Customising a torque tool for CN Rail 29 December 2021

With only eight inches of space in which to fit a torque wrench to tighten the traction motor bolts on train cars, CN Rail was forced to use a variety of cumbersome tools to get the job done, including an offset gearbox and a hydraulic wrench to apply the torque. After years of making this work, they knew it was time to find a better solution.

CN Rail had been using the E-RAD BLU torque wrench from New World Technologies Inc on its locomotives and had grown to like the tool, so the company wanted to find a way to use the E-RAD on traction motors. They approached the RAD Torque Systems team to figure out if there was a better solution to the problem.

In order to gain a better understanding of the issue, the RAD engineering team went to the CN site to take measurements of the traction motors, the total space, and the bolts. With the specific requirements of the job in mind, the RAD team designed a customised version of the E-RAD 3000 Offset that would fit the traction motors. The initial drawings were sent to CN team for approval and then a prototype of the new torque wrench was created. Then the RAD engineering team went to the CN site once again to test the prototype. Three months after that initial visit, the CN Rail team had a new tool.

Today, CN Rail has a more efficient way of tightening the traction motor bolts, with a torque of 2,250 ft lbs Plus, the E-RAD 3000 Offset is capable of data collection, which means every bolt that is torqued is recorded and can be downloaded to ensure it was done properly.

By working with RAD Torque to create a customised tool, CN Rail have now reduced the number of tools it needs on the job, as well as reducing the number of employees needed to do the job, from two down to one. The company is also able to tighten traction motor bolts three times faster. More importantly, the company is very happy with the outcome.

If your bolts are in awkward spaces and your team is using old or multiple tools to get the job done, consider speaking to the RAD Torque team about how we can customise a solution to fix your challenge.”

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889

Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.

Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.