In the News: Protecting Trains Down in Africa


Railways Africa recently featured SVI Engineering in a story about that company’s unique effort to add armored protection to trains in Mozambique.

Following a series of armed attacks, SVI, a mechanical engineering company, was tasked with designing, manufacturing, and fitting armored protection for more than 100 locomotives. That presented the company with some interesting design challenges:

  1. Hidden Protection

    The kits created to protect the locomotives couldn’t stand out—all while still meeting a long list of design requirements. According to the article:

    The kits are designed in such a way that the locomotive appears as standard as possible from both the inside and out, including opening windows. The glass is supplied by American Glass Products (AGP) and incorporates all the features of the standard glass, including heating elements. The primary focus was on armoring the driver’s compartment, but there is scope for other parts of the locomotives to be protected.

    The SVI team designed the armor for maximum ballistic coverage and longevity. At the same time, the protection couldn’t interfere with the locomotives operating systems (windscreen wipers/demisting elements within the glass, etc.) and of course it still had to be as attractive as possible. Again, all without making the train look like it had any protection at all.

  2. No Late Trains!


    A crew can install a locomotive armor of steel and glass within one day, saving critical expensive downtime to the operation of the units. Source: SVI Engineering

    Keep in mind that trains that aren’t running are trains that are losing money. So SVI needed to also think about how to install the new armor without holding up schedules. In fact, they aimed to complete installation, usually within 24 hours, for every locomotive.

    That meant they needed to work out a simplified process for both applying the armor and replacing it when needed.

    The relative simplicity of installation means that any component that needs replacing can be quickly flown to where it needs to be and installed quickly, even in the field far from dedicated workshop facilities. Source: SVI Engineering.

  3. Making Quick Work of Design

And like every single other engineering shop, the company had to produce the work fast. Fortunately, by using the right design engineering software —including Creo and Creo Elements—the article says SVI met these challenges and was able to provide full, lifecycle engineering design services for the locomotive company quickly:

 The initial concept from detail design, to prototyping and implementation, was accelerated in the shortest period by controlling costs, reducing risk and speeding up the time to market.

Learn more about SVI and how they met these challenges.  Read the entire article here. 

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