To ensure secure supplies of replacement parts and bring about a further reduction in maintenance downtimes, AAE AG, Europe’s leading specialist leasing company for standard freight railcars, is banking on the comprehensive expertise of Knorr-Bremse. Applying a pioneering concept, RailServices (the specialist service provider for the rail sector within the Knorr-Bremse Group) is to optimize supplies of remanu-factured valves to AAE.
AAE – Ahaus Alstätter Eisenbahn AG owns Europe’s largest private-sector fleet of standard freight cars. In addition to leasing, AAE offers extensive full-service concepts that include maintenance and repairs. Thanks to a European network of partner workshops, repairs and regular inspections of the fleet can always be handled as close as possible to the location where the cars are in use. Within the scope of a strategic partnership between the two companies, Knorr-Bremse has now been commissioned to remanufacture the required braking components – control, load-proportional and weighing valves – and supply them to the appropriate AAE partner workshops just in time for the planned overhauls.
“As we no longer have to stock these components at our central European warehouse, we can cut our inventories and the associated volume of tied-up capital,” says AAE CEO Mark Stevenson. According to Stevenson, the partnership with Knorr-Bremse offers two more significant advantages: “First, we get to offload logistics activities, because Knorr-Bremse is handling the storage and demand-led provision of replacement parts. This frees us up to concentrate on our core competency – developing, procuring and leasing innovative freight cars. And second, we can depend on the technical reliability and availability of the required products for many years to come.”
“We are delighted that a renowned company like AAE has chosen to rely on our services for such a long period,” says Rolf Härdi, Member of the Board of Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH. The service partnership reflected the innovative concept behind the RailServices program, Härdi continued. “The solution we are providing offers maximum flexibility through a modular valve remanufacturing concept that combines minimum throughput times for remanufacturing with Europe-wide supplies of these overhauled valves to the workshops. In conjunction with professional planning on the part of AAE, this means that the right valve will always be available in the right place at the right time, exactly as specified.” Through this logistical support for AAE’s partner workshops across Europe; Knorr-Bremse is helping to ensure maximum availability of the AAE fleet, based on de-mand-led production of remanufactured valves to the required individual specifications. The remanufacturing of the valves – originally supplied by Knorr-Bremse – is based on used components that are removed and returned to the company, and is governed by exactly the same industrial standards as the production of new parts at Knorr-Bremse.