Durable, Modular Skeleton Baffles Mean Less Downtime and Safer Maintenance

Press Release from Ballast Tools Inc. (BTI)

The Challenge: A Class 1 Railway came to BTI with a problem: their ballast regulators were performing poorly and facing too much down time because of the need to replace ballast regulator broom box baffles (deflectors) too often, due to wear. These change-outs were costly, requiring extra equipment and large components to be shipped and handled. The replacement parts were heavy and awkward to handle and install on the machines. There were also issues with large pieces of scrap material left after the change-out. BTI was tasked with finding a way to reduce these costs, as well as the downtime, associated with replacing these ballast regulator baffles—all while improving performance and longevity.

The Solution: BTI engineered and built ballast regulator Skeleton Baffles and wear-resistant field-replaceable plates. Instead of removing the entire part, maintenance crews could replace individual plates as they became worn—and do so much more quickly and safely.

The Result: One of the first skeleton baffles BTI put in the field is still in operation, over six years after installation. This is at least three times the useable life span of most commercially available ballast regulators. The improved plates last longer, and because they are easier to replace than the entire baffle, total downtime and inventory has also been reduced. Analysis of replacement costs show that BTI’s skeleton baffle system saves more than 30% compared O.E.M. refurbishment, while reducing inventory, handling and installation costs.

Performance of the baffles improved significantly as well. The baffles left less material behind after brooming, with less ballast dispersed between rails. This meant that BTI baffle regulators could do in one pass what previous ones would require 2 or 3 passes to do.

The BTI Skeleton Baffles are designed to fit on Kershaw, Knox-Kershaw, Nordco, Harsco and Plasser ballast regulators.

Contact BTI to learn more.

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