Air Technical Industries (ATI) recently was able to keep north easterners moving by helping officials find a better way to maintain their subway motors. The Transit Authority is faced everyday with the daunting task of removing motors from underneath subway cars in order to rebuild the units. During the process, Transit Authority maintenance crews would sling the motors to an overhead crane and manually remove the motors.
The motors would be lifted from the subway car, moved to a designated working area and then lowered to ground level. Crews would hold the motors in place and manually tilt the motors to expose the bottom of the unit. The armature end bearing was removed from the bottom of the unit and the motor would then be lifted and carried away for rebuilding.
When ATI was asked to solve this problem, their engineers quickly decided that the units needed to be upended mechanically to eliminate the chances of crews being injured by a motor that might break loose from their grasps while being tilted. ATI engineers wanted to limit the amount of physical contact workers would have with the motors in order to ensure worker safety.
The motions a motor has to be put through are a 90° tilt from the upright position so that the armature end bearing could be removed and then a 90° tilt back to the upright position.
Any product can be easily tilted by using an ATI Zero-Low Upender/Positioner which allows a product to sit upright on a retaining plate with one side against a platform wall. When the hydraulic cylinders are activated, the product is tilted 90° to lay on its side. Zero-Low Upender/Positioners have less than an inch lowered height so that products can easily be loaded onto the retaining plate. The units come in capacities that range from 1,000 to 4,000 pounds standard, with platform sizes of 50 x 48 inches to 60 x 72 inches.
The upending part of the operation was easily solved, but ATI engineers still needed to address the problem of how to allow crew members to remove the armature end bearing. To allow for this, engineers designed a Zero-Low Upender/Positioner with modified retaining plate. The retaining plate was cut by ATI fabricators with a round, open end, fifteen inches in diameter. After tilting the motor 90° on its side, the bottom of the motor would be exposed and Transit Authority crew members could work on the bottom of the motor to remove the armature end-bearing.
This solution is an example of how ATI engineers can design innovative products for difficult or sometimes very specific needs. Should other customers or transit authorities have a need for a similar operation, ATI engineers can be relied upon to come to the rescue.