Repositioning railroad cars in a rail-switching operation has always been a formidable task. Prior to the development of specialized railcar movers, full-size locomotives were often employed to move the cars across relatively short distances. Locomotives are very expensive and overpowered for the situation. They often require a special rail yard design to allow them to move cars around or out of the way of connecting rail carriers, while older locomotives used specifically for this purpose may not have readily available parts.Read More
Heyl & Patterson Blog
Social media enables users to interact with one another online to create, share and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities. Some people credit the birth of social media as we know it to the networking website Six Degrees, which pioneered the idea of social circles in 1997, but gave way to Friendster, followed by MySpace and later Facebook. It actually goes back much further. The concept of an online social network evolved from a number of sources, including the CompuServe file-sharing service launched in 1969, the world's first email sent in 1971 and the dialup Bulletin Board System (BBS) and Usenet newsgroups of the late 1970s and early 1980s, before the World Wide Web took over in the early 1990s. Arguably, prehistoric cave paintings could even be considered the very first form of social media.Read More
Maintenance involves any actions that are necessary to conserve the condition of a piece of equipment to achieve its maximum useful life, while compensating for normal wear and tear. Routine operations are performed to both keep the device in working order and prevent trouble from arising. Different machines often have their own best practices and maintenance schedules that are unique to their own operation. Similarly, upgrades are the replacements of mechanical or electrical systems with a newer or better version, in order to bring the entire system up to date and improve its overall functionality.Read More
Unloading railcars is usually accomplished in one of two ways: a railcar dumper turns cars upside down in order to spill their contents, or bottom dump railcars drop their contents through chutes and gates. There are obvious differences between the two methods, but also some surprising similarities. Choosing between these systems calls for a number of factors to be considered, namely capital costs, maintenance, climate, versatility and economics. Heyl & Patterson recently explored both sides of the matter in an article published in World Coal magazine's June 2015 issue, entitled "Which Unloading System?"Read More
The railcars in a unit train all carry the same commodity, originate from the same location and travel to the same destination. High-volume bulk materials such as coal, coke, iron ore and aggregates are typically transported this way, as well as bulk liquids like ethanol, crude oil and condensate. All the railcars tend to be nearly identical, inside and out. Unit trains save time and money for a railroad, and eliminates any delays and confusion associated with assembling and disassembling the trains at railyards at both ends of the operation. This type of service enables railroads to more effectively compete with truck transportation and river barges.Read More
Heyl & Patterson played host to Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) and Carnegie, PA Mayor Jack Kobistek on Friday, May 8. They sat down with company president John Edelman and vice presidents Linda Wienand and Len Walnoha to discuss community involvement and the state of the energy and manufacturing industries, following a tour of the company's offices. As a business in the energy industry, Heyl & Patterson is seen as an important player in Pittsburgh and the local region.
An all-too-painful truth is that bulk material handling equipment breaks down over time, and whenever it occurs, it's almost always costly. The most common problems that lead to breakdowns are actually quite preventable. They include improper maintenance, overrunning a machine's capability, not replacing worn parts, poor electrical connections, and even operation by untrained personnel or not consulting the operator manual. Almost all mean that someone has ignored the warning signs of an impending stoppage. These problems account for most of the breakdowns seen in the field, and all are avoidable by taking some simple precautions.Read More
Even in today's "paperless" world, there continues to be a huge demand for paper. Paper is made from wood pulp, which is also used to manufacture a wide variety of products from diapers to particle board to textiles. The pulp itself is the cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose components of wood fibers, which are separated from one another through steaming, cooking or mechanical grinding processes. Most pulp is made from a mixture of sawmill residue, logs, wood chips and recycled paper, and it is interesting to note that practically all of the fibers that end up as pulp originally existed as trees.
Locomotives are a common means of moving railcars and strings of cars, but that action does not make them rail car movers. Ports, power plants and industrial facilities share the logistics of locomotive use to break trains into strings, transfer strings to the loading or unloading facility, position individual cars for loading or unloading, re-assemble trains and perform other rail duties at a particular facility. However, more manpower is needed, and safety is always a major concern. Line of sight is never optimal, so any train movement could result in injury or worse.Read More
Since 1887, Heyl & Patterson has designed and constructed efficient, rugged and durable barge unloading equipment for use in bulk material handling. These high capacity machines have solved a variety of unloading problems for many customers across several industries. Diverse cargoes such as coal, corn, soybean, wheat, agricultural by-products, wood chips and limestone can be successfully unloaded. As part of our continuing efforts to update our customers on our product lines, a new Barge Unloaders brochure has been added to the Bulk Transfer Division line of literature.Read More