Pandrol, has released an innovative new app which is specifically designed to improve weld traceability across the rail sector.

The new Pandrol Connect app has been specifically designed for use in Aluminothermic welding of the rail track and enables live data capture, saves time on data entry and improves traceability.

Weld traceability can be a major challenge in terms of identifying defective welds and is essential in gathering, trending and spotting anomalies in weld performance data, which is essential for optimising costs. Pandrol Connect enables cost optimisation and enhanced customer service across the supply chain allowing users to save time and dramatically cut down paperwork. The app is both customisable and cost-effective, requiring no capital outlay.

Thibaut Descamps, Director for aluminothermic welding at Pandrol explains: “This is an important innovation in welding technology, which will mean greater traceability to support contractors and rail network operators. It is aligned to Industry 4.0, as part of our commitment to visibility and optimisation of the entire value chain. The app saves a significant amount of time on manual form completion and provides instantly accessible information on each weld at the touch of a button.”

The app consists of three modules:

• a mobile version to record onsite data for welding controllers
• a monitoring app to review weld information from the office
• an online administration tool to apply settings to local standards.
• Pandrol Connect was developed with the aim of facilitating the recording and transmission of the data between all welding parties, including railway authorities, welding companies and welding kit suppliers. All data is stored in the cloud for easy sharing to contactors and the network, automatically. Confidentiality is ensured, as Pandrol Connect allows only authorised users to view data.

Available for Android, the app has already been trialled with great success by Pandrol’s welding services teams and contractors across the UK and France. Feedback has been extremely positive and has resulted in enhancements to the app, including a new function that improves weld documentation opportunities and data sharing overall.

Pandrol’s research has shown that contractors appreciate the facility to record data before, during and after welding, even when no internet access is available. Compatible with all welding kit suppliers, data from Pandrol Connect can be downloaded by technicians on location. To support use of the new software, Pandrol has released training videos, which can be easily located online.

Pandrol Connect is very user friendly and offers immediate access to welding instruction manuals, as well as use of QR codes to allow consumable scanning. There is also the possibility of adding voice comments and compatible interface gloves to enhance traceability.

Welding contractors have welcomed the reliability of the reporting function and the fact that data is automatically transmitted from site, with many weld parameters pre-completed.

The launch of Pandrol’s new app is part of its commitment to offer an unrivalled customer experience in maximising rail infrastructure availability, safety and lifetime value.