Case Study TasRail - Increased Welding Capacity

Situation / Driver:

  • So many rail defects and the only way to remove these was to get in Contractors
  • We are sending guys from the North to the South all of the time and this is an added cost
  • The output from the Welders prior to the restructure was not that great prior to these changes. This might be due to lack of effective supervision, lack of effective planning and in some cases lack of the right equipment to the job

Impact this was having:

  • We have brought in Contractors to do the work to take out the
  • RTI defects that have been identified and this imposes a cost on TasRail
  • Risk due to not having the knowledge and the skills to do this work internally
  • The quicker we can remove these defects means we do not hold up the trains

Desired Future State:

  • Our target is 8-10 (this depends on the work we are doing)
  • Double the number of welds per day
  • Review and improve the procedure/work instruction for how a 3 man crew operates
  • Train the crews against that procedure
  • Work with the guys to set up the welding truck at Brighton
  • Find out whether the IVD in the existing weld trucks can be relocated to allow 3 people to travel in that vehicle (this will be a cost saving in the Winter months)

The Approach undertaken:

  • Under the guidance of an External Facilitator, Julian Long used the Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology to:
  • Understand the current situation, the issues and causes of the issues
  • Frame up possible solutions
  • Implement the solutions
  • Understand the difference these solutions made
  • Standardise for the future

Solutions implemented:

  • Obtained quotes of the materials and equipment required.
  • Approved through purchasing
  • Equipment delivered to Brighton, East Tamar and Burnie
  • Brighton welders Corey and Carl completed their training and were assessed as competent
  • Established a method of tracking monthly welds that is efficient and effective. Wendy has that data and she provides that monthly
  • Location of IVD – change was not feasible
  • Using qualified and internal Boilermaker to fit up the gas cage and water tank etc
  • Vehicle for Brighton modified with a gas cage, water tank and toolbox fitted.
  • Updated procedures and work instructions with the assistance of Geoff Moore. Booklets (of work instructions) made for each vehicle
  • Carl and Corey have been welding with northern crew when in the south of the state to keep skills current
  • Planners have been updated and are planning for 8-10 welds per day where achievable. (new track or consecutive joints)

Benefits Achieved:

  • Reduction in accommodation and travel costs
  • Cost reduction because we don’t have to send employees to the South of the State to weld - $400 per night x 48 nights = $19, 200.00 per annum (conservatively)
  • Reduction in travel
  • 4 hours per week x 12 weeks = 48 hours x $90.00 (2 people) =- $4,320.00
  • Reduction in contractor costs
  • Currently between $600-$750 per weld for using contractors.
  • Due to this initiative there is now the capability to due this internally at a cost of $550.00 per weld
  • Target is 8-10 welds per day (depending on the location) - This is now being planned for by Planners

Future Plans and further work required:

  • Infrastructure Supervisors need to be ensuring that best practice is undertaken
  • This will mean continuing training to agreed procedures and work practices and monitoring work practices to ensure we “don’t slip back into old habits”