The design of a Track Frame Manipulator (TFM) was a project requested by Hastings Deering which was utilised as the thesis topic in this report. The Track Frame Manipulator will be a work tool utilised by Hastings Deering and other associated companies. It will be used to operate on the Track Frame for D11's and D10's in order to check the part for cracks. The final design utilises separate attachments for both the D10 and D11, which was decided upon during the design process of this thesis. The final design was analysed using FEA program, ANSYS, as well as a bolt analysis to ensure that the assemblies would not fail. The final design has been properly managed, and as such the operation and maintenance instructions have also been derived, as well as a comprehensive risk assessment to ensure the safety of all personnel and equipment.
To reach the final design, many different processes had to be followed. Over the duration of the project the scope changed significantly. The original scope looked at a single attachment for both the D10 and D11 machines, while also including a rotation device in order to inspect the entirety of the track frame without the inclusion of any additional attachments. After a request from the Rockhampton branch of Hastings Deering, the TFM had to be able to manipulate a track frame, both with and without additional attachments; however, it was now acceptable for different devices to be used for D10 and D11 machines. After many designs and feasibility studies the final scope was decided upon to only utilise the track frame without attachments, separate devices could be used for the D10 and D11 track frames and the final devices had to be able to adapt to different rotation devices. These changes in scope provided many different challenges and learning experiences, with constant communication and flexibility in the design work.
The final designs presented in this report were formed from a number of different ideas and considerations. The separate attachments for the D10 and D11 machines meant that each attachment could be designed to efficiently work with its designated machine. All attachments are constructed from both plates and square hollow section (SHS). Plates had the advantage of being able to be bent into the most appropriate shapes, while SHS provided support during rotation. The designs were all assembled using welds, as this is a commonly practiced Hastings Deering process. The D11 attachment included a 'frame attachment' as well as the two main rotation attachments. This was included in the design, as the D11 track frame connection points were located on either side of the track frame. The frame attachment allows accuracy in the connection, and stops excessive bending in the parts.
An FEA analysis was conducted using ANSYS, looking at the track frame at zero degree rotation and also 90 degree rotation. The FEA results supported the final designs of the TFM. All attachments were constrained properly, and a load of 1.5 times the actual load was used. This was to fully ensure that the components would not fail. The maximum stress found in any of the assemblies was 342MPa. This is below the yield strength of 350MPa of the materials and so it can be assumed that the assemblies will not fail. The maximum deformation in the track frame was found to be 3.7mm. This is an acceptable figure, and so the FEA analysis proved successful.
This project not only includes the design of the TFM but also the management of the TFM once it is in operation. The operation of both the D10 and D11 attachments has been clearly stated in this report. This procedure should be followed in order to ensure safety to personnel and equipment. Maintenance to the TFM should also occur regularly. This includes before each use, at 12 month intervals, a 10 year check, and finally taken out of service after 20 years. This should be followed accurately to reduce the risk of failure of the project. There were many risks associated with the project of the TFM. These have all been outlined and mitigated within this report.
Overall, the design of the Track Frame Manipulator is a safe and efficient design which meets all of Hastings Deering requirements. It utilises resources that are readily available at the Hastings Deering workshop, it presents the track frame at an acceptable height for workers and allows for the checking of the entire part. The final design of different attachments for the D10 and D11 allows for suitability and greater accuracy in the final product.