In the engineering market, there are various ways that you can expand your company’s service offering. These techniques range from offering maintenance services to building new structures and products.
The rail industry is one that is growing rapidly, with many governing bodies calling for a greater focus on enhancement in the sector over the coming years.
As such, building trains can be a lucrative endeavour for companies with the resources and tools, but it takes organisation to add this to your offering successfully.
To help, we’ve put together some tips on how engineering companies can get into building trains and entering into this profitable market.
Research The Market
Before you start building trains, you need to make sure that you understand the market and what it’s looking for. Research your competitors in this sector and find out what they’re doing to help their customers. You should also take a look at the train carriages and cabs being built currently, and how your company can create innovative products. Each train is made up of various components, so you need to learn about each of these and which your team can produce. Any parts that your team cannot create can be sourced from specialist providers.
Create A Design
Put together a rough design for a train that incorporates aspects of your research. Work closely with your technical team to ensure that the design is, theoretically at least, possible. Without a plan, your team will struggle to execute your ideas, leaving you unable to create a prototype, learn about train creation and start the process of adding train building to your company’s service offering.
Source Quality Parts
Once you have your design finalised, you need to get a selection of quality parts together for your train. While some items, such as the body of the train, can be created yourself, technical elements such as gearboxes need to be sourced from quality gearbox manufacturing specialists, such as David Brown Santasalo.
Hire Experienced Mechanics
You may already have an experienced engineering team that understands your business and its current work, but when building a train, you need to work with specialists. Bring in experienced train builders, either full time or as consultants, to help your team to understand the complexities of their work and create a pioneering train that will rival even the top products on the market currently.
Establish A Dedicated Yard
Differentiate your train building enterprises from your firm’s usual work by setting up a dedicated train building yard. Your team can lay their equipment out as they see fit, making organisation easier than if they had to share their workspace. Your yard will need to be expansive and contain all of the tools and equipment that your team need, so take the time to plan the project and where it will be created. It might seem like a lot of effort just to plan your project, but it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
With a project of this size and magnitude, it can be easy to get off course and find yourself going over time, and by extension, over budget. When you start working on contracts, you may also miss your client’s deadline if you aren’t organised, which could cause problems with the order and make your firm look unprofessional. To avoid this, you should try to set a rough schedule, with targets for how quickly you can assemble each part of the train. Creating a targeted timetable for your project will help motivate you and make the process more organised.
Be Accurate In Your Measurements
Buying custom parts for your train can be expensive, so it’s important that you get every measurement right the first time, so you don’t end up having to buy the same product more than once because of a mistake you made. Take every measurement twice and make sure that it is completely accurate before you place an order so that you can be sure that you’re getting the correct product.
Test Your Prototype
Having created your first train, you need to test it to check that it performs as you and your team expected. Work with a railway testing and development centre to review your train and understand how it can be improved, and which aspects of its engineering have been successful. Testing your train prototype can give you data and insight that you can use to enhance your solution and, eventually, promote your services as a train builder and bid for high-value contracts.
Adding train building to your firm’s service offering can be a lucrative solution, but it can also take a lot of time and effort. Use this article to ensure that this venture goes without a hitch, and you deliver a quality product that your client will be proud to own.