"Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of intelligent effort"
Please enjoy this video of the successful testing of our Reliance Franlane Brakes.
Here we have our Reliance Hexham Test Track which is used to simulate a rope break in a drift in order to test the "Reliance Franlane" braking system.
To conduct the testing, the conveyance is towed to the top of the track and then released, simulating a rope break in the mine. The conveyance will then accelerate down the track until an over speed limit is reached, activating the brakes and bringing the conveyance to a stop.
This is a close up of the brake wheel activating and gripping the rail head.
A data logger is installed on the conveyance. This data is then later used to analyse brake performance.
Here you can see a typical output of the test data. The black line representing the conveyance velocity, can be seen accelerating until the overspeed limit is reached. The brake wheels then activate, which are represented by the coloured lines, slowing down the conveyance to a stop.
We recently carried out testing on our test track, that was not only successful but also an Australian first, possibly even a world first when it comes to two vehicles being successfully tested.
I'm here with Chris Prest, our Engineering Manager here at Reliance Hexham. I would like to discuss the results of the testing and get his thoughts of this achievement.
- The test track was invaluable in gathering data to know exactly how the Reliance Franlane works, I would suggest its something all of us are proud of and how it performed.
Yes. We're very proud of how it all worked Darren. We put a lot of effort into the calculations and the whole process and the technical side of things and all of the work that goes in at the office into the product but nothing beats testing. Which is what we have done extensively at this test track and it has proven the design quite well.
- I also witnessed the testing of the two coupled vehicles and to be honest I was fairly confident from the testing we had already done. I just wanted to know if you were also this confident.
I believe since we have had the test track we have completed I would say around 50 tests in total with all different vehicles, weights etc and we have our numerical computer model developed from all this testing. To see what happened with these two vehicles it was exactly what we were expecting. No surprises, we have completed that much testing in all different conditions now, different vehicles, different weights and wheel bases. We understand how it works and the results reflect what we expect to achieve.
- What different conditions were tried?
We tried wet rail, oil on the track (hydraulic oil), heavy encrusted coal build up and that gave us all the conditions that we believed you would see in the mine. From that we understand the ability of the braking system but also its limitation which are just important for us to know so we can convey that to the end user which is the mine.
- The Reliance Franlane looks more like the original they came up with where they had the brake unit made from a solid piece.And it was only because of steel prices and machining cost that they went away from the solid unit.
Yes that is right. Back when they were developing the product it made sense financially to do it that way it was more economical. it was also quicker for them to recondition the brake wheel so that could do more R&D testing. We have gone back to the original solid version which with todays CNC machining capabilities makes it much more economical now. It makes it much easier and fool proof to put the brake wheel back in and it works how it is meant to with no errors made.
- I know from my experience I have seen issues with the old designs where the bolt holes have cracked and half the disc fall off.
That is right. what we have now with the one piece brake wheel is much more heavy duty, rugged, fatigue resistant and you are right the old version was prone to fatigue failure.
Thanks for those answers Chris. It has been a very interesting project. Hopefully you have enjoyed the footage of the testing as much as we have enjoyed doing it.
For more information please head to our website or contact Darren Grant
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