Long-line vs Short-line

While short-line production has its advantages, it is generally accepted that long-line production is superior due to its ability to achieve uniform stressing, cost effectiveness and higher production rates.

General set up
Long-line: - Each mould contains four to eight sleepers and the production line consists of beds containing between 20 to 80 moulds arranged end on end. Hence the term long-line.
Short-line: - The moulds generally consist of one to six individual sleepers cast side by side (single mould) and these can be arranged to have up to eight moulds placed end to end. Hence the term short-line.
Advantages: - Short-line production can be done in smaller factories, compared to the long-line method.

Long-line: - Both elongation length and prestress force can be used to check that the correct stress levels are achieved. This cross-checking process ensures a safer, more controlled production process.
Short-line: - This method allows the wire pattern to be accurately placed, but the application of the prestress force needs to be carefully controlled.
Advantages: - Stressing is vital to producing uniformly safe sleepers. Stressing can be achieved and cross-checked easier in a Long-line production method.

Production methodology
Long-line: - Long-line factories tend to be larger.
Short-line: - Short-line methods have a smaller factory area footprint.
Advantages: - While the long-line factories are larger than those using other methods, the sleepers can be produced at much higher rates of production, with consistent quality and generally lower costs than the short-line method.

Long-line: - Long-line production generally uses less staff and materials.
Short-line: - Short-line production generally leads to higher running costs than long-line plants due to increased labour costs, materials usage and special anchorages needed in the short-line plant.
Advantages: - Long-line is generally more cost effective.

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