Wabtec has commenced operations at the additive manufacturing production hub at Pittsburgh International Airport’s Innovation Campus in the US.
Named Neighborhood 91, the new 11,000ft² facility is part of Wabtec’s efforts to deliver rail parts through a simplified supply chain at a competitive price point by using additive manufacturing.
Developed in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, the facility will also enable the company to add enhanced features that improve the application of the transit components.
Wabtec aims to deploy additive technologies for the production of more than 25,000 rail parts by 2025.
Neighborhood 91 is equipped with an SLM 800 printer, which can produce lightweight, large-scale units for rail industry clients.
Some of the metal aluminium transit components that will be produced at the site include brake units, heat sinks for freight locomotives, and other rail applications.
With the help of additive manufacturing technology, the company will be able to reduce lead times by up to 80% on some of these applications.
Wabtec chief technology officer Eric Gebhardt said: “Neighborhood 91 and its one-of-a-kind additive ecosystem will help foster creative solutions to engineering challenges and breakthroughs in 3D printing.
“Our Neighborhood 91 facility and the other additive labs in Western Pennsylvania will accelerate new innovations that shrink lead times, reduce cost and increase reliability.”
This site is claimed to be the first such development globally where all modules of the additive manufacturing and 3D-printing supply chain have been condensed and merged into one production ecosystem.
At the core of the development, the concept of the facility is based on co-located capital resources.
The site will feature a comprehensive end-to-end additive supply chain spanning from the powders to production, testing, analysis, and delivery.
Last month, Wabtec received an order to provide major components for the new rolling stock, which is being built by Alstom for the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transport Systems.