New High-Torque Adjustable Railcar Opener Improves Efficiency and Safety
March 3, 2020 - A global innovator of bulk material handling technologies has developed a new high-speed, high-torque railcar opener engineered to quickly open and close even the most stubborn gravity discharge gates. Powered by a 1-1/2″ pneumatic impact tool capable of delivering up to 10,000 ft/lbs (13,558 Nm) of torque, the Martin® Impacting Railcar Opener (IRCO) features a lifting mechanism that provides nearly 15″ (38 cm) of height adjustment. By repositioning the axles, the tool can be set up to accommodate capstan heights of 7.23″ - 22.22″ (18.4 cm - 56.4 cm) or 10.23″ - 25.22″ (26 cm - 64 cm).
As a result, the capstan extension can be quickly and easily aligned (level and square) with the gate’s capstan, allowing the tool to apply maximum torque to the gate and reduce the chance of a misalignment that could cause stripping. Adjustable handle height and pivoting wheels contribute to an ergonomic, versatile design that can speed the unloading of unit trains with improved safety and efficiency.
“Cement terminals, grain handlers, glass manufacturers and other facilities use hopper railcars,” observed Railcar Business Development Manager Marty Yepsen. “This design can benefit virtually any location that relies on dependable opening and closing of hopper cars with horizontal gravity discharge gates.”
While shaving seconds off the opening/closing time may seem a minor advantage for bulk terminals, if that’s multiplied by hundreds of gates per day, the time adds up quickly. “The adjustable capstan height and maneuverability of this unit mean operators won’t have to struggle to get the alignment just right,” Yepsen continued. “They can use the foot pedals for quick, easy height changes.”
The adjustable handle height also delivers a more ergonomic tool that helps reduce repetitive stress, and the improved operator experience contributes to greater safety and fewer potential injuries. Large, foam-filled tires provide easy maneuverability on any surface, and users will never have to deal with a flat tire. The wheels also pivot with the pull of a lever for lateral movement to accommodate travelling capstans.
The new Impacting Railcar Opener was designed for durability and long life to maximize return on investment. “In some opener designs, failures are caused by the deterioration of the OEM grease over time, with no way to replace the lubricant short of disassembly,” said Yepsen. “Our design allows operators to add grease on a regular maintenance schedule to prolong the service life of internal wear parts and ultimately extend rebuild/replacement intervals.”
Peak performance is realized using 90 PSI (6.2 Bar) of compressed air at 130 CFM (.061 m3/s or 61 L/s). An in-line lubricator is supplied with each unit.
Like all Martin products, the new railcar opener will be covered by Martin Engineering’s “Absolutely No Excuses” guarantee. The company also offers a 14-day risk-free trial. Some Martin Engineering products may not be available in all regions. For details, call (800) 544-2947.
The Martin® Impacting Railcar Opener delivers
up to 10,000 ft/lbs (13,558 Nm) of torque.
The new high-torque design quickly opens
or closes stubborn gravity discharge gates.
The new Railcar Opener features nearly 15″
of capstan extension height adjustment.
Convenient foot pedals are used to
raise or lower the capstan extension.
The design features adjustable capstan extension
height and handle height, as well as pivoting wheels.