Eaton’s cleaning keeps trains on track



In the cleaning system of the Schweizerische Südostbahn (Southeastern Swiss Railway), three of Eaton’s Topline single-bag filter housings are connected in parallel to ensure that the cleaning water, which can be used several times, is of a consistently high quality. © 2021 BvL Oberlächentechnik. All rights reserved.
Eaton's Hayflow filter elements with retention rates from 1 to 100 µm reliably separate unwanted particles.  © 2021 Eaton.  All rights reserved.  © 2021 Eaton.  All rights reserved.
Eaton’s Hayflow filter elements with retention rates from 1 to 100 µm reliably separate unwanted particles. © 2021 Eaton. All rights reserved. © 2021 Eaton. All rights reserved.
To meet process requirements, Eaton's Topline bag filter housings can be used as a single housing or connected in parallel.  © 2021 Eaton.  All rights reserved.
To meet process requirements, Eaton’s Topline bag filter housings can be used as a single housing or connected in parallel. © 2021 Eaton. All rights reserved.

Ensuring that a train is fit to run is of the utmost importance for any railway. It is only by thoroughly cleaning various parts that defects can be detected. However, with the help of Eaton’s special filtration solutions, cleaning can be performed reliably and efficiently.

The cleaning of various parts, such as spring retainers, cross members and axle guides, is of the utmost importance when servicing and servicing trains. It is only when the dirt has been removed that maintenance personnel can detect possible part damage or wear. For example, parts that are regularly subjected to high loads during operation. Schweizerische Südostbahn AG (SOB, Swiss Southeastern Railway) therefore relies on the track cleaning concepts of BvL Oberflächentechnik for its service center. With the help of Eaton’s special filtration solutions, the cleaning system can be used to clean parts reliably with maximum efficiency.

Cleaning of industrial parts covering wide fields of application. Parts of the rail transport system must be free from residues collected during operation if they are to be properly maintained. Railway companies who value the reliability and quality of their products have relied on BvL Oberflächentechnik for decades when it comes to cleaning. The company, which has around 170 employees and a tradition of over 150 years in mechanical engineering, is a leading manufacturer of industrial cleaning systems and supplies customers all over the world from Emsbüren in Niedersachsen, Germany.

In addition to the automotive industry and its suppliers, foundries and mechanical engineering, BvL also supplies turntable and basket washing systems, passage systems and large parts as well as systems involving high pressure and high pressure processes. from rotary cycle systems to manufacturers and operators of rail transportation systems and other industries.

Economical consumption while maintaining constant quality
. Ensuring that the treated parts are cleaned reliably and consistently is of the utmost importance during industrial water-based cleaning – this is also the case at Schweizerische Südostbahn AG (SOB, Swiss Southern Railway) East). In order to maintain the trains used in central, eastern and southern Switzerland, the train parts were cleaned at the service center in Samstagern (canton of Zurich) using a manual washing chamber for large parts. A high pressure water jet was also used to manually clean the parts. However, this method is time consuming, consumes a significant amount of water and energy, and is manual intensive.

As the requirements for the maintenance and efficient cleaning of parts increase, SOB looked for alternative solutions and therefore turned to the specialists at BvL. The cleaning experts were able to offer not only the best technology, but also a system precisely matched to the available space. “The challenge was to deliver high quality in a confined space,” recalls BvL Managing Director Bernhard Sievering.

Like many existing buildings within the railway infrastructure, the Samstagern service center has very limited space on its premises. BvL has therefore developed a completely redesigned tailor-made cleaning system which, from a technological point of view, is based on the Pacific TA model, but requires much less space.

“Overall, our experts were able to reduce the space required for the system by around 15%,” says Bernhard Sievering. In this context, the concept of loading the system has also been changed: one of the two loading trucks, on which the parts to be cleaned are guided into the system, now has half the operating length. The BvL concept is completed with a system for using high pressure cleaners to perform additional manual cleaning. If necessary, it can be used for large rooms, which cannot be cleaned otherwise due to the limited space available.

Efficient cleaning systems with durable filter media

The efficiency of the system, both in terms of personnel costs and in terms of water and energy consumption, was of particular importance to SOB. Most of the benefits of the Pacific large room system could be retained under the SOB tailored solution.

As part of an approach to efficiency and environmental protection, in addition to the possibility of halving the operating length, there is also the possibility of individually adapting the operating height to the parts to be cleaned. By reducing the operating dimensions, the cleaning performance can be intensified and the processing time shortened, thus making the cleaning system more cost effective.

Another factor that contributes to both the quality and the environmental aspect is the ability to filter the water used for cleaning, which can then be reused multiple times. BvL has relied on Eaton’s expertise in this area for years. Eaton’s Filtration division is the leading provider of BvL filtration solutions.

“Hayflow filter elements used in BvL systems offer up to 65% more filter area in a compact Topline housing,” explains Alexander Bachmann, applications engineer in Eaton’s Filtration division. “The filter elements can be replaced in a few simple steps.” Compared to standard filter bags, they have been developed for higher flow rates. Due to their long service life, which means they do not need to be replaced very often, these filter elements are used not only in water treatment processes, but also for many others. tasks, such as metalworking or manufacturing paints and varnishes.

The Samstagern Service Center also appreciates these advantages. In order to provide the necessary level of flexibility, the system must always be ready for use. The SOB cleans up to 70 extremely heavy components on the individually adapted system each year. In addition, there are other large rooms as well as many small rooms. “In order to ensure not only quality but also flexibility when using the cleaning system, we have selected filter elements which do not need to be replaced very often. In addition, they are impressive in terms of performance because they exceed five times the service life of standard filter bags made from needle felt, ”adds Alexander Bachmann.

Alternatively, Hayflow Q ™ filter elements can be inserted into the same filter housings to improve performance. The DURAGAF ™ Extended Life filter material that was used acts as a high performance pre-filter and depth filter and the additional precision woven nylon monofilament cover layer provides an absolute retention rate of 10 µm as a filter final.

The entry at the top of the Topline housing significantly saves space compared to filtration solutions which have the entry on the non-filter side – this means that the Eaton bag filtration solution also contributes to the reduced footprint of the system that SOB demanded from BvL. The design also provides a better seal, reduces the amount of product lost and makes it easier to replace the filter bag.

“Components such as axle bearing caps and traction lock beams are cleaned in our system not only with significantly higher cleaning performance, but also with much less effort and time required of employees,” explains Bernhard Sievering about the benefits for rail customers. The environment also benefits as the cleaning fluid from the system can be guided through the full flow filtration of the cycle.

Sensors on the cleaning system and a comparison with the reference pressure also allow the operator to predict consumption intelligently. The current soil level and filter bag change time, remaining pump run time and number of wash cycles are displayed. This information helps ensure that preventive maintenance can be performed and that a suitable stock of spare parts can be put in place.

Both the manual cleaning chamber and the large room system can use the same source of cleaning fluid. “In this way, we can take the necessary water, which can be important in manual cleaning processes, from the existing system and use it several times in the circulatory system”, explains Bernhard Sievering, explaining the systems approach. “Another reason why high quality industrial water filtration is of critical importance to the entire system and the associated resource savings.”

Better cleaning results with low consumption

Despite all the modifications, BvL’s engineering processes were completed in a very short time and only six months after the order, the system was ready for operation at SOB.

When used in Switzerland, with Eaton’s adjustable chamber size and filter media, BvL ensures that the parts to be serviced are cleaned safely and reliably using a minimum amount of water and energy. Bag filters from the filtration specialist help achieve flawless, defined results with minimum effort and maximum comfort for staff.

Manual cleaning is virtually a thing of the past and in all areas of production, maintenance and servicing hours worked, water and energy have all been reduced. “When it comes to cleaning, we are the specialists. In order to guarantee the best possible quality, we rely on Eaton as a partner for all filtration tasks, ”says Bernhard Sievering of the collaboration with the filtration experts. “In addition to high performance components, we also receive expert consulting services at all times. “


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