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New rail treatment system from ROBEL

December 2021

ROMILL rail machining system with milling, grinding and measuring unit Photo: ROBEL Baumaschinen GmbH

Precise rail milling eliminates defects at an early stage and prevents rails from expensive and time-consuming replacement. The company ROBEL Baumaschinen GmbH from Freilassing in Bavaria – in cooperation with Schweerbau International (SBI) – has developed the ROMILL System, a new product line for rail treatment. It is now launching the first milling machine from this product line. This system carries out reprofiling with calculated material removal in just one single pass, without flying sparks or environmentally harmful residues while providing a standard-compliant quality of treated surfaces. At the same time it offers an increased process speed and thus a higher network availability: The treatment train moves quickly to the construction site to work with maximum output. Immediately after the maintenance operations have been carried out with automated support, it is ready to execute the next operation in the system.

No tool change needed

The core of the new vehicle concept is the SBI High Speed Milling technology. It differs from conventional milling processes by using a large diameter cutter head and a special vertical arrangement of the indexable inserts. This results in a larger number of inserts and thus in a significant increase of their life so that the need for time-consuming tool changes during a shift is eliminated. In addition, up to eight cutting edges can be used per insert before the entire insert has to be replaced. The cutter head is divided into multiple segments. This means that only one segment and not the entire cutter head has to be replaced when changing the indexable inserts. In addition, robot-supported plate and segment changes are carried out in the interior of the machine and therefore operating personnel must not access the track. The partial automation results in a significant increase of safety, ergonomics and quality of the changing process: the manual handling of heavy loads is no longer necessary, the need for an external workshop or workshop container is eliminated and the flexibility of the milling train with regard to the place of use is significantly extended. For the first time, the new milling technology also allows the rails to be machined independently of the

track alignment. The workshop area is located in the first section of the vehicle. The second section of the machine houses, among other things, the chip bunker and the polishing unit. The combined milling and finishing technology produces a surface with the lowest possible roughness that meets all standards regarding surface undulations and noise generation. The integrated measurement technology from Vogel & Plötscher records the transverse and longitudinal profile and thus provides the proof of quality in order to deliver defined and documented rail conditions: This is the prerequisite for the successful implementation of a preventive maintenance strategy. The first ROBEL rail processing system is already in test operation in Japan and will start work at the end of 2021. ROMILL 2 and 3 will be delivered in the second half of 2021.