ERTMS assembly robot to automate labour-intensive work
20 July 2022
Strukton and AMT are going to develop an ERTMS assembly robot together to automate labour-intensive activities. Tjark de Vries, Managing Director Strukton Rail Netherlands, and Sven Elst, CEO AMT Group in Breda, the Netherlands, ratified this partnership on 22 June by signing a declaration of intent during the RailTech Europe trade fair in Utrecht. The assembly robot is the continued development of the TRACKBOT platform, an electrically powered machine that is able to fully autonomously carry out work on railways.
The ASAP ERTMS innovation partnership project with ProRail provided the motivation for this partnership. In that project, ProRail and its innovation partners are accelerating the rollout of the new European train safety system ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) over the coming decades. This requires a tremendous number of components to be installed on the tracks. ProRail together with market parties wants to accelerate the rollout. Robotisation is a solution for achieving this.
Our companies recently developed TRACKBOT. This is a universal and autonomous platform equipped with robots designed to automate labour-intensive railway activities. The idea now is to further develop this platform together and to make it suitable for installing beacons and axle counters. Strukton and AMT/NMT are combining forces and their technical knowledge for this purpose. The goal is to have a prototype ready in 2023. The ultimate goal is to fully autonomously, without any human intervention, carry out activities along tracks. Robotisation is making it possible for railway construction work to be carried out faster and demonstrably more accurately and safer. This reduces elapsed times and therefore increases track availability.
The planned partnership between Strukton Rail and AMT Group/NMT was ratified on 22 June in a festive atmosphere.
Installing the new signalling system is a priority for rail infrastructure managers and rail operators.