Weckenmann Anlagentechnik

Modern plant equipment for production of prestressed concrete railway sleepers

Since their introduction in 1970, the type B70 sleeper is the mostly used prestressed concrete sleeper in the rail network of Deutsche Bahn. The sleeper can be used flexibly, has a load-bearing capacity of 25 tons, and allows for a maximum speed of 250 km/h. All this with just weighing 280 kilograms. Rail.One is also manufacturing the B70 sleeper at the Coswig factory near Dresden using a large circulation system.


B70 the most common prestressed concrete sleeper

The concrete railway sleeper of type B70 was developed by the central Bundesbahn office are manufactured and constantly improved by Rail.One. The company is part of the Indian PCM Group of Industries. The PCM Rail.One Group has been manufacturing concrete sleepers and track systems for more than 60 years now and operates eleven production sites all over the world.

In Germany, the B70 concrete track sleepers have been manufactured by Rail.One GmbH at the Coswig facility near Dresden since 1992. Owing to the surge in demand, the responsible managers at Rail.One decided to increase the production capacity for B70 at the Coswig factory considerably.

The Swabian equipment and machinery manufacturer Weckenmann GmbH & Co. KG was awarded a contract as general contractor to expand the plant capacity. For this purpose, the quad molds made from steel of the existing circulation system should be transported via a heavy-duty roller conveyor to the expanded curing chamber, carried out in the shortest possible cycle time.


Capacity expansion without production downtime

In the new plant, the quad molds are taken up by a fast, automated crane featuring a load capacity of 8 tons and are stored one on top of each other in the huge curing chamber in five individual compartments. If a compartment is fully used, it is automatically closed by the stacker crane. The minimum curing time is exactly controlled by the system. Once this period elapses, the crane retrieves the molds, and then they are fed again into the circulation via a heavy-duty roller conveyor.

The traction drives and the quadruple hoisting winch require a highly dynamic drive technology which runs very precisely. The plant control system of Weckenmann with integrated visualization controls all processes of the plant reliably and is linked with the existing circulation control system.

Being the general contractor, Weckenmann has also built the 54 m long factory hall – a steel structure with insulating panels for roof and walls. The capacity expansion in Coswig took place without requiring any downtime of the ongoing production. This would not have been possible without solid project planning and close collaboration of the project teams at Rail.one in Coswig and Weckenmann on a partnership basis.

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