The Maintenance Department of RTA’s Rail Agency has rolled out the utilization of 3D printing technology on the Dubai Metro. The team has been able to research and start to print parts for the subsystems of the TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines), ticket gates and other metro assets across the network.
‘The 3D printing technology is advancing at a rapid pace across the world and RTA is strongly inclined to be a forerunner in this 3D generation by highlighting the world’s best practices adopted in the rail industry. Future scope includes developments that are required to manage obsolescence, which is a huge burden of any railway worldwide,’ said AbdulMohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.
‘The 3D printing technology would enable RTA to keep the Dubai metro assets in service longer while driving down the cost of parts and in turn passing this saving back to the customer. An example of this is that when small parts are needed, normal practice dictates a local manufacturer would need to produce hundreds to justify his cost,’ added Younes.
‘Using 3D technology stops this waste so the team at the Rashidiya Depot can now produce items made in hundreds singularly. Using 3D technology in a way that means much lower costs as the team can produce items when required and on demand while reducing carbon emissions.’
While RTA realizes the importance and can see the benefits of the 3D printing inside the workshop, further discussion is now taking place to enhance the facility with a future goal to print larger spares for other systems across the Dubai Metro.
‘Within a short span of time and considering that 3D printing technology is still relatively new, RTA had made quick progress to understand and accept this technology for use while implementing it to save costs, improve quality and ensure continuing availability of the Dubai Metro Rail Systems for its customers for many years to come,’ concluded Younes.