English collection of articles from Innotéka magazine appearing monthly in Hungary.

English collection of articles from Innotéka magazine appearing monthly in Hungary.

September 10, 2012

Áron Bencze

Cluster for the Revival of the Hungarian Railways

“We wish to put the internationally acclaimed knowledge of our companies regarding the railway and vehicle sectors to good use in reinvigorating domestic railway vehicle manufacturing”, said Sándor Surányi, chargé d’affaires of the First Hungarian Society for Railway Vehicle Manufacturing and managing director of GanzPlan Hungária Ltd. when summarising the credo of the Society.

 Established by 14 founding firms and recruiting four more since, the members of the Society employ over 2,000 people in Hungary with annual sales above € 360 M. And, which is more important: they claim considerable experience in manufacturing railway vehicles. The overarching goal of the cluster is to maximize the local value within the program aimed at renewing carriage rolling stock. Mr. Surányi also underlined that the First Hungarian Society for Railway Vehicle Manufacturing will also focus its activities on suppor­ting the full spectrum of education in railway vehicle manufacturing.

Members of the First Hungarian Society of Railway Vehicle Manufacturers
GanzPlan Hungária Ltd. (gph.hu) • CG Electric Systems Hungary Co. (cgelectric.hu) • GTKB (Ganz Transelektro Közlekedési Beren­de­zé­seket Gyártó) Ltd. (gtkb.hu) • MÁV FKG Felépítmény­karbantartó és Gépjavító Ltd. (fkg.hu) • BKV Vasúti Járműjavító és Szolgáltató Ltd. (vjsz.hu) • Széchenyi István University Department of Automotive and Railway Engineering (uni.sze.hu/kezdolap) • eCon Engineering Ltd. (econengineering.com) • Evopro Ltd. (evopro.hu) • Hungarotrain Vasúti Járműszerviz Mérnöki Ltd. (hungarotrain.hu) • Metal 99 Ltd. (metal99.hu) • Plastform Ltd. (plastform.co.hu) • Vertesz Elektronikai Ltd. (vertesz.hu) • Olimpik Ltd. (olimpik.hu) • GanzCoop Ltd. • Közlekedés Ltd. (kozlekedes.hu) • SSH Gépgyártó Ltd.

The formation of the cluster is a clear signal of the existence of several firms in Hungary, which are not Ganz successors and yet have solid references in global railway vehicle manufacturing.
The chargé d’affaires defined vehicles with low axle load (below 15 tons) using domestic railway branches as a niche market. We could follow suit of the Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia and design our own vehicles for Hungarian branches. Finally, Mr. Surányi pointed out that the New Széchenyi Plan has identified transport development and reliance on local content in railway developments as high priorities. “The intellectual equity exists”, he said, “all we need to do is utilise it”.

eCon Engineering Ltd.

Formed in 2002, eCon Engineering Ltd. seeks to act as a provider of reliable and flexible engineering services to partners in the mechanical engineering business. Recently, the firm has delivered outstanding and complex services to vehicle development in a variety of areas relating to innovation research, education and engineering consultancy.
The current headcount of the group is 40, and 90% holds degrees in engineering.
Since it started, eCon has distributed market leading finite element systems in Hungary and the region. At present, the firm distributes and supports ANSYS, a general finite element system, MOLDEX3D, a plastic molding simulation system, and C3P, a general metal casting software program in Hungary and the region.

Finite element stress analysis of a tram’s srtuctures

In addition, 17 associates perform finite element calculations on partner sites and at the group’s offices in Budapest, Győr and also in Germany. About 60% of the work is automotive, 20% relates to railways and the remainder covers developments for aircraft development, medical technology and energy management. Besides simple modelling projects, the firm accepts orders for stress tests, endurance tests, lifetime estimations, dynamics analyses, crash simulations, fluid flow calculations, analyses of composite structures, electromagnetic tests, optimization and coupled field analyses. The output is integrated directly or indirectly into the products of industry leading OEM companies, such as Siemens, Audi, BMW, Linde, Daimler and VW. The company performs customized finite element analyses with high-end industrial software, including both implicit and explicit numerical computations.
The in-house mechanical engineering capacity plans, projects and commissions assembly stations, automat­ic assembly lines and robotic cells for Hungarian automotive suppliers.
Operations are certified under the quality assurance systems AS9100 and ISO 9001.
The staff of eCon Engineering Ltd. participates in internal and external training on an ongoing basis to be able to offer state-of-the-art solutions to customer driven engineering jobs and challenges.

GanzPlan Hungária Ltd. (gph.hu)

GanzPlan Hungária Ltd. was set up in 1990 to engage in the design of railway vehicles, general mechanical design, as well as the provision of engineering consul­tancy and trading. Their core business involves the procurement of mechanical and electric parts for a variety of general and railway uses – either related to their own engineering work, or fulfilling orders. In addition to initial purchasing, the company accepts repeat orders, too and acts as the fully-fledged Hungarian representative of manufacturers of products belonging to special systems.
Thanks to its capacity to accommodate to post-crisis circumstances, GanzPlan has orders on hand for significant volumes of engineering services, designing and trading from MÁV Co., Iparvasutak, GySEV Co., BKV Co., Bombardier MÁV Ltd., and Siemens Co. and for constructing and designing new vehicles for larger urban transport companies. Design activities incorporate controlling logics for electric high voltage and low voltage equipment, internal covers, and ergonomic design of vehicles.

BKV’s underground tunnel washing unit

Moreover, they are also active in dimensioning railway wagons and various steel structures, as well as in designing production and welding units. They have been using the DIN EN ISO 9001 quality management system since 20 February 2007.
In recent years, among others, GanzPlan Hungária Ltd. has reconstructed Austrian and Greek sleepers, has remotorised M40 locomotives and has rendered towing vehicle M44-306 suitable for remote radio control. In addition, they have drafted plans for lowering the floor of the central section of the TW6000 trams. The company designed the service vehicles for the metro lines of the M4 project, which stand ready at the Etele Square site to be used by units for repair jobs during overnight power-off, once the line is commissioned. All of the members of the company are private individuals, who wish to maintain and pass on the spirit and technical quality of former Ganz companies.


GTKB Ltd. – producer of vehicle devices! (gtkb.hu)

Based in Baja with 100 employees, GTKB (Ganz Transelektro Közlekedési Berendezéseket Gyártó) Ltd., a Ganz legacy operation, is fully owned by Hungarian partners and its core business covers the manufacturing of electric and electronic devices for fixed rail vehicles. Formerly known as the Baja Device Plant of Ganz Electric Works, the firm has spent 40 years in business, which – combined with the manufacturing culture, a wide range of production capabilities and the accumulated expertise – renders it a key player in railway vehicle manufacturing. The making of a variety of devices (such as relays, controllers, terminals, switches, valves, brake magnets, resistances, engine and carriage controllers, and current collectors) for railway engines and cars dates back to those early days.
Modern electronic technology took root in 2001 when an electronic assembly plant as well as a high voltage test room were completed and the plant became a production base of Ganz Transelektro Közlekedési Co.

Inverter made at Ganz in Baja

GTKB’s core business was the manufac­turing of urban fixed rail vehicles based on its proprietary electronic drive system. Electronic devices produced in Baja are at work in vehicles in Rome, Naples, Riga, Tallinn, Landskrona, Budapest and Debrecen. Surprisingly, it is hardly known that the Baja Ganz plant also produced and tested in its test facility in the years 2007–10 the devices (inverters, auxiliary operation, input box) for the electronic drive system of Alstom’s metro train sets delivered for Budapest. These capacities continue to exist in terms of both human resource and infrastructure.
Non-affiliated since 2007, the plant has several new developments designed to meet market demand (pneumatic current collectors for trolleybuses, vacuum breakers, heating equipment, earthing isolator switch, innovative main line current collector, etc.). The company maintains close contact with independent Ganz spin-off engineering firms to preserve and to upgrade the Ganz legacy in the framework of modern business models.

Hungarotrain Ltd. (hungarotrain.hu)

As members of the company, László Wieszt and László Lantos followed the intellectual heritage of former Ganz operations by establishing Hungarotrain Ltd. in 1992.
Owned fully by Hungarian partners, the company focuses on maintaining, repairing and developing vehicles for rail. It has also diversified into repairing medium and high performance engines and transformers, as well as, in response to recent demand, in designing electronics and control units for industrial application.
Our cooperation with MÁV is rooted deeply in the past and we repair vehicles under and outside the warranty period. We have also been subcontracted for the major overhaul of the above vehicles.
In addition to Hungary’s domestic railways, several leading foreign railway vehicle operations recognise us as reliable partners.

Commissioning a metro and training local operators in New Delhi
under a contract with Bombardier Transportation India

Predictable, careful and target oriented work is the key to our competitiveness and viability. Our secure financial base and pool of highly skilled human resources are guarantees for both our customers and subcontractors. Our company represents classic values as we are convinced that our long-term commitment to railway development means more than asserting economic interests immediately and directly.
Our company introduced the ISO 9001:2009 quality assurance system in 2008, which we have maintained ever since.
We believe that our long-term viability rests upon our partners’ appreciation, our company’s continuous development and the outstanding quality of the delivered work: the three pillars of our business policy.
It is in that spirit that we joined the First Hungarian Society for Railway Vehicle Manufacturing in 2010 as a founding member in an attempt to revive Hungary’s traditionally acclaimed railway vehicle manufacturing.

Metal 99 Ltd.

Metal 99 Ltd. was set up (30 km south of Budapest) in Dabas on 1 October 1991.
Its core business involves designing and making door and window systems for vehicles used in community transport, particularly fix rail (suburban trains, metros, trams main line railways). Our process equipment can manufacture steel structures, do sheet work and machining jobs. Manufacturing windows for vehicles and doors for vehicles have become independent business units since 2000 and 2006, respectively.

Ejector door for railway application

Our key partners include large Hungarian transport operations (BKV, MÁV, MÁV Machinery, the transport companies of Szeged and Miskolc).
Thanks to its excellent, top quality products, Metal 99 Ltd. has achiev­­ed domestic, as well as international re­cognition.
Upgrading and training contribute to our continuous and dynamic development to the satisfaction of our present and future partners.
We take the opportunities offered by application tenders, which have helped us create state-of-the-art technical con­di­tions and infrastructure for modern manufacturing.
We have active foreign market relations with Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany and France.
On 1 June 2010, we became the official importer of Hanning & Kahl in Hungary. We also accept orders for repairing electric cars operated in Budapest and for supplying spares.
We give emphasis to developing Hun­garian industry, which also takes shape in our membership in the Hungarian Bus Cluster and the Hungarian Society for Railway Vehicle Manufacturing.

Plastform Ltd. (plastform.co.hu)

The main activity field of Plastform is targeting the mass transportation industry – railway coaches, autobuses and coaches, undergrounds, trams – by manufacturing reinforced plastic composite elements, especially flame retardant products with low smoke emission. Public transport becomes more and more important in our civilized life not only in Western Europe but in Eastern and Middle Europe as well.
Our most important applications are: interior and exterior elements (sidewall coverings, ceilings, rigid seats, etc.), and complete GRP railway WC-cabins for production and refurbishment of railway coaches, as well as exterior and interior systems for buses. Flame retardant laminates with low smoke density are the basic materials of all transportation parts. Our manufacturing technologies – vacuum infusion, RTM, LRTM, silicon bag infusion – are environmentally friendly, and in the meantime provide permanent good quality.

Generally, our activity consists of a supplying and background work for greater vehicle manufacturing and refurbishing companies. These products get to be exported, directly or indirectly, in an ever-increasing number. In the last 10-15 years, our company has become an essential GRP railway element manufacturer in Middle Europe. We have produced for the refurbishment project of the MÁV InterCity the complete GRP interior linings and the WC-cabins.
GRP elements for work machines, disabled cars and health care appliances are also in our portfolio and references. As our technologies are proper for several kinds of elements, where the characteristics of the composite material mean advantages, there is a great range of possibilities we are able to realize.•