Pneumatics for Railway Transportation Applications

by , | Jul 9, 2022 | Fluid Control & Pneumatics

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Many of us think about automation in the process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturing industries. But how does automation apply in other industries, such as railway transportation?

In a Global Railway Review article, Improving railway operations using pneumatics technology, Emerson’s Darryl Brunk describes the role of pneumatic technology and how it improves safety, comfort, and performance on passenger and freight trains.

Darryl opens by highlighting the many applications for pneumatics in trains.

From the nose cone to couplers, from pantograph to brakes, pneumatic devices improve the safety, comfort and performance of many applications found throughout passenger and freight trains. By integrating these products into railcar designs, manufacturers can extend maintenance intervals, minimise downtime, cut maintenance costs, and reduce energy use.

A reliable, dry air supply is critical.

Most air dryers use a granular adsorption medium. Unfortunately, the shock and vibration from rail operations can cause channelling, air bypass and dust generation, or even lead to a breakdown of the granulate bed and a significant reduction in drying performance. This results in a shorter service life, requiring more frequent replacement of the adsorption medium.

Emerson’s AVENTICS RDD (Roll-Up Desiccant Drying):

…provides a consistent, highly open porous structure throughout the media, resulting in superior moisture uptake performance. Resistant to vibration and excessive water loading, this new technology can work in both horizontal and vertical orientations for more installation flexibility. Furthermore, the new technology provides a service interval of at least eight years (or more than 25,000 operating hours) instead of two years.

The performance of the braking system is paramount for safety. The AVENTICS ED05 Rail Electro Pneumatic Pressure Regulator:

…provides precise control of pressure and flow with dynamic regulation (this is especially important for the service brake control).

Electronic levelling valves (ELVs), such as the AVENTICS ELV leveling valve:

…play a key role in chassis suspension systems, such as the pneumatic control of air springs. An electronic levelling valve (ELV) provides significant benefits over conventional manual levelling valves. It primarily consists of one proportional valve, two switching valves and control electronics with sensors.

Read the article for more as Darryl highlights pneumatic solutions to other applications such as door opening & closing, sliding steps for entry & exit, and HVAC and fresh air intake control. He also highlights some railway-specific standards that these technologies address.

Visit the Pneumatic and Control Technologies for Railway section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies and solutions to support safer and more reliable railway transportation.

You’ll also find a wide range of pneumatic solutions for your process, hybrid, or discrete manufacturing applications by joining us at the October 24-28 Emerson Exchange conference in the Dallas, Texas area.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.