It’s one thing to provide the best material handling equipment in the business, but when you can provide a total equipment package for your customer’s application needs, you’ve entered a whole new level of service. Handling Specialty has been providing handling equipment for the Rail and Transportation industries for decades, and when they were approached to outfit a new rail maintenance facility, their years of experience and depth of knowledge made them the easy choice.
Building a maintenance facility designed to service locomotives and train cars is a massive undertaking. These facilities can span hundreds of thousands of square feet and require various specialized equipment to perform multiple services. Every rail maintenance facility has its own challenges and may require custom engineering. Handling Specialty’s advanced engineering department is a wealth of information and experience, which customers can rely on to produce dynamic solutions.
Involved in the architecture from day one, Handling’s equipment must be built to exact measurements. Most of the material handling equipment for a rail facility is set into reinforced cement flooring with some features running underneath it. From heavy-duty drop tables of varying lifting capacities, truck hoists, car hoists, split rails, turntables and gantries, the scope involved in designing, manufacturing, delivering and installing multiple pieces of handling equipment is a major commitment. But this is what Handling Specialty does best.
Drop tables are built into the floor beneath the raised rails which bring the trains into the facility, where the car’s wheelsets are changed out. Truck hoists lift a locomotive or car for basic vehicle maintenance and for the exchange of the vehicle trucks/bogies. Small diameter turntables are flush with the floor and used for rotating wheelsets or trucks (bogies). Turntables are usually designed with a large capacity centre slewing bearing to withstand the cantilever forces and make installation easier. Operator panels are also designed and built in-house at Handling Specialty to control the equipment. Some of these include HMI screens and IIoT options.
When the installation, testing and training are complete, HSML’s Parts & Services Group communicates with the facility’s operations division to schedule planned maintenance on the material handling equipment. The PSG is always ready to respond to equipment concerns and support the job with services specific to the equipment, and parts requests.
An example of this type of project can be seen in Handling Specialty’s most recent work on a southern Ontario project which spanned 500,000 square feet, cost just under 1 billion dollars and was awarded one of the top 100 projects in Canada in 2016. The job completed in March of 2018.