Launched in September 2019, CRAMIC is a focussed 3 years research and development program which sets out to find a solution to the adverse effects of dynamic crane behaviour on crane rail systems.
As outlined at launch, the program follows a 3 phases approach, with each phase driven by one of the key partners. Gantrex has been the lead partner for Phase 1 during which our teams have been mastering and quantifying the impact of dynamic effects.
The project comprises a series of six work packages as detailed below:
- WP 0: project management
- WP 1: making a state of the art of ballasted crane track -- NB: even with the main focus on ballasted tracks, our intent is also to consolidate our knowledge on concrete foundations. At Gantrex, we already know that crane leg oscillation can have damageable effects on large STS cranes and this research program could help us to find solutions as to also settle the problem for concrete rail tracks.
- WP 2: developing a complete model of the crane - rail – ground system
- WP 3: using sensors to validate the model
- WP 4: developing solutions (sleepers)
- WP 5: updating track solutions
- WP 6: monitoring & maintenance strategies
- WP 7: on-going implementing solutions
For WP 1, Gantrex are leading the project, bringing in expert partners at each relevant stage. As we approach the summer, the Gantrex team are now moving into WP2 & 3, a critical stage in the program which sees the teams focus in detail on the dynamic forces of crane track systems. Specifically, the teams are looking at the transfer of stresses within ballast and whilst for this stage the focus is on railway, the findings can be applied to cranes too.
The teams have invested in developing a range of existing simulation tools for their work, based on existing tools, but principally developed specifically software for this project.
WHAT HAVE WE DISCOVERED SO FAR?
Although still early in the project, Gantrex are delighted to have already discovered that the dynamic factors affecting the loads transmitted by the cranes are greater than those previously published. Having run a series of detailed simulations, new data is being recorded which provides an essential, accurate basis for the development of the CRAMIC program.
The teams also understood recently that thanks to CRAMIC, we will have a better understanding about factors contributing to wheel wear and damages. This will be of key interest for maintenance and operating activities as currently crane speed needs to be lowered.
Speaking of the early findings, Gantrex Chief Technical Officer, Michel Lens said: “The objectification of this information will be of great use to prescribers to allow them to write calls for tenders based on specifications requiring clear performance. Fair competition is useful for all market players.”
Investigation and technical simulations will continue in line with the WP program, with WP 3 forecast to be complete in the course of this year. At this time, further information will be validated, then provided for the activities under WP4, which will be undertaken by Gantrex in partnership with BBRI.