Page 14 - 2 BK SP MKT Globaleyes Edition 10 July 2013_English

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In early 2013 Fortescue Metals
(FMG) will trial an
innovation on their 40 tonne
axle load wagons – a Bradken
rotary drawbar.
FMG, one of the biggest miners
of iron ore in the Pilbara mining
belt of Western Australia, has
recently installed Bradken
drawgear in 100 wagons
to conduct a reliability and
operational trial. This equates
to just 5% of FMG’s current
fleet size.
So when their need for a rotary
drawbar was voiced during
product development meetings
in July last year the Rail Product
Development team moved quickly
to produce a cast sample to prove
the concept during in-service trials.
A rotary drawbar will allow FMG
to significantly reduce drawgear
weight across their 300 wagon
consists. This reduction in weight
equates to a 66 tonne increase
in iron ore per trip and around
24,090 tonnes extra per year.
Other benefits will include the
ability to lengthen wagon pack
quantity to six, to improve
current maintenance strategies
and provide a huge reduction
in the amount of high
wearing components.
Bradken’s Rail Division is leading
the way worldwide in heavy haul
drawgear product development
after doing a deal with the
Fortescue Metals Group.
What is A
Noun – the set
of vehicles forming
a complete train.
A 300 wagon consist, simply
means there are 300 wagons
connected together being
pulled by locomotives.
Another innovation for Rail:
a rotary drawbar
for Fortescue
Bradken Rotary Drawbar.
Rotary drawbars are not new
to the rail industry. Bradken
has previously supplied rotary
drawbars to Rio Tinto for coal
wagons, but in this 160 tonne
heavy haul iron ore wagon class
it is a first. There are significant
axle load forces placed on a
wagon in a 300 wagon consist,
as a result Bradken has spent
a great deal of development
time around the rotary end of
the drawbar to ensure it will
stand up to the increased
rotary frictional load peaks.
The Drawgear Product
Development (DPD) team
worked with personnel at the
Runcorn Foundry in Queensland
to minimise existing pattern
changes, while achieving
maximum gains from the casting.
While reviewing the project the
DPD team identified a value add
to the system. They then created
a flame hardened collar to mate
with the rotary drawbar in an
effort to reduce the rotary friction
co-efficiency and support the
changes made to the redesigned
rotary end of the drawbar.
Rotary Drawbar.
globaleyes / edition 10
product story