Acquisitions, Mergers & PartnershipsTransportation

Siemens Mobility brings Stratasys 3D printing to Russian rail industry

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Siemens Mobility Services has announced it will be acquiring two additional Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D printers to expand part production for the rail industry. To date, the transport company has successfully adopted Stratasys’ technology for the production of rail parts for Germany and the UK, and the new 3D printers will enable it to expand its support of rail maintenance operations in Russia.

The increased investment in Stratasys is largely the result of a recent business deal for Siemens Mobility, through which it will build 13 high-speed Velaro trains for Russian train company RZD. The agreement also stipulates that Siemens Mobility will maintain and service the trains for the next 30 years. The 13 Velaro trains will supplement RZD’s existing fleet of 16 Sapsan trains.

To meet the needs of its Russian customer, Siemens Mobility has installed two Fortus 450mc 3D printers in St. Petersburg and Moscow, which will allow Siemens Mobility Russia to carry out maintenance operations for the new trains. Having AM capabilities on the ground will also enable the company to transform their current operations, producing replacement rail parts on-demand.

Siemens Mobility Stratasys Russia trains

The investment in Stratasys’ AM technology also marks the launch of Siemens Mobility’s ‘Easy Sparovation Part’ network in Russia. The network’s main goal is to optimize services for the rail industry by 3D printing replacement parts and establishing a broad digital inventory. Thanks to this capability, Siemens Mobility’s is working with a more than 99% fleet availability record.

“These availability figures would be physically impossible to achieve through external part sourcing and traditional manufacturing techniques alone, but Stratasys’ FDM 3D printers gives us the capability to cost-effectively produce the parts in-house, partially eliminating the need for warehousing or tools for a selected range of items,” explained Alexey Fedoseev, Head of Customer Services at Siemens Mobility Russia. “We have already seen the success of the Siemens Mobility ‘Easy Sparovation Part’ business in Germany, where this technology has provided us time-per-part savings of up to 95% compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

“The manufacture and delivery of an additional 13 new Velaro trains will see us work on multiple vehicles over a long period of time, and within very strict time constraints. As a result, 3D printing makes for a perfect add-on to aid our production and provides us with the flexibility to replace and create parts ourselves, anytime they are needed.”

Stratasys industrial-grade Fortus 450mc 3D printers are up to the task because of their robust print quality and material compatibility. That is, the FDM system can print a wide range of engineering-grade materials, including plastics that can withstand the extreme temperatures found in Russia. Stratasys is also cooperating to deliver materials that are qualified for rail interior components by regulatory bodies in the transport sector.

Bjoern Richter, Strategic Account Manager Siemens, Stratasys, said: “Thanks to the efficiency-driving capabilities of 3D printing, it’s no surprise that rail maintenance and service providers are continuing to adopt the technology to boost customer service, maintenance, and part-manufacturing. Siemens Mobility is certainly a pioneer in this regard, driving the uptake of this technology within the rail and mobility sector. We continue to collaborate closely to ensure our solution best addresses the specific needs of this sector and explore entirely new application uses for 3D printing within transportation.”

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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