Page 15 - 2 BK SP MKT Globaleyes Edition 10 July 2013_English

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By August this year Bradken will
have delivered 480 wagons to
Rio Tinto that have a greatly
increased capacity.
At the start of 2011 Bradken was
approach by Rio Tinto to develop
a new high capacity low mass
iron ore wagon. Rio Tinto’s plan
was to increase the axle load
of their trains from 36t to 40t,
a wagon Gross Vehicle Mass
(GVM) of 160t. This equates to
an increase in payload of 13%.
To achieve this, a brief was
provided to increase the
volumetric capacity of the
existing wagon by 5 cubic metres
without exceeding a tare mass of
20.8t, a reduction of 200kg from
the existing Bradken wagon.
Stage one of the project focused
on the design of a wagon optimised
for mass reduction. Every panel
size, panel shape, joint type and
joint location was assessed to
determine the optimal condition.
It was a “clean sheet” design
exercise with literally thousands
of design iterations assessed
using ANSYS FEA software.
This time-consuming process
was quickened by purchasing
a high-speed computer and
software licenses that allowed
the computers to operate at
its full potential.
With the new computer and
software the average solve time
was reduced by 75% per design.
By the end of stage one the mass
of the wagon had been reduced
by close to 1 tonne, almost
800kg under the original target.
Four prototype wagons were
constructed at the end of 2011
and put into operational trials
by Rio Tinto. The wagons were
assessed for ride performance,
interface to mines ports and track
infrastructure as well as ease of
maintenance and serviceability.
Lessons learnt from stage one
were recorded for both the
manufacture and operational
trial activities. These lessons
learnt formed the basis of stage
two of the project: readiness for
mass production.
Stage two of the design process
primarily focussed on cost
reduction and improving the ease
of manufacturing. A joint team of
staff from Xuzhou and Newcastle
Engineering was established to
ensure an integrated approach
was followed. Utilising the
principles of “Lean Design”, the
team reviewed each stage and
process that a component or
assembly went through and
identified the cost of the final
product. Through this process
required welding was reduced
by 25% from the stage one
design and the material cost
by 13% on the wagon structure.
Stage 2 entered production
trials in December 2012 with
two wagons being produced
for customer trials. The trials
were a success and Bradken
was awarded an order for
480 wagons.
Mass order
for greatly
improved wagon
Innovation, creativity and some
new computer gadgetry were the
keys to Bradken developing and
mass-producing iron ore wagons
for Rio Tinto
RTIO B-Series Wagon – Prototype.
globaleyes / edition 10
product story