The company and its needs
Faiveley Transport is a large French company with over a century of involvement in the production and supply of railway accessories, ranging from devices such as single-arm pantographs and sliding door systems to braking and air conditioning systems.
In December 2016, the company merged with the American company Wabtec, establishing one of the world’s largest multinationals in the railway engineering and plant engineering industries, with 27,000 employees in 30 countries and an annual revenue of around eight-billion dollars.
Since then, the Group’s Transit segment – which encompasses all activities related to passenger transport – has continued to operate under the name Faiveley Transport, offering maintenance services and producing a wide range of components and systems for the safety, reliability and efficiency of trains, trams and buses.
The Italian division of the group, Faiveley Transport Italy, based in Piossasco, Turin, specializes in the overhaul of braking systems and access points on carriages and locomotives (sliding doors, retractable steplines, etc) for very important rail customers in Italy and abroad.
Among its clients are Voghera, Verona, Vicenza and Torre del Greco, the most important Italian railway group, for which it carries out maintenance services at its nationwide workshops.
In order to make maintenance activities as efficient as possible, Faiveley Transport Italy works directly with customers at their workshops, creating special external construction sites where all overhaul services are provided.
Working inside your customer’s locations, however, can pose some interesting technical challenges, since you are essentially “guests at someone else’s home”. Operating on sites not within your control can mean being subject to stringent limitations regarding the use of space and safety protocols, as well as having reduced freedom when it comes to changing workspace layout, equipment and processes.
Safetykleen’s collaboration with Faiveley Transport Italy began in 2016 with the installation of parts cleaning services at the site in Piossasco. Once the value of the services provided became clear, Faiveley explained their need for further support, particularly at the construction site of their client, Vicenza. This was the first important step towards what would become a nationwide partnership that continues to this day.
The Safetykleen solution
Maintaining any machinery or system involves periodic disassembly of some or all of its parts so that they can be thoroughly cleaned, removing dirt that can cause damage and inefficiency, and providing an opportunity to inspect individual components for signs of wear-and-tear. For this reason, parts cleaning solutions are highly valued by maintenance departments in a whole range of industries.
Back in 2016, Faiveley Transport Italy did not use any machinery to clean the components of the braking and access systems, but relied upon the manual cleaning carried out by its employees with cloths, solvents and a good dose of elbow grease. Hand washing every single piece was a long and tedious cleaning process with non-standardized results that did not fully satisfy the company. The cleaning of the parts and mechanisms with the most complex geometries, moreover, was rather difficult with the former process.
When Safetykleen recommended the installation of a large fully automated Aquakleen Automatic parts washer that used a non-hazardous, non-flammable and VOC-free water-based detergent, and that came as just one part of a service approach that meant no stocks were stored on-site and that waste disposal was included as standard, Faiveley Transport Italy was eager to change its approach.