West Yorkshire-based WDS Component Parts Ltd
(WDS) has provided component parts for the jigs and fixtures used in Bombardier’s new train manufacturing facility in Derby.
Stoke on Trent-based KM Tools Ltd
, which is supplying the assembly equipment to Bombardier, made the selection based on product durability, ease of selection and the high level of service that WDS offers.
Bombardier’s site is the UK’s only train manufacturing facility, designing and building Aventra electric multiple unit trains for both UK operators and export markets. Its train facility manufactures key components including the underframe, roof and body sides.
Within the welding facility, jigs and fixtures are used to hold the sections of train sub-assemblies in place during the welding process. KM Tools selected WDS to provide a variety of component parts used within the assembly jigs and fixtures based on high product reliability and service efficiency.
Adrian Degg, KM Tools Ltd engineering director, said: “Bombardier is very important for KM Tools because of the scale of the project. Manufacturing equipment for specialist production lines such as Derby means that we need to have confidence in the components we use in our assembly jigs.
“Supplying OEM customers like Bombardier, where time to market is key, also means that we need efficient suppliers. We have worked with WDS for eight years and they were our natural choice to provide component parts for this high-profile project.”
WDS provided a variety of components for the jigs and fixtures including locating pins, latches, swing clamps, toggle clamps, indexing plungers, hinges, knobs and handles. It is crucial that product quality is high, especially where many of the components are used in demanding conditions on a daily basis, such as indexing plungers.
Where extra durability is required, some of the components selected are constructed from hardened materials. Depending on where the component will be used, resistance to corrosion is also important, for example if the area is frequently lubricated and where soap is used to clean lubrication away.
For this reason, KM Tools selected stainless or mild steel as the material of choice, chemically blackened where required to increase resistance to corrosion.
Mr Degg said: “We have always found that WDS component perform impeccably in terms of reliability. This is especially important to us and a reason for working with them. Any component failure would risk the uptime of our customers, so it’s key for the reputation of KM Tools’ as a manufacturer of high quality equipment.”
Stock availability and delivery time is an important consideration for KM Tools, especially when projects involve large OEMs such as Bombardier where higher product volumes can be required for delivery within 24hr.
He added: “WDS carries a broad stock range and invariably supplies the component we need. Delivery time is very important for us, especially where we may order 100 units of a particular item, and WDS has a stock level which can fulfil our needs.”
In order to select the right component, KM Tools’ engineers have a complete understanding of their required specification. Therefore, what they need is fast, clear access to component specification in order to make their choice — all the information required to make a rapid selection is available on the WDS Web site, including 3-D drawings which can be integrated into KM Tools’ equipment design.
Mr Degg continued: “When you’re designing an item such as a jig, downloading and inserting the 3-D model of the component makes the process far easier and saves valuable time.”
“Pricing on the Web site is clear and easy to calculate at the outset, which means customers do not have to spend time contacting the supplier to find out the best price. Not all suppliers present their costs on-line and it can save a lot of time, particularly if you need clarity on the cost of 100 units, rather than a single unit or 10.”
KM Tools’ assembly line installation for Bombardier came in ahead of deadline and the company will continue to partner with WDS for its ongoing maintenance work at the Bombardier factory.