Mechan is one of the UK’s leading railway maintenance companies, offering a wide range of heavy lifting and handling products to clients worldwide.The Sheffield-based manufacturer combines traditional engineering skills with innovative design and the latest technology, to drive the development of equipment that epitomises its commitment to quality, safety and reliability.
Rail lifting jacks
Perhaps best known for its striking yellow lifting jacks, Mechan produces tough yet refined fixed or mobile units that are used to service railcars of all sizes in depots across the globe.
An unlimited number of train jacks can be linked together to work as a synchronised unit, thanks to the firm’s patented Megalink controller. Using a single cable, a lift can be managed by just one person from a portable, touchscreen human-machine interface (HMI) panel, which provides constant feedback, records information about usage and faults, and offers impressive power savings.
These versatile handling systems are becoming increasingly popular as they make bogie change feasible within two hours. Time can also be saved on other underfloor work.
Because each equipment drop is made to order, Mechan’s expert engineers tailor the design to the unique needs and practical constraints of its intended location, ensuring the unit does not detract from other depot work and normal operations can continue when it is not in use.
Mechan’s underfloor lifting systems for trains enable complete bogies or other floor-mounted equipment to be removed or replaced without decoupling carriages. They can be installed beneath one or multiple roads, providing full, uninterrupted access to the item being changed.
Bogie lifting and handling
Bogie maintenance is a key area of depot activity where products designed to make the removal, replacement and refurbishment of bogies easier and safer are in high demand. Ranging from bogie rotators to bogie lifting platforms and bogie turntables, Mechan’s bespoke design and build process ensures all of its bogie change equipment is adaptable and meets the servicing needs of the busiest depots.
Rail traversers are a perfect example of large-scale installations that are built to order and Mechan is making a name for itself in this field.
Requests for these unique machines are much lower than other railway lifting equipment, but Mechan is one of the few companies in the UK able to showcase its ability to design and build cost-effective, bespoke products for any size or weight vehicle.
For customers based in the UK and Ireland, Mechan has sourced a range of products from European manufacturers that complements its in-house capabilities.
Profile measuring is a must for checking wheel, brake and rail wear and Mechan is representing one of the most advanced systems on the market: the handheld CALIPRI from NextSense. It uses three simple lasers to record all relevant parameters on wheelsets and tracks, producing faultless, tamper-proof results.
The importance of improving air quality and the depot environment is being recognised by a growing number of maintenance providers and Mechan has sourced various products offering clear environmental benefits. These include automated sandbox filling systems from Klein Anlagenbau, fume extraction systems from Blaschke and a cleaner, greener alternative to traditional shunters. The award winning, Zwiehoff electric road and rail shunters are emission-free, relying solely on battery power to trail loads up to 500t.
A partnership with Koltech is also allowing Mechan to bring high-quality wheel lathes to customers who wish to recondition wheel profiles. They can be adapted to any rail vehicle and are available in a single or tandem arrangement.
Depot equipment maintenance
Mechan’s commitment to customers does not stop at installation. The firm’s trained technicians offer comprehensive service arrangements, comprising planned maintenance packages, 24-hour emergency response and access to spare parts or technical support.
With almost half a century’s engineerin expgerience, Mechan enjoys an unrivalled reputation at home and overseas and supplies high-profile UK projects, such as the Intercity Express Programme, Thameslink and Crossrail.
The firm has established an international network of agents, enabling exports to play an increasingly significant role in its success and equipment is shipped as far afield as South Africa, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Thanks to its attention to detail and after-sales care, Mechan enjoys excellent links with depot operators and train builders, working regularly with the likes of Siemens, Hitachi, Network Rail, Bombardier and Alstom. An open and friendly work environment promotes the generation of ideas and a sense of responsibility among staff, which is reflected in the high level of customer service enjoyed by clients large and small.