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Surface Transport industry (Automotive, Marine, Rail) - latest news


New Toyota Camry features additional spot welds

Additional spot welds have been added to the door opening flanges (chassis and body structure) of the 2015 Toyota Camry to increase rigidity.

Welding Journal, vol.93, no.6. June 2014. pp.14,19.

NASA partners with Rolls-Royce on braze joint technology testing

A reimbursable Space Act Agreement has been singed between NASA and Rolls-Royce (R-R) covering collaboration on the development of methods of predicting braze joint performance in critical structures subjected to complex loading. R-R will calculate a Failure Assessment Diagram, referring to the Methodology of Evaluating Margins of Safety in Critical Brazed Joints developed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center by Dr Yury Flom. The diagram will be used to define acceptable stress combinations and safety margins for brazed joints and braze repairs. The prediction tool will have numerous applications in the automotive and aircraft sectors.

Welding Journal, vol.93, no.7. July 2014. p.11.

Guidelines support use of steel technologies

WorldAutoSteel has released a new publication, Advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) application guidelines, version 5.0. Volume 1 covers metallurgy, forming and joining, and volume 2 has over 200 pages of case studies of actual manufacturing practices. The publication can be downloaded free from www.worldautosteel.org.

Welding Journal, vol.93, no.7. July 2014. p.22.

Laser joining of aluminum poised to grow as cars lose weight

Comparing aluminium to the other primary manufacturing metal - steel - several key differences become apparent. One major difference is it's resistance to corrosion. The second important difference is the mass. Aluminium's mass is about a third of that of steel, and weight reduction is a key driver for its use in many industries, especially the transportation industry. Aluminium is also highly manufacturable. It's easily formed, machined and welded, which are all keys to useability. Deals with some of the welding issues for the material and some of the solutions. Says that joining with lasers can solve some of the problems that plague conventional techniques, such as MIG welding. Compared to MIG welding, laser processing provides higher welding speeds, less heat input, a smaller heat affected zone, much lower distortion and can be welded autogenously in many cases. Adds that laser welding has been used in the automotive industry for joining of aluminium components such as frames, roofs, doors, deck lids, steering columns, wheel rims, and fuel filters, to name just a few. One noteworthy application is laser edge-fillet welding of the aluminium doors on the BMW 7 Series luxury sedans.

Industrial Laser Solutions for Manufacturing, vol. 29 no. 3, May/June 2014. pp.6-9.

Lasers make advances in auto-body door rings

Since 2008, all of Honda's laser welded blank-press hardened steel parts for front rail, rear rail, and B Pillar medium-size parts have been manufactured in Europe. Honda R&D America decided to take a different approach for the new Acura MDX model. To meet the newest North American severe safety crash tests and the light-weight/low-emission 'green' target, Honda decided to investigate the concept of a larger, more complex LWB-PHS. The 2014 Acura MDX uses the world's first LWB hot stamp door rings. The Usibor press hardened steel LWB single multi-thickness door ring part (A-B pillars) provides three advantages: Improved energy management through uninterrupted laser produced joints, improved weight using LWB-PHS, and improved fit and finish (optimum BIW geometry and doors setting accuracy with functionalities in a single, big part). The success of this LWB-PHS single door ring allows BIW engineers to design more complicated LWB-PHS parts for enhanced body performance.

Industrial Laser Solutions for Manufacturing, vol. 29 no. 3, May/June 2014. pp.10-14.


General Dynamics awarded nearly $18 billion by U.S. Navy for 10 Virginia-class submarines

General Dynamics Electric Boat (Groton, CN, USA), in partnership with Newport News Shipbuilding, is to construct 2 boats per annum over 5 years, with the last ship to be delivered in 2023. The submarines' hull butt joints will be prepared using the new track-based plasma arc backgouging system developed by the Navy Metalworking Center. The equipment is an extension of the robotic equipment used in Phase II of a prior ManTech project. An estimated 25% reduction in welder hours is anticipated from using this system.

Welding Journal, vol.93, no.6. June 2014. p.14.

Taking the UK's marine industry forwards

The UK Marine Industries Alliance says that the UK's marine engineering and services companies have many great strengths that have driven forward key developments in equipment and product design and technical innovation. The Alliance claims that the UK is the fourth largest shipbuilder in Europe and the third largest in boat building. The sector directly employs 90,000 people across the UK and has plans to grow even stronger in the years ahead. UK marine equipment manufacturers, operators and service companies offer complex design, manufacturing and service solutions to a variety of customers, both in the UK and around the world.

Industrial Technology, June 2014. p.10.

Electric and hybrid marine business to reach $7.3 billion

Details a new report from IDTechEx - Electric Boats, Small Submarines and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) 2014-2024 - which says that the electric and hybrid marine market will increase rapidly from $2.6bn in 2013 to over $7.3bn by 2024. The industrial commercial and military sectors have legal push such as newly onerous harbour pollution regulations along with strong government and industry push. This report covers hybrid and pure electric marine electric vehicles; on-water and underwater, inland and seagoing. It also covers the closely allied topics of electric outboard motors and electric planes operating from water and even has some mention of electrification benefiting conventional craft. Overall, it encompasses leisure, military, industrial, commercial and other applications and the technology trends.

Industrial Technology, June 2014. p.10.

Military and Off-highway

No items this week


Greenbrier announces railcar orders valued at $460 million

New orders for 5600 railway carriage units, including 1200 intermodal platforms, have been received by Greenbrier Companies, Inc (Lake Oswego, OR, USA). The carriage types range widely - hoppers, boxes, gondolas and tankers.

Welding Journal, vol.93, no.6. June 2014. p.19.

Traxx ME for Sylt Shuttle

Bombardier is to supply seven Traxx Multi-Engine locos for use on Deutsche Bahn's 40km Niebüll-Westerland Sylt Shuttle car-carrying service across the 11km Hindenburgdamm causeway connecting the North Sea island of Sylt with mainland Schleswig-Holstein. The contract has been placed within a 2011 framework agreement for up to 200 Traxx ME locomotives and has a 'value based on the list price' of approximately Euros 27M. Two locos are to be deployed on the Sylt Shuttle from the end of 2015. From mid-2016 each train will be hauled by one 2.4 MW Traxx ME instead of two Class 218s. Traxx ME can shut down three of its four Stage IIIB-compliant engines during the frequent shunting moves, cutting emissions and noise.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 170,no. 7, July 2014. p.8.

Express logistics test

On the night of June 4-5, Colas Rail and TNT Express operated a trial train carrying express parcels and perishable products from Rugby to London. Organised by consultancy Intermodality, the run was intended to demonstrate the feasibility of using rail for 'high-speed, low-carbon deliveries into the heart of towns and cities'. It was formed of former car carrier vans, which are suitable for carrying traffic in roll cages: these had previously been used by Stobart for a trial in 2012. An Intermodality spokesman said 'the train ran to time, achieved a faster transit than by road, used an otherwise deserted mainline station as a freight interchange, and reduced emissions by at least two thirds'.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 170,no. 7, July 2014. p.8.

Govia wins UK's biggest franchise

The Department of Transport has appointed the Govia joint venture of Go-Ahead and Keolis to operate the future Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern franchise. Covering regional and commuter services into London from a wide area of southern England, it will be the UK's largest franchise in terms of passengers, services, revenue and staff. The franchise agreement includes: 150 'metro style' EMU cars to replace 1970s stock on services into London Moorgate; 108 new coaches to be introduced on the Gatwick Express service by 2016; introduction in 2016-18 of 1140 EMU cars which Siemens is building for Thameslink services; additional direct services to Gatwick Airport, including a Cambridge-Brighton service; £50M to be spent improving 239 stations;100 busiest stations staffed during service hours; and free wi-fi at 104 stations.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 170,no. 7, July 2014. p.12.

Supercapacitor tram

CSR Zhuzhou has unveiled what it says is the first tram to be powered only by supercapacitors. Seven 100% low-floor trams are being supplied for a 7.7km circular route in the Haizhou district of Guangzhou under a contract signed in June 2013. The first two will be produced in Zhuzhou, with the subsequent five assembled in Guangzhou. The onboard supercapacitors will be automatically charged from a ground-level power supply at stops. This will normally take between 10 secs and 30 secs. The trams are able to run for up to 4k between charges. Mobile charging vehicles are to be deployed in case of faults at the charging points. The four section tram is 36.5m long with a capacity of 386 passengers.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 170,no. 7, July 2014. p.14.

Mega EMU project gets under way

Just weeks after it announced financial close on its biggest ever EMU contract, Alstom has confirmed that 'we are already doing some metal cutting in Brazil, and the customer is working with use on the final design review'. The Euros 4bn contract signed last October covers the delivery of 600 electric multiple-nits to Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, amounting to no fewer than 3,600 cars over 10 years. The deal was formally awarded to the Gibela joint venture led by Alstom, which holds a 61% stake. Designated XTrapolis Mega (for MEtric GAuge), the EMUs are derived from Alstom's standard commuter platform, adapted for PRASA's 1067mm gauge. Discusses the challenges of the project with Gian-Luca Erbacci, Alstom Transport Senior Vice-President.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 170,no. 7, July 2014. pp.40-41.

Note: TWI's industry news is compiled using external sources. As such, TWI Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, and the information does not reflect the views and opinions of TWI Ltd.