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Practical test at 85 meters high: The Bosch X-Lock system saves valuable time in the Stuttgart-Ulm rail construction project

Manuel Roj

Manuel Roj >

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X-Lock-accessory-change-system

“Soon, high-speed trains will rush across this valley in just seven seconds. When we have completed the 500-meter bridge, it will be a pioneering piece of engineering,” explains Manfred May, Construction Manager at Max Bögl Group, while looking across the Filstal valley to the Steinbühl tunnel. He is standing 85 meters above the ground, on the third section of the Filstalbrücke, a bridge which is under construction. Seven further sections of the bridge still have to be built before the reinforced-concrete structure touches the other side – and then a second supporting structure will follow. “The Filstalbrücke consists of two single track bridges, running in parallel across the valley and are 30 meters apart of one another. This separation is determined by the tunnels,” the Construction Manager explains. He goes on to clarify what makes this section of the Stuttgart-Ulm rail project so unique: “The forces that act on the bridge with its delicate, Y-shaped pillars due the high-speed rail traffic, the route running from tunnel to tunnel, with tunnel entrances which are supported by the bridge, and, last but not least, the height – all of these things present daily challenges.” The bridge across the Filstal valley is the third-tallest rail bridge in Germany at close to 85 meters high. In order to complete the demanding construction project, the bridge-building specialists from the company group “Max Bögl and Porr” have joined forces to create the Arge EÜ Filstal working group. Manfred May talks about the special technology used on-site: “We work with a movable scaffolding construction which wraps the current section of the build from above. When concreting is complete, the steel construction is released at the bottom and moved forward. In this way the bridge extends out and across the valley.”

Finding solutions to keep on track

“We’re currently working on the reinforcement,” says Foreman Martin Mayer, who is on site with the Max Bögl team. He has just discussed today’s assignment and established the tasks with Construction Manager Manfred May: 160 tons of reinforcement bars need to be laid as quickly as possible so that the concrete can be poured. “The reinforcement work is very tricky. If the positions are not correct, the iron has to be shortened with angle grinders. The team needs to keep tools and accessories ready to complete this task. If anything is missing, it is a very long way from up here, all the way down to the tool depot. And that costs us time.

We are always looking for solutions to keep us on schedule,” the foreman explains further, reaching for a cutting disc for the Bosch cordless angle grinder GWX 18V-10 SC Professional with X-Lock mount – which he is using for the first time today.

A quick change without keys to save time

“When you are using angle grinders, you are always searching for the key. You know it is around here somewhere. That takes valuable time when the disc jams and the clamping nut gets stuck. It takes a lot of effort to loosen it again, or you reach for a hammer,” Martin Mayer describes how he is usually racing against time. That is a thing of the past with the X-Lock system: “The new system is quick. You can change discs in a few seconds without the need for a key.” Getting started is just a click away for Martin Mayer with the GWX 18V-10 SC Professional: Position the wheel in the X-Lock mount, click it in – done! If the disc needs changing, simply unlock it using the lever and it can be removed right away. “I don’t even need to take off my gloves.” The foreman is obviously pleased about that. The X-Lock angle grinder also has a decisive advantage regarding occupational health and safety. “The disc comes to a complete stop within one second, when you release the button. This brake function considerably reduces the risk of injury.”

Diverse and flexible to overcome every challenge

With a total of 12 small angle grinders – eight corded models, from 900 to 1,900 watts, and four 18 volt cordless models – and more than 130 accessories, the X-Lock accessory change system is extremely versatile. For metal processing, for example, Martin Mayer can choose from a broad selection of cutting, roughing, fiber, SCM and flap discs, as well as cup and round brushes. When switching to the X-Lock system, there is no need for duplicate stock: “The new discs also fit on our old angle grinders. That is a big advantage because you can upgrade without having to buy everything brand new,” says Martin Mayer. It is now almost the end of the shift, and the Construction Manager comes by again to review the progress. The foreman puts the angle grinder back in its L-Boxx, looks out across the valley at the distance they still have to cover. “Every construction project is unique and you are always proud when you have been involved right from the start. When passengers are speeding across this bridge in seven seconds in the high-speed ICE train, popping suddenly out into the light from the dark of the tunnel before they speed straight into the next one, they will only be able to guess the challenges we have had to overcome to provide them this route.” As a bridge builder, Martin Mayer enjoys the thrill of being up here on this project. “When you finally see the end product, you know how much you have achieved. You can proudly tell your children one day: That was my construction site.”

The Robert Bosch Power Tools GmbH, a division of the Bosch Group, is one of the world’s leading providers for power tools, power tool accessories and measuring tools. In 2019, its roughly 20,000 associates generated sales of 4.8 billion euros, about 85 percent of which outside of Germany. With brands such as Bosch and Dremel, the division stands for customer focus and great engineering progress. The core success factors are innovative strength and pace of innovation. In 2020, Bosch Power Tools will again launch more than 100 new products onto the German market in its four business segments power tools, accessories, measuring tools and garden tools.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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