Bespoke lifting equipment helps keep train manufacturer’s safety on track

9 February 2024

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Britlift has delivered a range of bespoke lifting equipment for CAF Rolling Stock UK, which produces trains for the UK market.

The equipment, which includes lifting lugs, adjustable lifting plates, clamps and machined lifting, is used daily for installing doors and windows as well as lifting body shells and entire cars.

The CAF facility runs two 25t cranes as well as smaller gantry cranes, and the bespoke equipment was required to help ensure that all lifting procedures were carried out as safely as possible.

Speaking at the time of the delivery, Ángel Martín Lucio, then process engineer – tools and fixtures designer at CAF, said: “The body shells alone weigh 8.0t while an entire car can weigh more than 40t. We take safety very seriously and recognise that if a lift goes wrong, it could be very dangerous. This is why we focus on using bespoke lifting equipment to optimise safety in our lifting operations.

“In some cases we had the drawings from equipment we already use in our other factories, so we just needed a UK company to manufacture and certify the equipment. In other cases we need a full service from design to certification. Also, with the legislation changing due to Brexit, we need to have the correct UK certification rather than CE, so we needed a UK specialist who could deliver this.

“We wanted a supplier who could deliver a comprehensive service from technical advice and drawings to manufacture, testing and certification,” he added.

“Working with Britlift [made] my job easier as they can provide all the services that we need from one company. They have been really good in terms of their engineering and technical support. They have the expertise and resources to meet our needs.”

The bodies, bogies and engines are manufactured at CAF facilities in Spain and France for assembly at a plant in Wales UK. Clients include Transport for Wales, which recently commissioned 180 new diesel trains from CAF.

Based in the UK, Britlift works with a global client base, providing an end-to-end lifting equipment engineering design service including calculations, design, manufacture, certification, and rig design. The firm’s mechanical and structural engineers will work with clients during the design phase.