Case Study: Keeping the trains running

In 2002, a major USA-based manufacturer of diesel locomotives approached ADL Insulflex. for a solution to a problem with a terminal connection that was causing catastrophic failures in the field.

A heavy-grade heat-shrinkable sleeve was difficult to install, and occasional leaks or splits in the sleeve in the field had caused diesel engine explosions due to the high current. Locomotives had been lost and the reputation of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of diesel locomotives was on the line.

The problem became more complex as the unionized labour that installed the sleeves walked off the job, essentially shutting the plant down. An immediate solution had to be found.

ADL Insulflex called an emergency meeting. Solutions were brought forward by engineers, production workers, and our technical sales professionals. Ideas came from accounting, finance and customer service. Our president and vice president were personally involved in the project.

Using a team approach, ADL Insulflex designed a revolutionary terminal connection sleeve that did not require heat to shrink into place. Instead, the sleeve was elastic and stretched to fit in place. A proprietary coating was developed to coat the sleeve internally, thus meeting the health and safety demands of the union. And a liquid silicone mating surface was developed to ensure a positive leak-tight fit.

The time from problem introduction to final design, testing and development of the solution was less than 4 weeks.

The new custom fabricated sleeve reduced installation time by nearly 2200 hours per year. It solved the leak problem which caused the explosions, and is now in use on thousands of diesel electric locomotives around the world today.

The case study provided above is based on information believed to be correct. ADL Insulflex does not endorse or warranty any particular application and assumes no liability for the accuracy of such information. ADL Insulflex provides free samples and recommends adequate testing be completed prior to the use of any Insulflex® products.

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