Railcar Unloading: Eliminate Costly Carryback

A significant contributor to high costs of materials that are transported by railcar is often the material that remains in the railcar after the unloading process is complete. The residual material, known as carryback, increases operational costs as material is billed based on the weight loaded at time of shipment.

This means any material remaining in the railcar is a sunk cost and leaving it in the railcar creates artificially higher average material costs. By ensuring complete railcar cleanout, carryback can be eliminated and the plant can receive all the material they are paying for. This reduces the average cost of these raw materials and can improve plant efficiency and profitability.

A local power generation facility was experiencing this exact issue with its rapid discharge railcars used to transport coal to their facility. The railcars were not completely discharging, as coal was hanging up in the corners of the hopper slopes. This caused the facility to incur a high average coal cost, or “fuels cost” as it’s known in power generation facilities. In their search to find a way to capture all the material out of their railcars and decrease their material costs, they reached out to NAVCO to see if there was a vibratory solution that would address this carryback issue. After speaking with the facilities operation group, the engineers at NAVCO provided a solution utilizing the Railside Railcar Shaker.

The Railside Railcar Shaker is a heavy-duty piece of equipment designed for unloading bulk material from railcars in harsh environments, like those found at power generation facilities. Once the railcar gates are open, the Railside Railcar Shaker uses air cylinders to extend and push a UHMW lined contact surface against the side of the railcar. Once contact is made, the Railside Railcar Shaker’s vibratory drive is energized, and it begins to vibrate the railcar. This vibration causes the stuck material within the railcar to loosen from the walls and fall, ensuring that all the material is unloaded from the railcar.

NAVCO presented the solution to the power generation facility and they agreed that this would be an easily implemented solution to address the carryback issues they were experiencing. The Railside Railcar Shaker was put into service at the facility and the plant was able track a significant reduction in their average fuels cost. The Railside ensures complete cleanout of the coal from the railcars, and eliminated the wasted material. This reduction in in fuels cost quickly covered the cost of the equipment and its installation. Today the Railside Railcar Shaker continues to pay dividends by contributing to the plant’s efforts to minimize operating costs by ensuring quick, complete unloading of coal from their railcars.

NAVCO is the leading manufacturer of industrial vibrators and vibratory equipment and have been solving bulk material flow problems for over 60 years. By incorporating the most advanced manufacturing techniques, quality control, and bulk solids flow technology, NAVCO provides effective solutions for unloading bulk materials from railcars. Contact NAVCO today for help improving your railcar unloading process.