UGL Unipart - case study

  • Operations and maintenance
  • Upgrades and overhauls
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UGL Unipart is a joint venture established in December 2011 between UGL (Australia) and Unipart Rail (UK). UGL Unipart provides heavy maintenance and supply chain services for over 1,050 passenger cars in Sydney’s metropolitan passenger rail fleet.

Consistently setting standards in local-international collaboration, UGL’s partnership with Unipart Rail delivers whole of life asset solutions to support highly reliable passenger car fleets. The partnership draws upon UGL’s asset management and maintenance capability and intimate knowledge of Sydney’s metropolitan passenger rail fleet, and Unipart Rail’s expertise in inventory, purchasing and logistics management. Our maintenance services, supply chain and value engineering initiatives are designed to increase safety, reliability and availability of our client’s rail fleet.

As a market leader in the provision of rolling stock services in Australia, UGL Unipart provides a complete turnkey solution from wheelset re-profile, including bearing re-qualification to wheelsets and supply of new wheels, axles, and requalified bearings from our centre of wheelset excellence in Auburn, New South Wales in Australia.

We leverage our experience as Asset Managers, our expertise and customer knowledge to provide:

  • tailored strategies
  • supply chain operations that deliver a complete range of procurement, purchasing, multi-mode logistics, and warehousing services, and 
  • integrated planning and intrinsic in-house engineering services to support our customers.

Our solutions provide:

Certainty: heavy maintenance, projects, out of course work and component maintenance, bogie change out, wheel re-profiling and wheelset overhaul for passenger cars, freight wagons and locomotives.

Relationship centricity: UGL Unipart is committed to aligning our service provision to meet our customers’ goals and requirements.

Value for money solutions: utilising our experience and working closely with our customers to understand their requirements and goals in delivering tailored, value add solutions. 

Lifecycle procurement provision: full lifecycle procurement, from planning and forecasting of demand to provision and end-of-life support. This includes obsolescence management and inventory buy back, ensuring availability of parts and materials for customer requirements and helping minimise costs of inventory management and stock holding.

Strategically located distribution centre: at our centralised distribution centre in Auburn, NSW we have the necessary facilities to store all parts, rotables and spare pools, providing optimised lead times for delivery.

An assurance of quality: UGL Unipart is committed to safety, quality and the environment. Project achievements at a glance


XPT Component Change Out 

The challenge

Deliver programmed maintenance and Component Change Out across the XPT fleet. 

The solution

UGL Unipart and Sydney Trains developed reliability-centred maintenance scope of work. UGL Unipart was awarded the project work to deliver maintenance requirements for Level 3 Component Change Out and overhaul work, scheduled on a 5-year cycle. The project scope on the entire fleet, comprised of 19 power cars and 60 trailers. The CCO and reliability scope involves the removal and replacement of major and minor rotables, testing and commissioning. Additionally, it involves end-customer experience issues such as seating, lighting, internal painting and the air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Key outcomes and results

All cars were delivered on time and within budget. The project now delivers cars 100% to the schedule and has reduced post-delivery quality issues. 


OSCar Brake Disc Design Upgrade

The challenge

The OSCar fleet has good wheel life of 8 years but can experience poor brake disc life <4 years. The non-split disc design requires the wheel to be dismounted from the axle, with 50% failing to achieve the necessary tonnage when being pushed back on. The cast steel material is considered an important factor in the short wear life of the discs. The friction pair is also proven to be susceptible to metal pick-up on the brake pads that can lead to rapid disc wear.

The solution

UGL Unipart has run investigations to improve the current disc design to a split disc design in cast iron delivering benefits that:

  • allow disc replacement without removing the wheel from the axle
  • extend the life of OSCAR bake discs
  • provides logistical advantages by disc commonality

Key outcomes and results

  • design and FEA reviewed in collaboration with Sydney Trains Engineering
  • risk assessment, FMECA performed
  • first article inspection completed
  • organised crush-loading (70 tonnes of water bottles to install on OSCAR set)
  • tare and crush-loaded set for brake performance testing
  • progress and status
  • H30 set currently on trial
  • data collection to verify disc adequacy to the OSCAR application


Tangara Fleet Refresh

UGL Unipart provided state-of-the-art passenger amenity upgrades to 446 cars to ensure the Sydney travelling public enjoy an enhanced travel experience. The work was delivered six months ahead of schedule, extended the fleet life up to 20 years and 15% under budget.

Critical to the project success:

  • supply chain efficiencies with procurement of materials at the best possible price and timeliness of supply
  • planning and labour efficiencies

Project scope included:

  • cleaning and painting whole cars (inside and out)
  • refurbishing seat frames and installing new cushions
  • modifying vestibule weathershield design and location
  • replacing all internal window glass and installing anti scratch film
  • removing and replacing floor/ stair coverings
  • removing and replacing hand rails with DDA compliant handrails, and installing new end saloon ceiling handrails with grab hangers
  • modifying inter car doors
  • removing and replacing internal light and diffuser covers
  • replacing all decals and lettering


Tangara Air Conditioning Rebirth

The challenge

40% of the Tangara fleet’s 900 air conditioning (AC) units were being removed from service each year for servicing, with many parts either obsolete or expensive. 

Air conditioning regeneration capability

UGL Unipart, in partnership with Knorr-Bremse, introduced a new capability to the UGL Unipart site at Auburn, New South Wales, to deliver HVAC systems to their original specifications and fine tune them for optimal performance and efficiency.

This delivered benefits including:

  • lower cost and up to 30% saving when comparing regeneration versus new purchase
  • fleet reliability was increased, and obsolescence was eliminated
  • less time out of service, with mean time between overhaul (MTBO) going from 4.5 to 8 years, allowing AC overhaul schedules to coincide with car body CCO
  • Maintenance cost savings for the expected life of the Tangara Fleet
  • obsolescence addressed, and a 10-year support of system introduced
  • faster turnaround in getting assets back in service quickly
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