Integrated sidewall and roof to cut cost, enhance aesthetics
The Integral Coach Factory here has bagged the national innovation award for suggesting a modification in the existing Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches that will not only cut cost but enhance the aesthetics by averting undulations.
ICF suggested replacement of the existing five-piece side wall and three-piece roof sub-assemblies of the LHB coach with one metal assembly respectively.
Assembling the coach as per the new design would cut the cost of making each non-AC Sleeper Class coach by ₹1,19,607 and AC Air-coach by ₹57,003.
According to a senior ICF official, old method of LHB shell body assembly involved putting together 13 pieces, including 4 doorways, two middle side walls, one roof centre part and two end parts. In the new method conceived by Team ICF, only three pieces — two side walls and one roof — were required to assemble the body shell. “The method replaces the five sub-assembly pieces on one side — two doorways, one middle side wall and two toilet side walls — with one integrated piece. Similarly, the three sub-assemblies will be replaced by one in the making of the roof,” the official who preferred anonymity said.
The new innovation reduces cost of manufacture of LHB body shells and also reduces the assembly and crane handling time. It improves the aesthetics since the undulations caused due to putting together of different pieces is averted, the official said adding that a final go-ahead to manufacture LHB coaches in the proposed design may require clearance of the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
The proposed cost-effective method was possible with in-house manufacturing of the complete set. ICF is one of the largest coach making factories in the world. The factory rolled out Train18, later flagged off as Vande Bharat Express, in 2018.
The Railway Board last week informed that Team ICF would get a group award of ₹1 lakh under the “Suggestion Scheme for Best Innovation” on Indian Railways for the year 2020-21. Team ICF, comprising 12 officials, was led by Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer K. K Mohan with the guidance of Chief Works Engineer Amlan Tirkey. The Southern Railway bagged the first place with ₹1.5 lakh group award for suggesting “Automatic Gauge Face Greasing Machine”.