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Inventors of the Year 2016

Open Innovation

Radical new approaches to the development of rolling stock are extremely rare. Christian Karner and Radovan Seifried of Siemens Mobility, together with Prof. Christian Moser of Graz University of Technology, have succeeded in developing a new chassis frame that only weighs 845 kilograms instead of 1.5 metric tons – a reduction of almost 50 percent. For this, the team has won an award as Inventor of the Year 2016 in the Open Innovation category.

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Reducing energy use and wear

Weight is playing an ever more important role in trains. The chassis frame is a massive, welded steel construction that bears all of a rail car body’s weight and transmits the force from its wheels to the train. This steel frame has to withstand heavy loads over a service life of 30 years and more.

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Withstanding stress with a lighter frame

Professor Christian Moser of Graz University of Technology has broken new ground with a new chassis frame.  A specialist in structural durability and rail vehicle engineering, he proved with his tests that a much lighter frame could withstand stress just as well as conventional designs.  

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Long-lasting welds

Moser and his team could use only specially selected welds that join the parts of a chassis so firmly that they can withstand the jolts and the vibrations that occur at speeds of over 200 kilometers per hour. Radovan Seifried of Siemens Mobility saw the research project as a very exciting challenge.

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Suppliers will have to adapt to changing circumstances

The team questioned established design methods for joining components and came up with a new concept. Siemens Mobility’s design engineers used to leave supplied parts unchanged and adapt new designs to them. But with the team’s new concept, suppliers had to adapt their parts to new designs.

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We had to depart from conventional ways of thinking, and that was a great challenge.

Professor Christian Moser, Christian Karner, Radovan Seifried, Structural Durability and Rolling Stock department at the Institute of Machine Components at Graz University of Technology, design engineers at Siemens Mobility