Project Details


The screw coupling is still used in Europe for the majority of freight wagons, therefore the operations at marshalling yards are not state of the art. All operations must be done manually by workers called shunters and are hard work. Some of the hardest tasks are loosening the coupling and the uncoupling. Therefore a mechanical device shall be developed to do these tasks automatically to increase productivity and safety. To realize this, the complete processes got analysed and potential solutions were developed and tested. Also Lifecycle Management and the protection of workers have to be considered during the development process. In addition a sensor system is necessary to provide the required data for the control of the mechanic part.
Based on the promising results of the parent project EntKuRo, the next steps to develop application ready systems are content of the new project roboCOUPLING. The Project EntKuRo was able to show an automatic loosing of the coupling and uncoupling could work. The solutions had been tested at a laboratory model and furthermore the uncoupling was tested at the marshalling yard in Linz on moving rail wagons.

Within the project roboCOUPLING the following objectives are pursued:
(1) Long term test of the uncoupling device to identify necessary optimization needs and implement them. A TRL 7-8 is aspired.
(2) Further development of the “Langmacher” for loosing the coupling to an operational prototype, including the sensor system.
(3) Field test of the “Langmacher”-prototype at a marshalling yard. A TRL 6-7 is aspired.
(4) Within a probe possible concepts for an automatic couple of the screw coupling will be developed and tested in laboratory. (up to TRL 4)
(5) The research will be completed, by additional chapters of workers protection, economic feasibility and interfaces to other systems.

In the past the main research was focused on automatic coupling systems. The possibility to automate the separation and connection of the screw coupling was not pursued intensively. Therefore, a high innovation potential exists in the project roboCOUPLING. The topics of roboCOUPLING are of great interest for all European countries in general and have a potential to improve the economic feasibility and safety of the European railway-freight traffic essentially.
Short titleDACIO
Effective start/end date01.07.201931.08.2024

Funding agency

  • Mobilität der Zukunft

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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