Kansas Patent of the Month – April 2022

Hundreds of  thousands of miles of railroad track traverse the country from coast to coast. These tracks are used to transport everything from commercial products to the raw materials that make them. Since these railways play such a huge role in our lives (even if we don’t realize it) their maintenance is critical. 

Railway ties in particular require constant maintenance. These ties are made of wood or other materials that age and deteriorate over time from use and weather conditions. Traditional tie replacement methods involve the use of several unique machines. Each machine is designed to do one particular function and therefore a sequence of tasks is used to remove an old worn railway tie and replace it with a new one. On average, this process takes 8 to 12 hours to replace 2,000 to 5,000 ties. As these ties are replaced, railway traffic is halted causing lost productivity and delays in transport.

MOW Equipment Solutions, Inc. has designed an adaptive railway fastener and anchor installer which reduces the number of machines needed. Their system combines an anchor manipulator and a fastener-installer into a single over-under workhead. The entire workhead can pivot away from the rest of the equipment which creates easier access and simpler equipment set up. The fastener can fasten the rail to the ties with any of the traditional methods including railway spikes and lag screws. The orientation of the two subsystems allows them to operate in the same central line. This means spikes can be pulled and anchors spread sequentially in the same time it would take a single use machine to pull spikes. 

The entire device can be controlled by an operator without needing to leave the cab. Through the use of a CAN-BUS control system, the operator can run an automatic cycle or perform each action with manual control. This not only reduces mistakes, but keeping workers at a safe distance (eg. the cab) reduces workplace accidents.

Between dual operation and automated control, this singular piece of equipment can increase railway tie replacement rates significantly.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at www.swansonreed.com/webinars or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts