Creating an animal repeller for the Indian Railways using 3D Printing Technology
Case Study on:
3D FOREGOER helping the Indian Railways in resolving issues related to their high tension power lines using 3D printing technology
Product: Monkey/Animal/Bird Repeller
Often monkeys/animals/birds scope out the highest point for nesting or to perch on for their safety. They end up climbing high tension power line poles and live wires in the process, which leads to major problems such as short circuits & breakage of wires.
These short circuits or even breakage of wires lead to disruption of train services.
The Indian Railways have constantly faced such problems. In order to address the issue, the vendors along with South Central Railways reached out to 3D Foregoer for design solutions.
The Analysis and Solution
The vendors of South Central Indian Railways along with the 3D Foregoer visited numerous track sites which were followed up with brainstorming sessions.
The team at 3D Foregoer decided to use the following concepts for building solutions:
- NPS(New Product Development),
- QFD(Quality functional deployment and
- Design FMEA(Failure modes and effects analysis).
Due to the complexity of the location, different models were tried as part of the piloting exercise and; Considering all research factors, the team came to the following conclusion.
"A circular part (with a two-part assembly) will be fixed to the insulator portion of the high tension wire. Given the live wire cannot be disassembled or cut to facilitate the installation of the repeller, a disc with the two parts will be snap-fitted so that they interlock. In addition to this, sharp tongs/prickers provided on the disc will restrict monkeys/animals from crossing over, using the live wire from pole side"
3D Printing Technology
3D printing or additive manufacturing is the process of making 3-Dimensional solid objects by using a digital CAD file (.stl). It is an additive manufacturing process which builds solid objects layer by layer through depositions of material. It is used by the modern industry as it has many advantages over using the conventional approach for building complex shapes.
CAD Design & CFD Analysis for Monkey/Bird/Animal Repeller:
Upon finalising the concept, the team developed the model for concept with CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software and CFD
(Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations.
An analysis was done to ascertain if the repeller would be able to withstand the wind pressure created by a train passing the electricity pole at a speed of 100-120 km per hour.
3D Printing of monkey/Bird/Animal Repeller:
After design and analysis, the next step was the actual printing.
The 3D Foregoer Team used FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) Technology to obtain the best results. The product was developed, which was followed by post- printing processes and then sent for testing.
The product proved to be the ideal solution for the animals versus the high tension wires problem faced by the South Central Indian Railways.
Using the conventional methods, the Animal & Bird Repeller product development would have taken upwards of 30-60 days. Even just for prototyping using plastic parts.
Using 3D printing reduced that time frame to just 3 - 4 days. This was a huge advantage for the vendors as product development delays would create uncertainty in timelines, increasing the cost of the product given the investment in mould, the labour, assembly and production.
3D printing can also accommodate design iterations smoothly with optimised costs.
In summary, 3D printing provides a wide variety of cost- effective product development solutions that reduce errors and time. Getting the product design to market-ready happens quicker while also reducing the cost of, the life cycle of the product itself.
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