The agency has chosen to digitize a portion of its provide chain, citing manufacturing flexibility, shorter lead occasions, and decrease prices as major elements for the choice. With assist from Replique, Alstom can produce small batches of metallic parts for its trains in a decentralized method, enabling the agency to raised tackle the native wants of purchasers worldwide.
Leveraging the current partnership, Alstom has already acquired and put in its first set of seen 3D printed practice components: door stoppers manufactured from chrome steel.
Ben Boese, 3D Printing Hub Supervisor at Alstom Transport Deutschland, stated, “Additive manufacturing is now a key a part of our provide chain. With Replique, we profit from 3D printing and supplies experience, in addition to a decentralized manufacturing community masking all related places and applied sciences. Their end-to-end providers allow us to reply sooner and extra cost-effectively to completely different buyer necessities.”
Additive manufacturing in rolling inventory
Within the rolling inventory sector, practice techniques comprise numerous particular person shifting components. Alstom, particularly, operates multi-nationally and every of its trains has its personal set of half necessities.
With standard manufacturing, even small batches of components will inevitably require molds and different tooling, which may end up in excessive upfront manufacturing prices and excessively lengthy supply occasions.
Additive manufacturing may help remedy these challenges, enabling on-demand fabrication with cost-efficiency, no matter batch dimension. Whereas this can be the primary time Alstom is popping to 3D printing for collection manufacturing, the corporate has in truth utilized the expertise for spare half purposes up to now.
“The additive manufacturing market remains to be very fragmented, which makes it unattainable for finish customers to seek out an optimum resolution for every half,” provides Boese. “With Replique, we profit from all main additive manufacturing applied sciences and supplies from a single supply. As well as, we obtain optimum technological preparation.”
Streamlining door stopper 3D printing
As a part of a buyer challenge, Alstom was in want of a number of door stoppers for a partition designed to separate first and second class on a diesel practice carriage. The comparatively tiny manufacturing quantity referred to as for using Replique’s on-demand 3D printing providers, and Replique even helped Alstom with course of and materials choice.
The printed components wanted to be each sturdy and aesthetic, seeing as they’d serve their operate over the complete service lifetime of the practice, whereas in full view of passengers. The pair finally settled on FFF 3D printing with BASF Ahead AM’s Ultrafuse 316L chrome steel filament, as this proved to be considerably extra cost-efficient than metallic powder mattress fusion. As soon as 3D printed, the door stoppers went by a technique of debinding and sintering to attain the ultimate, fully-dense metallic components.
Replique managed to qualify and ship the door stoppers inside simply 1.5 months. Throughout this time, the construct went by preliminary pattern testing, meeting, and closing approval for collection manufacturing.
“We had been capable of produce the doorstopper in a cost-neutral method in comparison with standard strategies. Throughout the close to future, we plan to additional exploit the expertise’s potential by creating topology-optimized designs of recent components, and even make them lighter by utilizing lowered infill,” concludes Boese.
Alstom isn’t the primary firm to leverage additive manufacturing expertise within the transport sector. In Could, China-based 3D printer producer Eplus3D made its railway debut with a set of customized 3D printed brake discs. Working intently with an unnamed railway firm, the agency used its large-format EP-M650 system to 3D print the end-use components utilizing 24CrNiMo alloy metal, which measured Φ 648 x 90mm³ every.
Elsewhere, Kimya, the additive manufacturing supplies arm of expertise firm ARMOR, used 3D printing to produce an out of date protecting cowl part for a railway provider. Developed again in 1982, the mould for the duvet not existed so the spare components needed to be redesigned from scratch earlier than being 3D printed in PEEK.
Subscribe to the 3D Printing Business e-newsletter for the newest information in additive manufacturing. You can too keep linked by following us on Twitter, liking us on Fb, and tuning into the 3D Printing Business YouTube Channel.
In search of a profession in additive manufacturing? Go to 3D Printing Jobs for a number of roles within the trade.
Featured picture exhibits Alstom’s 3D printed chrome steel door stoppers. Picture by way of Replique.