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Deutsche Bahn awards certificate of maturity for IFE entrance system

August 01, 2017

The Knorr-Bremse division, IFE, has received the highest level of the DB certificate of maturity for the E4 entrance system after two years of operation in a double-decker Deutsche Bahn train. IFE is the first Deutsche Bahn supplier to receive this certificate.

  • Dr Matthias Müller, Head of Innovation Management Vehicle Procurement at DB AG, (right) awards the maturity certificate to Oliver Schmidt, Chairman of the Managing Directors’ Board at Knorr-Bremse GmbH Österreich, © IFE

  • DB double-decker vehicle with IFE E4 entrance system, © IFE

In autumn of 2013, Deutsch Bahn and IFE agreed to pursue new paths when introducing new products onto the market. Products should only be established on the market if they have actually reached maturity and all teething problems have been resolved.

"The vehicle operator, Deutsche Bahn, and the system supplier, IFE, met with a common goal according to this exact principle," Dr Peter Radina, CEO of Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, reminisced about the first meetings. "Both parties wanted to ensure that the new IFE entrance system was to be comprehensively tested and validated before being put into use in large quantities," said Radina.

Deutsche Bahn developed the usage maturity model for exactly this case, with which the fitness for purpose of new developments is classified into nine stages and then documented. Unpleasant surprises when using new components or systems in vehicles should be avoided, by them being subjected to a comprehensive field test even before procurement.

Testing series maturity in passenger operation

At that time, IFE was working on the development of the Generation 4 entrance system, which set new standards in terms of simple installation, high reliability and reduced maintenance costs. The system is mainly used in regional train vehicles and can be used modularly for opening widths from 1200 to 2000 mm. All components of the drive system have been developed and validated with a focus on maximum service life.

At the location in Kematen / Ybbs, IFE has an extremely comprehensive in-house testing and validation centre, including a large-capacity climatic chamber, acoustic chamber and hydro pulse system. The trial in passenger operation cannot be carried out in this way, however, but it would be an important supplement to finalise the suitability for use and validation of a new development and therefore also have the series maturity confirmed by an external partner.

As part of the 3rd IFE technology conference in November 2013 in Brno, DB and IFE agreed on their common intention to test the E4 door system according to the new Deutsche Bahn maturity model in passenger service. Since mid-2014, the specialist departments of both organisations have been working on the practical implementation.

Installing the E4 door system

In July 2015, the conversion of a double-decker vehicle of the DB Regio Elbe-Saale train was carried out and the IFE entrance system was intensively monitored in daily operation from this point on. In the two-year trial period, a total of 11 detailed inspections took place with the joint agreement of both partners, during which 56 parameters were collected and then evaluated.

Aside from small adaptations in the technical documentation, no technical problems were determined. "Testing was carried out without any problems – in two years of operation, not one single door fault was documented," confirmed Carsten Kretzschmar, specialist engineer for entrance systems and interior decoration at Deutsche Bahn.

Positive conclusion to the trial

The two-year test phase came to a positive conclusion at the start of summer 2017. Deutsche Bahn and IFE would both like to keep the entrance system in the vehicle and continue to monitor it. Intensive monitoring will be reduced, however, and Deutsche Bahn will increasingly take over the supervision of the door system.

At this year's 4th IFE technology conference in Brno, the Deutsche Bahn has awarded IFE with the certificate of fitness for purpose – the maturity certificate – for the E4 door system. With this, DB confirms the achievement of stage 9, the highest degree of maturity. This certificate documents that the component has been tested, approved and is of high quality and the E4 entrance system is a faultless product that is mature for series production.

 

Do you have any Questions?

We would be happy to help.

Knorr-Bremse GmbH
Division IFE
33.a Straße 1
A-3331 Kematen/Ybbs
E-mail: pr@ife-doors.com

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Dr Matthias Müller, Head of Innovation Management Vehicle Procurement at DB AG, (right) awards the maturity certificate to Oliver Schmidt, Chairman of the Managing Directors’ Board at Knorr-Bremse GmbH Österreich, © IFE 


DB double-decker vehicle with IFE E4 entrance system, © IFE