Technological innovations and shorter life cycles in consumer goods have had a powerful impact on the manufacturing industry, changing the design and character of many designs and building outputs. This evolving conversion demands design and building structures to be equipped with tremendous flexibility so that we will incorporate future modernization effortlessly.
This approach is something that is applied to the metro industry.
The metro is over 150 years old technology. Globally, nearly 200 metro systems exist, of which about 90% are equipped to run on steel (i.e., with steel wheels running on a steel rail). However, several transport authorities have opted for metros that run on rubber tires (such a version was first inaugurated in 1951 in Paris). A comparative analysis shows the following: The steel-on-steel rolling systems are creating high-capacity metros (a steel bogie supports up to 18 tonnes per axle, compared with a max of 14 tonnes per axle for tires), reducing energy consumption (steel-on-steel contact generates less friction, dissipating less energy as a result) and developing an open non-proprietary system (steel is a standard system unlike the rubber tire, ensures greater compatibility with different materials). Tire (pneumatic) rolling systems can climb steep slopes (due to their high adhesion, a metro on tires can climb slopes with gradients of up to 12% – 6% for steel), maximizing performance between stations (the tire’s maximum deceleration is 2.3m/s2 compared to 1.3 for steel). Ideal for maximizing speed over short distances), and minimizing infrastructure vibration (the physical characteristics of the tire reduce vibration transmission, which is an important consideration on a viaduct). The people who are responsible for equipping a project with flexibility are the Train Design Engineers. Specifically, the Train Design Engineers are responsible for anticipating and orchestrating the rolling stock’s architecture and are always aligned by the bids managers’ solicited upstream of the projects and the passenger capacities and rules of maintenance and operation specified by the customer. A digital mock-up representing all the train components take shape. It is regularly reviewed by the Train Design Engineers using 3D technology. This approach allows them to make design choices directly and discuss them with the project team and panel experts, including moderators of the skills networks, focused on comfort, ergonomics, or structures. When the train goes into production, the Train Design Engineers stand by the manufacturers to deal with any eventual constraints linked to manufacturing.