Creating solutions for Queensland’s cane fields

One of Queensland’s most important industries is the sugar cane industry, and like so many industries, they rely on rail as their main form of transport. And companies such as Mackay Sugar, a major operator in Queensland’s cane industry, are faced with the same problems that any freight rail operator will encounter. Rolling stock maintenance is a major cost for any rail operator. However, the cane industry is faced with its own unique challenges, namely that they operate a narrow gauge and low profile rail. This presents its own problems: off the shelf asset protection and condition monitoring systems are not going to fit on the unique 60 lb rail used by cane companies. Being a competitive industry where controlling costs is a major constraint, Mackay Sugar required a system that would be both efficient and economical. With that in mind, Mackay Sugar and Inspired Systems set about to design a unique Hot Bearing Detection System as the first step in identifying bearing problems on the cane bins and locomotives. The challenge was to not build a completely unique solution but to use as many proven off the shelf components and adapt them to suit cane sugar rail systems. Inspired Systems were able to take the challenge to Progress Rail, one of their major suppliers and the supplier of one of the most prolific Hot Bearing Detections systems in the world. Inspired and Progress were able to combine their efforts to design and build a system utilising pyrometers and the housing from their Hot Wheel Detector and redesign the mounting brackets to produce a system that has proven to be as effective on narrow gauge rail as it is on mainstream freight carrier rail services. The project was faced with challenges, which were successfully addressed by Inspired Systems. This paper will outline the issues and challenges faced by both the cane industry and the project specifically, and how Inspired Systems designed and implemented a successful solution.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 9p. ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: Maintaining the momentum: CORE 2016: conference on railway excellence, 16-18 May 2016, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01636889
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: May 30 2017 3:30PM