Under the project name MF 19, the Paris Metro is getting a new generation of rail vehicles for the lines operated with steel wheels. The contract between the operating companies and the now "married" consortium partners Alstom and Bombardier Transportation provides for the delivery of 44 trains worth 530 million euros to be put into service between 2024 and 2026 - with the option of a further 410 trains. Alstom will essentially supply engines, drive chains, on-board electronics and IT security systems, while the former Bombardier site in Crespin, France, will be responsible for the design and production of car bodies, bogies, air conditioning and interior components.
Through the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation, the French Alstom Group expands its global footprint and becomes a world leader in mobility solutions, present in 70 countries, employing around 75,000 people and generating pro forma combined revenues of around €15.7 billion. At the same time, the acquisition expands Alstom's portfolio of innovative rail technology products and solutions. The portfolio ranges from light and regional trains to high-speed trains and also includes new strategic products such as people movers and monorails. With a fleet of 150,000 rail vehicles, the company has the world's largest installed base, which is also the foundation for expanding its leadership in the service business. In the signaling segment, it now ranks second in terms of sales.
Both sides need construction documents
Alstom and Bombardier have a long history of joint consortium projects. "Due to the often very large project volume, such projects are nothing unusual in rail vehicle construction," says Edouard Hundemer, who is responsible for the OpenPDM project and end-to-end integration of MF19 engineering tools at former BT in the Bombardier Information Systems division. "However, a special feature of the MF 19 project is that both partners must be able to build the complete trains. They therefore need all the information and documentation required for assembly, even if not everyone manufactures all the subsystems." In this way, the clients want to ensure faster delivery of the new metro generation.
Collaboration is a major challenge in the consortium project, and the merger of the two companies did not automatically resolve it because the IT landscapes have not yet been consolidated. "Basically, each partner wants to use its existing IT systems and methods for design and engineering, if possible, to avoid the cost of acquiring new systems and retraining its engineers," says Hundemer. "At the same time, however, both partners must ensure the PLM paradigm of single source of truth when collaborating."
To simplify collaboration, a separate development environment was set up for the MF 19 project at Bombardier's Crespin site, which in a sense replicates the system and process landscape at Alstom. This makes it easier for the developers of the two consortium partners to synchronize their engineering data, which is particularly helpful in the early development phase with its large number of changes. For the new colleagues at Bombardier, however, it means that they must subsequently integrate the data into their own PLM landscape in order to maintain collaboration with suppliers and to be able to supply the downstream processes in manufacturing and assembly with construction documents.
The PLM landscape at the former Bombardier sites is relatively uniform, with two or three main systems. As the central PLM system, the "Rolling Stock" division uses the Siemens Teamcenter Enterprise (TCE) software, which is gradually being replaced by Teamcenter UA. Enovia 3Dcom, a CAD-related data management system, is also used to manage the CAD models. The mechanical assemblies are normally designed with the CAD system Catia V5 from Dassault Systèmes, which is also used at Alstom.
OpenPDM controls the data import
The data import into TCE or Enovia 3Dcom is controlled via PROSTEP's PLM integration platform OpenPDM, which the new group division already used for the joint development of the ICE4 with Siemens. "We had good experience with the software during the ICX project and thus knew that it would work well on our side," says Hundemer. "In addition, we could be sure that we met the EN standards in terms of verification requirements."