Laborex Develops an Economic and Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Installation for Bogies

Laborex has developed an environmentally friendly cleaning installation to clean train bogies. Different interventions to this cleaning installation not only reduce the environmental impact but also the consumption of water and energy, which can significantly reduce the annual running costs.

Such a cleaning system for bogies of trains does away with the old way of working, whereby the bogies were cleaned in three stages and in three different workstations. Problems here were the high water consumption, the large amounts of processing wastewater, the high energy consumption and the unpleasant working conditions for the operators. In order to avoid these problems, we have designed and produced a prototype of an environmentally friendly washing installation to clean bogies of trains.

This environmentally friendly wash installation to clean bogies of trains had to meet the following basic requirements:

  • Doubling of the productivity: 12 bogies per day have to be cleaned instead of six bogies
  • A mechanical drive for the internal transport instead of manual transport
  • The three cleaning steps should be integrated into one installation
  • A reduction of the used business area: the 40m installation had to make way for one of 20m

Furthermore, it had to be a sustainable technological development. This entailed some additional criteria:

  • Making use of environmentally friendly cleaning techniques by mechanical cleaning, by limiting the temperature of the process water to 50°C and by limiting the water pressure up to 20bar
  • Making use of environmentally friendly cleaning products and to avoid chemicals (for example by using economic and environmentally friendly degreasers instead of solvents)
  • Calculated dose of the cleaning product (not too much, not too little product)
  • Use of the process water in a closed circuit, so that the tanks only after one year need to be cleaned completely
  • Low water consumption: the evaporated water is drained away, condensed and re-used in the closed circuit
  • The discharged process water should be limited to a strict minimum
  • The sediment is automatically removed and then drained. The water is used again. Floating components are separated
  • Limited power consumption. Condensation heat is used to pre-heat the process water

In addition, a final inspection is required in order to verify that the bogies are sufficiently clean and that there are possibilities in order to adjust the process parameters.

This cleaning installation means an environmental benefit of 10,784Pt (ecopoints) per bogie with 2,640 cleaned bogies per year, which amounts to 28,740Pt per year (or 28,740 Pt/year of use x €3 / Pt = 85,410 Euro / year of use).
This equates to a total (environmental) benefit of €85,410 per year.

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