Crisscrossed rail tracks at a junction

3M helps deliver Safety and Productivity Solutions to our customers

  • Welding sparks

    3M Bombardier case study

    Keeping the UK’s trains running is a huge task. There are over 22,000 trains in motion every day, with almost 1.7 billion passenger journeys each year. And things are set to get even more challenging as use of the rail network for both passengers and freight is rising fast; Network Rail predicts another 400 million rail journeys annually by 2020, while freight demand is expected to grow by 30 per cent over the next decade.1

    The job of maintaining and servicing the UK’s trains is undertaken by a network of specialised engineering firms. Of these, Bombardier is perhaps one of the best known suppliers, being famous as a manufacturer of aircraft – including the iconic Learjet – as well as a range of high speed, light rail, metro, commuter and regional trains. These run on many different Intercity, metro and underground lines, including London’s new Elizabeth line, where the latest energy efficient, lightweight and modular design AVENTRA™ trains will be in service.

Safety focus

  • Safety focus
    • A particular area of focus has been to reduce hand-arm vibration, as many of the maintenance and repair staff regularly use hand grinding, drilling, sanding, polishing and spraying tools. “We set the maximum exposure limit to hand‑arm vibration at just a quarter of the limit recommended by the Health and Safety Executive,” explains Colin McCann. “Although this protects our staff it also means that we need to be as productive as possible when using this type of equipment. That’s where 3M is able to step in.”
    • 3M has worked closely with Bombardier to help the company strike an effective balance between a safe working environment and optimum levels of productivity. In particular, the company supplies its latest disc sanders and 3M™ Cubitron™ II Bonded Abrasive Grinding and Cut-off Wheels.
    • The precision shaped grain ceramic mineral found in 3M™ Cubitron™ II abrasives allows each task to be completed faster, thereby improving productivity while reducing the time that each grinder is being used. Steve Rose, Corrosion Support Manager, points out, “The Cubitron II product offers us a number of important advantages, as it cuts quicker and lasts longer for the tasks that we have to carry out. Typically, these will be removing areas of corrosion on steel bodied vehicles. This means that my team can get the job done faster, with minimal exposure to vibration, and then move on to the next stage of each refurbishment.”

    Learn how to maximise safety in your workplace, click here.