Kimya on track with the railway industry

A major railway equipment

The challenges posed to Kimya


A major railway equipment supplier contacted Kimya to manufacture a plastic part. Dating back to 1982, it is assembled within a door opening mechanism:

  1. The challenge was to reproduce a part originally made of PVC based solely on a paper plan and 3D file without having any existing model to work with.
  2. The second issue was one of innovation – to create a 3D material with fire/smoke certification (EN45545 standard).


The challenges posed to Kimya


Kimya’s response



Kimya personnel developed a PEKK SC material meeting the fire/smoke certification requirements. They also subsequently developed an initial prototype to enable the equipment supplier to verify its ability to satisfy the intended use. Yannick Castel, Senior Business Development Manager at Kimya, explained this original project:


«This major railway equipment supplier supplier set us a real challenge. It was an opportunity for us to meet their needs by offering our high-performance PEKK material. In its semi-crystalline PEKK SC version, our filament was judged to be ideal for this real-life challenge. The success of this innovative material bodes well for the future, especially in the railway industry.

When producing in small runs, 3D printing offers significant flexibility and responsiveness. Designing a traditional mold requires longer development time and costs can only be written off by producing thousands of parts… In this particular case, once the parts had been printed at the Kimya Factory, they were then delivered after performing standard dimensional checks. The objective of our internal quality control process was to guarantee that the housing perfectly conformed with specifications. We even tested its practical effectiveness using real parts that the printed housings are required to protect.»


The challenges posed to Kimya


Focus on the Kimya Factory expertise exploited during this project


This “K-customer” is a concrete example of what the Kimya Factory is capable of offering thanks to its team of additive manufacturing experts and all the equipment and machines at their disposal. After analyzing the project specifications, experts at the Kimya Lab formulated a new material able to meet the fire/smoke certification constraints. Kimya Factory personnel were immediately able to conduct testing in real-life conditions based on a tangible application in order to create a prototype that met the customer’s requirements. Once the conformity of the parts had been validated by the equipment supplier, Kimya Factory was able to produce and deliver the parts to the customer for immediate use.


Our customers say it better than us…


F., Services Purchasing Manager, worked closely with Kimya on this project:


«We had already had an initial experience with metallic additive manufacturing, but not plastic. We also had an additional constraint relating to the fire/smoke certification (EN 45545). The personnel at Kimya were able to respond to the challenge. They perfectly understood our needs in both technical and quality terms.

The team was able to respond effectively by offering a 3D material able to meet our certification requirements. They then directly produced the part we were seeking to replace. We compared a number of technologies for producing this part in small runs. In this case, additive manufacturing proved to be the most logical and effective solution in terms of cost, technical performance and lead time. Assembly testing conducted by Kimya and the submission of an FAI quality file met all the quality process conformity requirements for the additive manufacturing parts to be accepted. Assembled within a unit, they were then delivered to the operational customer…

Only 3D printing was able to meet our demands with such efficiency!»


Find out more about the merits of 3D printing in the railway industry