Siemens Mobility Puts Stratasys Additive Manufacturing at the Heart of First Digital Rail Maintenance Center
Ability to rapidly and cost-effectively 3D print replacement parts and production tools on-demand eliminates obsolete parts and warehousing costs
Manufacturing time per part reduced by up to 95%
Video: Learn more about the use of 3D printing at the Siemens Mobility RRX Rail Service Center
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The Siemens Mobility RRX Rail Service Center is
Siemens Mobility has now eliminated the need for inventory of selected spare parts, reduced the manufacturing time of these parts by up to 95% and can now respond to all internal and customer demands seamlessly.
Renowned as Siemens Mobility’s flagship site, the RRX Rail Service Center is expecting around a hundred trains to enter the depot every month. This level of throughput puts pressure on the supply chain and requires robust manufacturing solutions that can fulfill the wide-ranging needs of customers quickly and cost-effectively. As a result, the company invested in a
“We believe our RRX Rail Service Center is the most advanced train maintenance center in the world,” says Michael Kuczmik, Head of Additive Manufacturing,
Increased Customer Responsiveness with Customized Solutions
According to Kuczmik, the ability to 3D print customized replacement parts on-demand has increased its flexibility to meet customer requirements.
“Every train has to go through maintenance several times a year. As you can imagine, all our customers would like this process to be as quick as possible, but they still expect maximum levels of detail, safety and quality in the work we do. We also have to consider unplanned or last-minute jobs, and if you look at the different train models and companies we service, this requires a lot of customized solutions. This is where our
Beyond 3D printed replacement parts, the team is using
One such example is an essential ‘connector’ tool that is used to maintain train bogies (the chassis or framework that carries the wheelset). Tools for this application are notoriously hard to produce via conventional methods, as they have extremely complex shapes and require a high-level of customization. In addition, bogies weigh several tons, therefore tough and durable materials are required to withstand the significant forces when the vehicle is moving or braking.
“Well-manufactured connectors are essential tools for the effective and safe maintenance of bogies, therefore finding additive manufacturing materials strong enough to withstand such pressures has been an important exercise,” explains Kuczmik. “The ULTEM 9085 material is tough, enabling us to leverage all the customization benefits of 3D printing and replace our traditional manufacturing method for this tooling application.
“The ability to 3D print customized tools and spare parts whenever we need them, with no minimum quantity, has transformed our supply chain. We have reduced our dependency on outsourcing tools via suppliers and reduced cost per part, while also opening up more revenue streams by being able to service more low-volume jobs cost-effectively and efficiently,” he concludes.
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