InnoTrans 2008: Outstanding achievements in research and development

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
- The latest findings and unusual projects
- OptoInspect 3D inspects train wheelsets
- measuring system for detecting contact wire wear
- technology for designing components
- LEILA ready to go into production
- model of a test bed at the fair

In addition to well-known manufacturers, global leaders and service providers from the rail industry attending InnoTrans, from 23 to 26 September 2008 important research institutions will also be at the fair. They will have information on the latest R&D findings, as well as on unusual and interesting projects. The International Trade Fair for Transport Technology provides these institutions with an ideal platform for showcasing their products and services in the presence of trade visitors from around the world, as well as their R&D highlights.

An innovative project and product portfolio

The Fraunhofer Institute is the leading organisation sponsoring facilities for applied research in Europe. The Fraunhofer Network "Verkehr FVV" concentrates expert knowledge on the principal research subject, i.e. transport, from several institutes. The aim is for research in the transport field to develop suitable technical and concept-based solutions and to put them into practice. At InnoTrans 2008 six Fraunhofer Institutes forming part of the network will be showcasing individual R&D achievements. They concern planning and optimising resources, applying software and optimising freight transport processes by rail, maintenance according to wear, and measuring systems for rail infrastructures and rail vehicles. Visitors to the Fraunhofer combined stand in Hall 4.1 will not only witness the presentation of an innovative range of project and products. They can also try out and experience exhibits themselves.

Quality parameters for train wheelsets

For example, the Fraunhofer Institute for Operations and Automation in Factories (IFF) will be introducing OptoInspect 3D, a technology for collecting all quality parameters relating to the geometry of train wheelsets. The measuring machine is applied to a wheelset and sets it in motion, thereby collecting data on all its geometric features. The geometric measuring systems of the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Systems (IPM) determine contact wire wear and positioning as well as clearance gauges, and detect the locations of masts. The systems can be customised to suit network requirements. Not only are they very fast and accurate, but very robust and reliable as well. This technology, which the Fraunhofer Institute for Operational Security and System Reliability (LBF) was instrumental in developing, focuses mainly on perfecting the design of safety-relevant components. Lightweight construction also plays a role. Critical parts of a railway network can be accurately identified, and it is possible to verify numeric models and methods.

Lightweight, low-noise bogies for goods wagons

At InnoTrans 2008 the Technical University of Berlin will be presenting two specialist themes at the combined Berlin-Brandenburg stand in Hall 3.2, "Rail vehicles" and "Constructing machine systems". In cooperation with the department specialising in rail vehicles at the Technical University Berlin and together with industrial partners, JOSEF MEYER, a Swiss company specialising in goods wagons, has developed LEILA. The development of this lightweight and low-noise bogie for goods wagons brings modern technology into play with freight transport systems. It also saves on energy, time and materials. Following the introduction of a prototype, successful testing and measurement runs, JOSEF MEYER is now presenting its market-ready product with modular equipment options at InnoTrans 2008.

The Rail Vehicle department also concerns itself with low-noise rails. In order to drastically reduce reflected airborne noise from vehicles and rails, scientists have built an elastomer layer into a conventional rail section. In a field test they were able to confirm a ten decibel drop in acoustic pressure, a previously unattained value. A follow-up project plans to examine operational capability and production efficiency levels.

Inspecting brake systems

One of the areas of research in which the Technical University of Berlin's department dealing with the construction of machine systems specialises is industrial brakes, and vehicle brakes and clutches, as put to use on rail vehicles. Test beds are used to assist practical research and the development of brakes and components. These test beds reflect the actual conditions of use. A test bed deploying a 260 kilowatt flywheel can examine the actual brake systems of rail vehicles. Other testing facilities also investigate the behaviour of friction linings. At InnoTrans 2008 members of this department will be bringing a model of a test bed along and will inform international trade visitors of their research findings and projects.

About InnoTrans

InnoTrans 2008 will be taking place from 23 to 26 September on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds in Berlin. Already some 1,800 exhibitors have registered to attend, which is higher than the 2006 figure. The display area in the halls and on the open air grounds exceeds 150,000 square metres, which is 50 per cent more than at InnoTrans 2006. A further 3,500 metres of rail track will be added to the existing track site before the trade fair begins. All these developments are enabling InnoTrans to continue to consolidate its position as the world's leading business platform for the industry. Approximately 70,000 exhibitors from some 100 countries are expected to attend InnoTrans 2008. InnoTrans is organised by Messe Berlin GmbH. More details are available at
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