Industrial Revolution 4.0 at the Rybnik’s rolling stock production and maintenance plant of DB Cargo Polska in Rybnik

Article: Industrial Revolution 4.0 at the Rybnik’s rolling stock production and maintenance plant of DB Cargo Polska in Rybnik

An ultrasound machine in a compact design, KUKA robot and UFD140N portal lathe are fully automatic devices installed in the newly built wheelset refurbishment pipeline at the DB Cargo Polska’s asset production and maintenance plant in Rybnik.

A state-of-the-art wheelset refurbishment pipeline was constructed in the Rybnik’s rolling stock production and maintenance plant. The line consists of 24 workstations arranged along three independent repair lines. The main line is the place to carry out P4 and P5 repairs according to Polish DSU (Maintenance System Documentation) or IS1 and IS2 according to VPI system. Axle boxes (IS LU) are repaired on the second line while the third line is where IS0 repairs and EVIC inspections are performed. The whole line is interconnected with technological tracks with turntables, allowing the autonomous battery trucks to shunt the wheelsets between the working stands.

If freight railway wants to use the historic opportunity brought by the Green Deal policy, it must make a radical technological  leap in every area of its activity. And this is what we are witnessing today in Rybnik. Our Rybnik’s facility has just become one of the most advanced places in Poland for the production and maintenance of rolling stock – says Marek Staszek, CEO of DB Cargo Polska. – It is also beneficial for the region, the citizens and the natural environment as well. Modern managerial thought and innovative technology, new jobs and highest safety standards are our contribution into the development of the local market – he adds.

The line has been equipped with innovative technologies from Polish and German manufacturers. Turntables with programmable rotation speed and direction from the Polish company HAK, a portal lathe for wheelset processing UFD140N from Rafamet, the latest generation high-pressure paint stripping station from Purima, equipped with KUKA robot, and a fully automated ultrasonic testing station from the German company BIP Technology.

“The technology used on the pipeline, combined with the systems of stream work and the electronic supervision, guarantees high quality of repairs, which will contribute to improved safety on both, Polish and European tracks,” says Robert Nowakowski, Member of the Management Board for Production at DB Cargo Polska. “This means fewer failures or accidents on the railway network caused by faulty running system of wagons, and consequently smooth, uninterrupted train traffic," he adds.

The wheelset refurbishment process is fully supported by IT solutions. A tailored system verifies the history of a wheelset before and during repair. It additionally monitors and supports the operator during repair operations and data entry into the wheelset's electronic measurement card. All operations are reflected in the system, which allows for further optimisation of the work and tracking the wheelset’s history.

Following the construction of the innovative m2 wagon, the wheelsets refurbishment pipeline is another step, which expands our product portfolio in the area of rolling stock production and maintenance. It is an innovative, automated, highly technologically advanced space, which allows for wheelset maintenance to the highest world standard – of up to 10,000 wheelsets a year – says Michał Batko, Director of Asset Management, Manufacturing and Maintenance at DB Cargo Polska.