On Location

An exciting challenge

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Rail grinding in an oxygen-reduced environment.

The high-risk work was carried out by Sersa Technik AG on behalf of Lonza AG in Visp, Switzerland, in its high-bay warehouse for flammable, corrosive and highly explosive chemical materials.


In such high-risk areas, efficient fire protection is essential. The high-bay warehouse is operated with low oxygen levels, where the oxygen is set at 17 vol.% to prevent sparks. Access is only granted to persons with a medical certificate (ECG). The inspection must be carried out with breathing apparatus.


The worn rails as well as the burr formation at the head had to be processed with existing machines. The burr machining under the head was a challenge, as a machine had to be specially redesigned for this purpose. In addition, the effects of the reduced oxygen on the human body became apparent: They experienced yawning, fatigue, dizziness and headaches, which is why, according to the applicable law, only three assignments of two working hours each are allowed per day. Despite this, the work was successfully completed after three shifts: All rails were reprofiled and the control units were serviced. 

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