29 August 2022
Siebens Spoorbouw, a subsidiary of Strukton Rail Belgium, primarily works for the industrial sector and serves large companies. Every once in a while this results in complex assignments, such as the yearly inspection of overhead crane tracks. These tracks in particular are difficult to access safely. For this task, Siebens Spoorbouw developed the innovative CBOT-1 measuring robot. It is the first remote-controlled measuring robot of its kind that can measure the height, rail profile and connections of the track.
Crane tracks and automatic rail structures are crucial for production companies. Our goal is therefore to ensure that operations are not interrupted by an obstruction in the transport infrastructure. Construction sites are usually full of machinery, which means that using a hydraulic platform is not always an option. “We can operate the measuring robot remotely. We install it at a specific location on the rails, and from there it is able to reach every position,” explains Jo Derie, Geomatics Engineering manager. The CBOT-1 Robot can scan as many as 200 metres of rail and crane tracks in just a single movement.
Jo: “Measuring and detecting defects on a regular basis is essential. The measurements provide insights into the degree to which the rails are straight and level, and they also show the track width. Thanks to the laser scanners, we can also detect wear and tear. A photo is taken every second to identify the problem in the event of any deviations.” The clear measurement results can easily be translated into a concrete approach. This means we know exactly where maintenance work needs to be carried out on the tracks. And this helps us to prevent malfunctions in the future.
The CBOT-1 Robot can scan as many as 200 metres of rail and crane tracks in just a single movement.
“It’s really a unique piece of equipment,” says Jo. “It was originally introduced as an innovative idea, and now it has been fleshed out. It has two main components. The mechanical design was done in-house; the electronics were designed by an external party.
The fact that this measuring robot improves the safety of our colleagues is a very welcome added bonus. We no longer need to carry out measurements in hard-to-reach places; we can now do this remotely.