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Bluco’s Validation Center Delivers Proof of Concept

Do what you’ve always done, and you’ll get what you always got. Although the relationship between the manufacturing process and final part quality is clear, any change that affects production feels risky. What looks good on paper might fall short in practice.

Posted: March 30, 2022

multiple large sub assemblies, floor, wall, roof, marriage fixture.

For manufacturers working with Bluco® toward a modular workholding solution, uncertainty isn’t an issue. Companies like Wabtec, a locomotive manufacturer, can use Bluco’s Validation Center to test and perfect modular solutions off-line, without putting production at risk. 

A Promising Modular Process 

Wabtec asked Bluco to design a modular fixturing solution for a train car. The goal was to improve efficiency and eliminate quality inconsistencies. The solution Bluco proposed would literally turn their process inside out. 

Wabtec’s old process was to put up the outside walls and work in. Because Bluco’s modular tooling provides its own dimensional point of reference, they’d instead be able to start at the center and work out. A potential game-changer, but proving the concept would require a dry run.

Validation Center Delivers Proof

Bluco built the fixture in their Validation Center (VC), an industrial space equipped for such projects. Wabtec brought their team and materials, and worked on the car alongside Bluco’s engineers. 

Putting the walls up last meant more room to work, which allowed for better welds. Working outward reduced the effects of shrinkage on final fit. As a result, their team of three finished in four days — six people and two weeks were the norm before.

Successful Implementation

After proving the solution would work, Bluco installed it at Wabtec’s facility and provided training. Implementation ramped up quickly and the system delivered the desired results — without the unwanted risk.

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