Published on : Saturday, February 2, 2013
Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation announced today that it is partnering with Valutec C3T, the land transportation technology centre of the University of Valenciennes and Hainaut Cambrésis (UVHC), to conduct accelerated tests of electronic boards.
Valutec has purchased a HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) chamber to test the performance and failure modes of onboard electronic systems. The investment is supported by France’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Nord-Pas de Calais regional government.
The chamber will be used for a wide range of accelerated tests, including vibrations and climatic conditions, according to the HALT and HASS (Highly Accelerated Stress Screening) protocols. By identifying sources of potential breakdown or malfunction at the development stage, the technology enables robust rail solutions. Under the partnership, Bombardier experts will train and share their technical know-how with Valutec’s dedicated employees to ensure that the test programmes are conducted professionally.
Train reliability is a top priority at Bombardier’s Crespin plant, France’s first industrial rail site. Its 500 engineers use the site’s advanced test laboratory and the COFRAC certified crash test facility to develop trains for the French Regions, the national rail operator SNCF and the Paris public transport operator RATP. For its production of the Regio 2N articulated double-deck train, Bombardier developed a test platform that consists of the entire life-sized network of cables and onboard electronic equipment to simulate commercial operating conditions.
Onboard electronic equipment has become ever more sophisticated to meet the increasing demand of customers and passengers for speed, safety and comfort. Up to 100 different types of electronics control numerous functions such as doors, brakes, air conditioning, passenger information and sound systems.
“The rail industry has embraced the electronic era and deserves appropriate test tools to meet customers’ expectations,” said Christophe Bertin, Engineering Director for the Crespin and Bruges sites at Bombardier Transportation. “We are confident that these state-of-the-art test facilities will improve further the performance of our rolling stock. We need to anticipate and simulate extreme operating conditions so the train, once commissioned, is fully operational.”
Jean- Pierre Cartellini, General Director of Valutec, added: “This new partnership is in line with the mission of our land transportation technology centre. It aims to share its resources for testing with research laboratories as well as rail and automotive builders and suppliers to promote innovation and support companies in the development of modern modes of transportation.”
Valutec is the first subsidiary of UVHC and home to the C3T test centre. It is officially recognized as a centre for technological resources by the French Government and Nord-Pas de Calais regional government.
Partnerships with academic institutions like Valutec form an integral part of Bombardier’s dialogue with stakeholders. The joint research addresses sustainability challenges in the rail industry and contributes to the company’s growth strategies globally.
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