operations. Ample equipment with tool cabinets and electric socket outlets of all sizes shortens the distances that have to be travelled for work steps; glare-free illumination of the work space is ensured by 15 fluorescent lamps that are mounted beneath the grating cover and can be switched on and off in groups. All status indicators and faults warnings are displayed with a clear text message, which makes finding and eliminating the problem significantly faster and easier.
Variable System of Lifting Jacks for Épernay
At the Épernay depot, Pfaff-silberblau installed a lifting jack system consisting of 16 HD lifting jacks with a lifting capacity of 18 t each. This makes it possible to lift up to four coupled vehicles at an overall weight of 288 t and with a synchronism of ± 1 mm. The system, which is controlled using frequency converter technology, gently lifts its load at speeds of 300 mm/min and 800 mm/min to a height of up to 3,500 mm above the floor.
The lifting jacks can be moved electrically in parallel with the tracks, which makes it possible to reach all jacking points quickly without strain. Pfaff-silberblau’s engineers modified the powered lifting claw so that it is possible to shift the vehicle body sideways by ± 40 mm under load. Furthermore, a mobile electric cable winch from Pfaff-silberblau’s BETA model series makes it possible to pull the bogies out under the raised car.
Monitoring and control of the entire system along with its comprehensive safety devices is accomplished using a mobile console that features a user-friendly touch screen. This console can be inserted into mounts at three different positions in the hall.