Cleaning installation to clean bogies

We have developed an environmentally friendly cleaning installation to clean bogies of trains.

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.

Environmentally friendly and decrease in annual running costs

Old way of working not without problems

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.

Basic requirements of the environmentally friendly wash installation

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 6 bogies.
  • A mechanical drive for the internal transport instead of manual transport.
  • The 3 cleaning steps should be integrated into 1 installation.
  • A reduction of the used business area: the 40 meter installation had to make way for one of 20 meters.

Sustainable technological development

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 20 bar.
  • Making use of environmentally friendly cleaning products and to avoid chemicals (f. ex. 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 1 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.

Required final inspection

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.

Profitable results

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

This equates to a total (environmental) benefit of 85,410 Euro per year.

Laborex laureate of the Innovation Award 2012

For the development of this environmentally friendly cleaning installation to clean bogies of trains, we were awarded as laureate of the Innovation Award 2012 in the category of small and big companies during the ceremony of the Kempen Innovation Awards.