Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has begun printing parts for subsystems of the TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines), ticket gates and other areas of the metro train system using advanced 3D printing technology.
"The 3D printing technology is advancing rapidly 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.
"This technology would enable the RTA to keep the Dubai metro assets in service longer while reducing the cost of parts and in turn pass this saving back to the customer. An example of this is when small parts are needed, normal practice dictates a local manufacturer would need to produce hundreds to justify his cost," Younes noted.
"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 this way means much lower costs as the team can produce items when required and on demand while reducing carbon emissions," he added.
While the RTA understands the importance and the benefits of 3D printing inside the workshop, further discussions are on to enhance the facility so as to print larger spares for other systems across the Dubai Metro in the future.
"Within a short span of time and considering that 3D printing technology is still relatively new, the RTA had made quick progress in understanding and accepting 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," Younes said in conclusion.