Rail lifting clamp developed by Elebia24 December 2019
Barcelona, Spain-based Elebia has launched the eTrack, a 2t-capacity remote-controlled rail-lifting clamp.
The eTrack has been designed to enhance safety and efficiency when lifting, handling and transporting single rail sections, says Elebia. The system typically works beneath the hook of a series of gantry cranes, with the product approaching, orienting and positioning itself directly on the rail thanks to the ‘finger’. Once in position, the crane descends and the spring-loaded finger retracts, allowing the clamp to make contact with the rail. Once the clamp has locked the rail, it is then not possible to release or drop the load.
When the eTrack’s sensor makes contact with the surface of the rail, the clamping mechanism automatically unlocks. As the load is lifted, the clamping mechanism automatically locks onto the load, allowing it to be raised. The clamp thereby provides a reliable and failsafe grip on the rail, says Elebia, and has a narrow profile to ease the approach and positioning of an individual rail when rails are side-by-side.
Other features include a colour-coded LED indicator that displays the clamp’s status—unlocked, intermediate or locked, and low battery—and the ‘smart nap’ mode reduces battery consumption by only activating the status indicator when the eTrack initiates its locking movement; before then, the rail clamp is in suspension mode and its electronics and battery are not active. A three-hour charge provides enough power for more than 5,000 cycles or over two months in standby mode.
Oscar Fillol, founder and CEO at Elebia, said: “We were approached by a European company that was searching for a solution to the safety and security issues associated with alternative rail handling methods. Currently, it is common for personnel to walk on and/or in between rail stacks that can be three-feet high to manually engage lifting clamps, which is inherently dangerous. It becomes more hazardous still in inclement weather.
“There are other remote products on the market but not with the remote engage and release like ours. With the eTrack, the whole operation of approaching the rails, orienting the clamps and their engagement can be handled remotely, as well as its release. The eTrack rail-lifting clamp can be paired to the Elebia eMAX, the eMINI or the eINST remote controls.
“While initial tests were made on 56E1, 60E2 rail profiles and 75 conductor rails, which are standard in most markets, the clamp is easily adaptable and scalable to other profiles so, consistent with other products in the Elebia range, it is a lifting solution that can be used anywhere in the world.”