In 2013, a leading Virginia robotics integration firm, IAS Corp. has reportedly developed the first fully automated railroad turnout processing system in the world. This process revolutionizes an industry that dates back over 230 years. As this correspondent has discovered, these spurs that allow trains to move off the mainline are traditionally hand produced by laying them out on pads using manual labor and has been since the inception of the age of railroading.
This new and revolutionary system, now capable of producing a short, low speed turnout in a day, uses four large Yaskawa Motoman Robots on precision rails that allow travels up to 30 feet along with high speed conveyors that move the blank, unprocessed ties. A crane system at the end of the production line stacks each tie into a coordinated bundle depending on length and type of plating on each tie. Ties are automatically gaged to determine if they are correctly plated and rejected if not to be passed down the line. Drilling and plating numerous tie plates, including custom, gage and standard during spiking without human intervention while holding gage (the width between each rail) which is very difficult, but achieved.
The firm, IAS Corp. with corporate offices in Hampton, Virginia and a large fabrication facility in Houston, Texas is reportedly 22 years old and involved in transportation, energy (oil/gas and nuclear) as well as chemical automation projects.
We offer many robot effectors and we can engineer to your spec!
For more information, please contact their outside operations manager, Preston Burton at 800-916-IASC (800-916-4272) extension 14.