Soundproof enclosure in a railway tracks plant, Austria
Plasser & Theurer is the only worldwide full-service provider for the construction and maintenance of railway tracks. Initially, their focus was exclusively on equipment for track construction, track maintenance and measurement of tracks. In the 1980s, their operations were expanded to include equipment for the construction and maintenance of overhead lines.
The company’s core competency will be retained for future operations. However, there are constant improvements and innovations for every machine type in an effort to drive efficiency and productivity. A constant challenge is to continue to improve the working environment for the company’s staff.
The process in Plant P09 at Plasser and Theurer produces mechanical parts for the company's maintenance vehicles. Relocating a crosscut saw to a workshop directly adjacent to an office wing made it necessary to think about noise insulation of this machine.
There was a 25cm thick concrete wall separating the machine from the operations office. With the machine producing a noise level of approx.. 105dB(A) the transmission of noise into the Operations office resulted in a background noise level of 73dB(A) – too loud for the office team to be able to concentrate. For those employees who worked within the workshop, it also meant the mandatory wearing of hearing protection, resulting in communication between manufacturing staff was challenging.
Plasser & Theurer wanted to learn about different approaches from DECIBEL and their effects on noise level reduction. The following measures were discussed.
1. Ceiling baffles and metal perforated wall panels mounted on the partition wall between office and production facility
2. A Mute acoustic cladding plus additional sound insulation on the ceiling in the office of the production manager
3. A purpose-built enclosure for the machine.
As is often the case, treating the noise problem with an acoustic enclosure proved to be the most effective.
An enclosure had to be designed and constructed that took the customers’ operational requirements into account. It was important that the noise enclosure didn’t interfere with work processes. For this reason, an automatically opening 2-part sliding door was designed and installed on the enclosure. Vision windows were provided to allow production staff to ensure safe operation within the enclosure without the need for personnel inside.
Ventilation and an attenuator were integrated within the housing to improve airflow in the housing and to create a comfortable working temperature in the heat of summer.
• The noise level outside the enclosure was reduced from 105 dB(A) to 73 dB(A).
• The noise level in the Operations office was reduced from 73 dB(A) to 38 dB(A).
The Decibel installation team installed all equipment in less than 3 days, ensuring our customers’ operations disruption was kept to an absolute minimum. The speed of installation and the final acoustic performance has impressed our customer.
We are very pleased that we were able to help Plasser & Theurer solve this noise problem.