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Tools, methodologies and technological development of the next generation of Running Gear - S2R-OC-IP1-02-2017
Deadline: Mar 30, 2017  

 Energy Efficiency
 Intelligent Energy
 Urban transport
 Industrial Engineering

Specific Challenge:

This topic seeks to address the challenge linked to developing novel and ground-breaking tools, methodologies and technology for running gear applications in line with the S2R Master Plan. Historically, it has not been easy to introduce innovation onto running gear because often preference was given to technology which has proved to be robust enough to survive the heavy loads, but not innovative enough. New technological solutions for running gear need to have sufficient durability to operate between overhauls or even through the entire vehicle design life of up to 40 years. 

The challenge is to develop and combine adequately suitable technologies to produce light, reduced noise, track-friendly, reliable, low life-cycle-cost (LCC) running gear. This multi-technology approach will have to address several functions (comfort, curving, structural function, rolling components, health monitoring, etc.). 

Scope: The proposed research should address all the following work streams, described below, in line with the S2R MAAP which relates to TD1.4: 

The work should include tools, methodologies and technological development in the following four areas: 

Innovative sensors & condition monitoring: The work should include researching system architectures and specifying sensors with all the equipment directly related to these sensors. The focus should be on verifying the suitability of standard sensor equipment (i.e. as deployed in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, oil & gas and power generation) to the railway environment. The activities should also define the capability of a sensor to indicate the condition of a particular component. The work should analyse the requirements and benefits at the higher system level, by considering the (potentially wireless) signal transmission equipment and the signal processing hardware and software with the associated secure plug and play protocols. This part of work should take form of case studies based on the successful deployment of condition monitoring technology in other sectors, with a comprehensive explanation of the relevance for rail applications. Note that running gear condition monitoring sensors do not necessarily have to be vehicle mounted; 

Optimised materials: Proposals should focus on the analysis, testing and selection of new lightweight materials and manufacturing processes for running gear. Materials that already are in use in other applications should also be taken into account. Proposals should therefore include a comparison of different challenges posed by running gear design and manufacture. The impact of new materials on existing products should be explored as new materials may well dictate different compliance challenges, design solutions and manufacturing processes. Similarly, the opportunity for 3D printing or near net shape manufacturing of components should be investigated. The assessment of manufacturing processes should include the validation testing requirements for initial manufacture. A new methodology for conformity testing might be required for materials where the physical properties are more sensitive to the manufacturing process than the materials used historically for running gear. A thorough understanding of through life maintenance and repair activities is key to unlocking the entry barriers for such innovative materials. Non-destructive / non-invasive damage detection techniques for composites and other lightweight materials should be investigated; 

Active suspension & control technology: The scope of this research area is to develop new dynamic control systems for running gear. Physically, these systems include actuators and other hydraulic / electro-mechanical components. The work should explore the suitability of off-the-shelf equipment and the similarities and differences between how the equipment is likely to be deployed in running gear and its application elsewhere. Where there is no suitable technology available, the work should identify further development needs. Equally important are the secure plug and play protocols, failure and damage tolerant data buses, (wireless) communication and control architectures. The authorisation strategy for the system as a whole should be explored, with reference to the acceptance process and requirements for other industries; 

Noise & Vibration: The activities with regards to this work stream should include prediction of the transmission of noise from the running gear into the carbody. The starting point may be the tools and techniques used to analyse noise transmission outside the rail sector. The work should focus on developing, validating and implementing simulation models for prediction of running gear noise. Such models should enable to formulate a methodology and a virtual test for the prediction and evaluation of new Noise & Vibration measures. These virtual tests would be for both interior noise and structure-borne noise transmission. To prove the methodology, a variety of existing and new materials for reducing Noise and Vibration transmission should then be assessed. These new materials may be used in other applications to limit noise transmission or they may be promising materials whose Noise and Vibration properties may prove to be beneficial in future. 


The activity should end at TRL2 with the formulation of technology concepts for all four work streams. 

The action that is expected to be funded under this topic will be complementary to the action that is expected to be funded under the topic S2R-CFM-IP1-01-2017: Development of new technological concepts towards the next generation of rolling stock, applied to major subsystems such as Carbody, Running Gear, Brakes, Doors and Modular interiors. 

The action stemming from this topic will also be complementary to actions carried out within the following topics: 

 S2R-CFM-CCA-02-2015: Energy and sustainability, including noise and vibrations baselines assessment 


As specified in section 2.3.1 of S2R AWP for 2017, in order to facilitate the contribution to the achievement of S2R objectives, the options regarding 'complementary grants' of the S2R Model Grant Agreement and the provisions therein, including with regard to additional access rights to background and results for the purposes of the complementary grant(s), will be enabled in the corresponding S2R Grant Agreements. 

Expected Impacts: Activities are expected to contribute to: 

 A robust assessment of the suitability of standard sensors for monitoring component condition. Using standard sensors will bring the perceived high current costs of such equipment for the railway environment down and closer to that of other industries. 

 Developing an understanding of the opportunities and risks presented by new materials. Detailing the conformance testing required during initial manufacture, and the possibilities for maintenance and repair of unusual to railway sector materials (which have not been routinely used) should help to unlock some of the entry barriers for innovative materials for running gear. 

 Creating an understanding of where off-the-shelf technology can be used for active suspension and beginning to define an authorisation process for such systems which guarantees safe operation. 

 Improving methodologies for predicting the transmission of noise and vibration from the Running Gear to the carbody. 


Furthermore, the activities are also expected to contribute to the following key Shift2Rail objectives: 

 Vehicle weight reduction through the use of new concepts based on lighter materials. This weight reduction will have several side effects such as: 

 Reduction of the energy consumption of the vehicle 

 Increased track friendliness 

 Additional freedom for vehicle design 

 Reduction of the Life Cycle Cost of the vehicle and the whole railway system, derived from the reduction of track damage due to the reduction of mass and the improvement of guidance ability of running gear, and improved health monitoring supported by new running gear sensor systems 

 Increase in passenger comfort, as a result of the improved suspensions, reduction in noise emission and transmission in running gear 

 Increase in operational reliability supported by better performing health monitoring and sensor systems. 


Specific metrics and methods to measure and achieve impacts should be included in the proposals, with the objective to achieve by the end of the S2R Programme the quantitative and qualitative targets defined in the S2R MAAP related to TD1.4 in line with the relative Planning and Budget. 

Type of Action: Research and Innovation Actions 

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