KM Tools has selected WDS to supply the carbody manufacturing facility for its prestigious project for the UK’s leading train manufacturer, Bombardier Transportation. WDS has provided component parts for the jigs and fixtures deployed in Bombardier’s carbody manufacturing facility by KM Tools. KM Tools made the selection based on product durability, ease of selection and service.
Bombardier’s site in Derby is the UK’s only train manufacturing facility, designing and building AVENTRA electric multiple unit trains for UK operators. Their carbody facility manufactures key components; 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.
“Bombardier is very important for KM Tools because of the scale of the project,” says Adrian Degg, Engineering Director at KM Tools Ltd. “Manufacturing equipment for specialist production lines such as Derby means that we need high 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’ve 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’s 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.
“We’ve always found that WDS component perform impeccably in terms of reliability,” says Adrian. “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 24 hours.
“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,” Adrian notes.
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. Adrian explains that all the information required to make a rapid selection is available on WDS’ website, including 3D drawings which can be integrated into KM Tools’ equipment design.
“When you’re designing an item such as a jig, downloading and inserting the 3D model of the component makes the process far easier and saves valuable time.”
A crucial aspect of procurement, Adrian also explains that a reason for choosing WDS is their approach to clear pricing, which makes calculating project costs a faster process, especially where multiple units of a component are required.
“Pricing on the website is clear and easy to calculate at outset, which means you don’t have to spend time phoning the supplier to find out the best price. Not all suppliers present their costs online 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 for Bombardier’s Litchurch Lane plant.