At the Third Additive Manufacturing Forum in Berlin, German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB), Austrian Federal Railways (OBB), Italian train operator Trenitalia and state-owned Swedish railway company SJ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by proxy of seven. European Railways.
The MoU signed on 15 March 2019 indicates a pledge by the railway companies to cooperate in the working group RAILiability under the Mobility Go Additive Network.
The Relability Working Group was formed with the objective of identifying clear technology use cases for additive manufacturing.
Mobility becomes additive – what is it?
Four railway institutions are each a member of the Mobility Go Additive Network. This network of companies from the mobility and logistics business has come together to advance the application of additive manufacturing, with a particular focus on the production of spare parts for the transportation sector.
The Mobility Go Additive Network will act as a central platform to promote “mutual development of the competencies of its members”. Thus, along with having railway institutions within their network, major additive manufacturing enterprises such as EOS and Stratasys are also part of Mobility Go Additive to work with companies seeking to implement additive manufacturing.
DB, BB, Trenitalia and SJ, and three other European railways form the Reliability Working Group of Mobility Go Additive, which focuses exclusively on rail networks and rolling stock. The group aims to “identify technical applications that show the AM market concrete areas of action and potential.”
Deutsche Bahn and 3D Printing
The Mobility Go additive platform has previously linked Deutsche Bahn with Berlin-based 3D printing software developer 3YOURMIND, which is also a member of the network. DB has used 3YOURMINDS’ technology to reduce the cost of maintaining inventory by using 3D printing to produce on demand replacement.
The companies collaborated to build a ‘digital spare parts warehouse’ using 3YOURMIND’s Additive Manufacturing Part Identifier (AMPI). DB employees are encouraged to submit their 3D printing ideas and suggestions for spare parts that DB can develop using the AMPI software.
The development of a digital spare parts warehouse builds on DB’s previous initiative to 3D print its spare parts. Since then, DB has been able to 3D print approximately 15,000 spare parts and other products, helping to achieve significant savings and reducing vehicle downtime.