Alstom demonstrates commitment to local manufacturing
Alstom is building on its commitment to delivering trains to Victoria that include a significant percentage of local content by investing $8m to upgrade and expand its Regional Manufacturing Centre for Rolling Stock in Ballarat.
Alstom’s Regional Manufacturing Centre for Rolling Stock at Ballarat, Victoria
By Jennifer Perry
Since 1999, Alstom’s Regional Manufacturing Centre for Rolling Stock has delivered 67 X’Trapolis train sets (more than 400 carriages) on time and on budget, and has now commenced manufacturing an additional seven trains commissioned by the Victorian Government. Once delivered, there will be 74 X’Trapolis trains operating on Melbourne’s network.
President of Alstom Australia and New Zealand Chris Raine told Rail Express that the company’s expansion plans for Ballarat will not only permit the delivery of high quality trains, but will do so with elevated levels of local content.
“Alstom is committed to delivering trains that include a significant percentage of local content,” Raine said.
“Alstom has been transferring manufacturing to Victoria as far back as the 1980's, with the localisation of bogie manufacturing for Comeng trains. We believe strongly in Australian manufacturing, and through ongoing improvement of our facilities are able to deliver any level of local content that is desired by our customers.”
To ensure continuing support for local production, Alstom has continued investing in its capabilities, including manufacturing, value adding and servicing, Raine explained.
“The ratio of local content varies from contract to contract, to ensure that we find the approach which best suits each customer,” he said.
Alstom is also growing its operations to deliver high technology engineering and manufacturing jobs, including project management and engineering across rolling stock, signalling, service engineering, optimised maintenance and full train overhaul.
The company says the use of advanced global technology, combined with local innovation, will deliver a more productive Regional Manufacturing Centre, and benchmark the skills of the local workforce to international standards.
“Alstom encourages global knowledge transfer, and we have programs which allow our Australian employees to boost their expertise through exposure to worldwide best practice,” Raine said.
The company is looking to partner with local universities to pursue research and development opportunities, and provide valuable practical experience for local engineering students.
“The trains being built at our Ballarat facilities require hundreds of thousands of hours of manufacturing work requiring a wide range of skills levels. The expansion and upgrade of the Regional Manufacturing Centre emphasises the use of higher technology works and added value work,” Raine said.
“This progressive approach will allow us to partner with local universities to pursue research and development opportunities, and offer local engineering students practical experience to boost their skills.”
Current employees at the Regional Manufacturing Centre will also benefit from the cutting edge technology, which will help to benchmark their skills to international standards.
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