Manufacturing and testing
A lean manufacturing process – essentially minimising wastage – has been implemented and cutting-edge technologies – many of them ‘firsts’ in the global rail industry – have been applied.
More than R350 million worth of specialised equipment has been installed.
There are eight stages of production, the last culminating in extensive testing:
- Long profiles preparation
- Sub-assembly manufacture
In the first two stages, parts are manufactured to supply the car body shell assembly lines.
- Car body shell assembly
In this stage, four major sub-assemblies – frames, sidewalls, roofs and ends – are assembled as cars.
Here, cars and motor units are fitted with electrical wiring and equipment, piping, floors, doors, windows, interior linings, seating, branding etc, and are then mounted on bogies that incorporate the axles, wheels and braking system.
- Static testing
- Water testing
- Dynamic testing
- Final inspection and dispatch
In these final stages, each separate car and motor unit is extensively tested statically and coupled as six-car trains. Each train is then tested both statically and dynamically, the latter on Gibela’s own, 1.2 kilometre on-site test track, and then put through a final inspection before dispatch to the customer, PRASA.