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27 April 2005

Smooth Coupling, Secure Contacts

Voith Turbo Scharfenberg has developed a new electric-pneumatic coupling system for AAR couplers (American Association of Railway) or Tightlock couplers. The new coupling system protects the electric components during the coupling procedure and simultaneously ensures the reliable transmission of contacts of electric-pneumatic and electric-digital data.

The old problem of light arcs which may occur due to the higher play of Tightlock couplers should be really a thing of the past now. Tony Jones of Voith Turbo Scharfenberg talks of a multi-dimensional play which the electric contacts of Tightlock couplers should be able to withstand. “Our newly developed E-box has even further reserves in order to bridge higher tolerances with secure contacts.” At the same time, the electric connection between the two coupled E-boxes is still ensured.

The solution of the new coupling system is based on a combination of mechanics and pneumatics. During the actual mechanical coupling procedure, a pneumatic procedure runs in parallel. The pneumatic control simultaneously couples the E-box. Vehicles which are not installed with the new Tightlock coupling system but have a Tightlock coupler, can be mechanically connected with each other. “Here, our system ensures safe conditions.”

The E-box developed by Voith Turbo Scharfenberg is situated below the Tightlock coupler and is comprehensively protected – against heavy knocks during the coupling process, against severe jolts while the train is running and against excessive contamination. All these aspects can impair the flow of contact and data. “After the coupling process, a lever mechanism ensures the function of the E-box, even in the event of a total drop in pressure”, says Jones.

Voith Turbo, the specialist for hydrodynamic drive, coupling and braking systems for road, rail and industrial applications, as well as for ship propulsion systems, is a Group Division of Voith.

Voith sets standards worldwide for papermaking technology, power transmission, energy technology, and industrial services. Voith was founded on 1 January 1867. With annual sales of approximately €3.3 billion, 24 000 employees and 200 locations worldwide, Voith is one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.

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