Alstom, a French rolling stock manufacturer operating in rail transport markets, decided to explore a range of 3D printing solutions, as a fleet that has been running for ten years was experiencing part degradation.
The last time we spoke about the company, it had saved €1.8M in costs, and announced it targets over €5M in cost savings by the end of 2023 thanks to 3D printing. The project below is a confirmation that the multinational company is likely to reach this target if it continues relying on AM.
As part of this project, the Alstom Maintenance team in Nola, Italy, needed to replace two-hundred footrest parts due to damaged or vandalized parts aboard the AGV ETR575, a very high-speed, electric multiple-unit passenger train. Since the fabrication of a new mold was too expensive to produce spare parts, the team decided to explore their options with AM.
They decided to go resin 3D printing which would provide the parts with a long-term stability. By working with materials producer Loctite (an AM brand of Henkel), Alstom realized that the LOCTITE 3D 3843 HDT60 High Toughness Matte Black was the best solution for their application requirements. The material exhibits a superior finish and moderate temperature resistance. The materials have been processed on an NXE400 platform, an industrial 3D printer developed by Nexa3D.
With a 17L build volume, the open material platform features a patented Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc®) technology, delivering accuracy and tolerances with a superior surface finish.
Alstom received the footrest parts and immediately implemented them in a passenger saloon of the AGV ETR575 train. Ultimately, they reduced their lead time by 96% and cut overall costs by 25%. Alstom’s original lead time was 180 days, but after turning to LOCTITE and the NXE400 platform, their lead time was now only one week. By leveraging Additive Manufacturing, the team saved more than 20,000 EUR and 172 days of lead time, which is monumental from an operations standpoint, one learns from Loctite.
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