PlasserSmartTamping – The Assistant:
The digital future of turnout tamping has begun
“PlasserSmartTamping” stands for innovations developed by Plasser & Theurer to continuously improve tamping machines and tamping units. This includes innovations that have already been introduced to the market, such as wear-optimised tamping tines, new tamping units, the new generation of the track geometry guiding computer SmartALC, the P-IC machine control system including the remote diagnosis system PlasserDatamatic, and electric drives for more energy efficiency. The next big step is the development of the new turnout tamping assistance system “PlasserSmartTamping – The Assistant”. It will significantly increase the transparency, working quality and process reliability of tamping operations in turnouts and crossings.
Already today, automation is used to facilitate tamping works in turnouts and crossing. However, the quality of the tamping works still depends on the experience and skills of the two operators who control this complex process. The tamper in the main cabin controls the tamping unit, including the opening width and the tilting motion of the tines, as well as the turntable. The co-tamper controls the lifting and lining unit, and parts of the tamping unit in the diverging track as well as the additional lifting unit. Both operators must have extensive knowledge in their special fields.
Assistance system suggests - operators confirm
“PlasserSmartTamping – The Assistant” supports the operators in most of their tasks. It scans the turnout, generates a 3D image showing its exact position and possible obstacles, analyses the data and suggests actions for the tamping unit, the lifting and lining unit and the additional lifting unit. The operators only have to confirm the suggestions and wait for the next step. However, they can take action at any time and correct the suggestions. To provide sufficient time for changes, suggestions are given several metres ahead of their actual destination.
New level of documentation
Quality and form of the documentation of the tamping results have entered a new level. The software makes it possible to react flexibly to the customers’ requirements, providing special formats, such as multi-layer pdf documents.
In addition, transparency in the quality control of tamping works has significantly improved. The infrastructure operator can easily access all relevant quality and working parameters, such as the tine position, tamping depth or squeeze time, digitally and, if necessary, online.
New development approach - available for new turnout tamping machines and universal tamping machines by 2018
When developing the turnout tamping assistance system a new approach was used. The product was developed and tested using our own turnout tamping simulator. Introduced to the expert audience at iaf 2017, it was used on the Unimat 09-475/4S N-Dynamic universal tamping machine for the first time. Now, PlasserSmartTamping is being further developed modularly for other tamping units. Our aim is to make “PlasserSmartTamping - The Assistant” available for all new turnout tamping machines and universal tamping machines with standard tamping units as optional equipment by the end of 2018.