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1. (WO2017220449) METHOD OF ASSEMBLING A WINDOW PANEL TO A SIDE WALL STRUCTURE OF A RAIL VEHICLE BODY
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METHOD OF ASSEMBLING A WINDOW PANEL TO A SIDE WALL STRUCTURE OF A

RAIL VEHICLE BODY

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a method of assembling one or more window panels to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] In the past, it has proved challenging to consistently mount side wall panels to the side wall structure of a rail vehicle body. The dimensional tolerances of the fixation elements results in high dispersions in the positioning of each window panel, and require time-consuming adjustments or readjustment of each panel with respect to its neighbours until a final satisfactory result is obtained for the whole side wall.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The invention aims to provide an improved method of assembling window panels to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body, which saves times and achieves an overall better final product.

[0004] According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of assembling a window panel to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body, comprising:

- prepositioning the window panel into a window opening of the side wall structure;

- inserting a location pin into a location hole of the window panel and a location hole of the side wall structure so that the location hole of the window panel is aligned with a reference axis of the location hole of the side wall structure;

- inserting an anti-rotation pin into an anti-rotation slot of the window panel and an anti-rotation hole of the side wall structure so as to prevent a rotation of the window panel relative to the side wall

structure about the reference axis of the location hole of the side wall structure;

- fixing the window panel to the side wall structure; and

- removing the location pin and anti-rotation pin.

[0005] The location pin and anti-rotation pin, which are not part of the fixing elements for permanently fixing the window panel to the side wall structure, maintain the position of the window panel relative to the window opening while the window panel is being fixed, such that a precise positioning of the window panel is obtained.

[0006] The location pin and anti-rotation pin are preferably separate elements. Alternatively, they can be part of a common jig.

[0007] According to a preferred embodiment, the location pin, the location hole of the window panel and the location hole of the side wall structure are circular in cross-section and have such dimensions as to allow only one degree of freedom of rotation of the window panel about the reference axis of the location hole of the side wall structure and one degree of freedom of translation of the window panel parallel to the reference axis of the location hole of the side wall structure. Preferably, the anti-rotation slot extends in a radial direction relative to a reference axis of the location hole of the window panel.

[0008] The window panel can be fixed to the side wall structure in a horizontal position. Alternatively, and according to a preferred embodiment, the method is carried out on the side wall structure in an upright position. The location hole of the side wall structure is preferably underneath a lower edge of the window opening and the anti-rotation hole of the side wall structure is above an upper edge of the window opening.

[0009] Advantageously, prepositioning the window panel includes:

- positioning a lower edge profile of the window panel into a channel of the side wall structure; and

- pivoting the window panel about an pivot axis defined by the channel of the side wall structure until an upper edge of the window panel contacts the side wall structure.

[0010] The channel of the side wall structure, which is preferably located below a lower edge of the window panel opening, provides a hinge for pivoting the window panel. Hence a substantial part of the weight of the window panel is supported by the side wall structure during the prepositioning step.

[0011] fixing the window panel to the side wall structure may include screwing, bolting, riveting or gluing the window panel to the side wall structure.

[0012] The window panel may already be provided with a window glass. Alternatively, and according to a preferred embodiment, the method further comprises:

- prepositioning a window glass panel into a window opening of side wall structure, the window glass panel comprising a frame and one or more glass panes fitted in the frame;

- inserting a location pin into a location hole of a jig and the location hole of the side wall structure so that the location hole of the jig and the location hole of the side wall structure are aligned;

- inserting an anti-rotation pin into an anti-rotation hole of the jig and the anti-rotation hole of the side wall structure so as to prevent rotation of the jig relative to the side wall structure about the reference axis of the location pin;

- inserting a further location pin into a further location hole of the jig and into a location hole of the frame of the window glass panel;

inserting a further anti-rotation pin into a further anti-rotation hole of the jig and into a anti-rotation slot of the frame of the window glass panel;

fixing the window glass panel to the side wall structure; and

- removing the further anti-rotation pin, the further location pin, the anti- rotation pin and location pin.

[0013] Obviously, the method can be applied to a series of window panels. In particular, and according to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of assembling window panels to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body, comprising the following steps:

- assembling a first window panel into a first window opening of the side wall structure according to the method described hereinbefore, and

- assembling at least a second window panel into a second window opening of the side wall structure according to the method described hereinbefore, wherein the second window opening is adjacent to the first window opening and a side edge of the second window panel overlaps an adjacent side edge of the first window panel.

[0014] The first window opening is preferably located in an intermediate mid position between the two ends of the side wall structure or close to the mid position. This means that if the side wall has an uneven number 2N+1 of window openings numbered 1 to 2N+1 from one end to the other of the side wall, the first window opening will preferably be number N+l. If, on the other hand, the side wall has an even number 2N of window opening numbered 1 to 2N from one end to the other of the side wall, the first window opening will be preferably number N or N+l. Preferably, the method further comprises assembling at least a third window panel into a third window opening of the side wall structure according to the method described hereinbefore, wherein the third window opening is adjacent to the first window opening, the first window opening is between the second and third window openings and a side edge of the third window panel overlaps an adjacent side edge of the first window panel.

[0015] According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of assembling a side wall of a rail vehicle body, which comprises assembling a

window panel to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body as described hereinbefore or assembling window panels to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body as described hereinbefore, wherein the side wall structure comprises at least a first structural part comprising the location hole of the side wall structure, an a further structural part comprising the anti-rotation hole of the side wall structure, the side wall structure, the method comprising a preliminary step of assembling the side wall structure, comprising using a welding jig inserted in the location hole and the anti-rotation hole of the side wall structure to position the further structural part with respect to the first structural part. In other words, the location hole and anti-rotation hole of the side wall structure are used as a datum for positioning the further structural parts of the side wall structure.

[0016] The assembly of the window panels to the side wall structure can be carried out in a preassembled car body structure comprising the side wall structure as well as the roof structure and floor structure of the car body. Alternatively, and according to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of assembling a vehicle, which comprises:

- assembling a window panel to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body or assembling window panels to a side wall structure of a rail vehicle body or assembling a side wall of a rail vehicle body as described hereinbefore; and

- subsequently assembling the side wall structure to a floor structure and a roof structure of the rail vehicle body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0017] Other advantages and features of the invention will then become more clearly apparent from the following description of a specific embodiment of the invention given as non-restrictive examples only and represented in the accompanying drawings in which:

- Figure 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of a rail vehicle;

- Figure 2 illustrates a side wall structure of the rail vehicle of figure 1; - Figure 3 illustrates a detail A of figure 2;

- Figure 4 illustrates the installation of a window glass in a window opening of the side wall structure of figure 2;

- Figure 5 illustrates a window panel;

- Figure 6 illustrates a first step of assembly of the window panel of

Figure 5 into a window opening of the side wall structure of Figure 2;

- Figure 7 illustrates a detail C of Figure 6;

- Figure 8 illustrates a subsequent step of fixing the window panel of Figure 5 to the side wall structure of Figure 2;

- Figure 9 illustrates a detail D of Figure 8;

- Figure 10 illustrates the side wall at the end of the assembly process.

[0018] Corresponding reference numerals refer to the same or corresponding parts in each of the figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] With reference to figure 1, a multiple-unit rail vehicle 10 comprises rail vehicle bodies 12, 14 each provided with access doors 16 and window sections 17, 18, 20, 21, 22 between two of the side doors 16 or between a side door 16 and an end of the side wall vehicle body 12, 14. An intermediate window section 20 of the side wall with three adjacent window panels 24, 26, 28 in an assembled state is illustrated in figure 10.

[0020] The naked side wall structure 30 underneath the window panels 24, 26, 28 is illustrated in figure 2. This structure 30 made of aluminium profiles comprises a bodyside lower panel 32, a body side upper panel 34 and pillars 36 welded to the body side lower panel 32 and body side upper panel 34 to form a unitary aluminium structure with three window openings 38, 40, 42.

[0021] The bodyside lower panel 32 has three location holes 44, 46, 48, one underneath each window opening 38, 40, 42, and each located in a vertical transverse plane of symmetry PI, P2, P3 of the associated window opening 38, 40, 42. Similarly, the bodyside upper panel 34 has three anti-rotation holes 50, 52, 54 illustrated in figure 3, located in a longitudinal slot 56 one above each window opening 38, 40, 42 in the vertical transverse plane of symmetry PI, P2, P3 of the associated window opening 38, 40, 42.

[0022] As will be explained below, these location holes 44, 46, 48 and anti-rotation holes 50, 52, 54 are used for positioning and assembling the window glasses and window panels. Moreover, the location hole 46 and the anti-rotation hole 52 of the central window opening are used as datum for assembling other interior subassemblies such as dado panels and seats. The positions of the two datum holes 46, 52 relative to one another must be very precise. Hence, the bodyside upper panel 34, bodyside lower panel 32 and pillars 36 are welded together using a welding jig, which has reference pins that enter the two datum holes 46, 52 and define their positions relative to one another within very low tolerances.

[0023] The assembly of a window glass panel 56 into the window opening 40 of the side wall structure 30 is illustrated in figure 4. The window glass panel 56, which comprises a frame 58 and one or more glass panes 60 fitted in the frame 58, is prepositioned into the window opening 40 of the side wall structure 30. The frame 58 of the window glass panel 56 has an upper vertical slot and a lower central hole. A positioning jig 62 is used to precisely position the window glass panel 56 with respect to the location hole 46 and anti-rotation hole 52 of the associated window opening 40. The jig 62 has a location hole and an anti-rotation slot, at a distance corresponding to the distance between the location hole 46 and anti-rotation hole 52 of the window opening 40 of the side wall structure 30, as well as an upper frame hole and a lower frame hole. A location pin 64 is inserted into the location hole of the jig and the location hole 46 of the side wall structure so that the two holes are aligned. An anti-rotation pin 66 is inserted into the anti-rotation slot of the jig 62 and the anti-rotation hole 52 of the side wall structure 30 so as to prevent rotation of the jig 62 relative to the side wall structure 30 about the reference axis of the location pin 64. A further location pin 68 is inserted into the lower frame hole of the jig 62 and lower central hole of the frame 58 of the window glass panel 56. A further anti-rotation pin 70 is inserted into the upper frame slot of the jig 62 and upper central slot of the frame 58 of the window glass panel 56. The window glass panel 56, which is now precisely positioned into the window opening 40, can then be fixed to the side wall structure 30 using fixings 72 such as T-shaped bolts. At the end of the process, the pins 70, 68, 66, 64 and jig 62 are removed.

[0024] The three window panels 24, 26, 28 for covering the inner side of the side wall structure are substantially similar. Each of them comprises a panel element 74 made of sheet metal, e.g. hot formed aluminium, with reinforcement brackets at the back to increase its stiffness. As illustrated in figure 5, the panel element 74 defines a window glass opening 76 for the glass panes 60 of the window glass panel 56. The panel element 74 has a protruding lower edge 78 provided with a location hole 82 and an upper edge provided with an elongated anti-rotation slot 84 and several fixation slots 86. The location hole 82 and anti-rotation slot 84 are located in the middle of the panel element 74 one above the other, i.e. they are intersected by a median vertical transverse plane of symmetry of the window panel 24, 26, 28. The anti-rotation slot 84 is an oblong hole and has its length oriented in the direction of the plane of symmetry and of the location hole 82.

[0025] The window panel 26 is assembled to the side wall structure 30 as illustrated in figures 6 to 9. The lower edge 78 of the window panel 26 is first inserted into an open channel 80 of the side wall structure 30, which extends below the window opening 40 parallel to a lower edge of the window opening 40, as illustrated in figure 6 and 7. The window panel 26 is then pivoted about a longitudinal pivot axis defined by the channel 80 of the side wall structure 30 until the upper edge of the window panel contacts the upper edge of the window opening 40, as shown in figure 8.

[0026] A location pin is inserted into the location hole 82 of the window panel 26 and the corresponding location hole 46 of the side wall structure 30 so that the location hole 82 of the window panel is aligned with a reference axis of the location hole 46 of the side wall structure 30. The location hole 82 of the window panel 26

and the location hole 46 of the side wall structure 30 are circular in cross-section and have such dimensions as to allow only one degree of freedom of rotation of the window panel 26 about the reference axis of the location hole 46 of the side wall structure 30 and one degree of freedom of translation of the window panel 26 parallel to the reference axis of the location hole 46 of the side wall structure 30.

[0027] An anti-rotation pin is inserted into the anti-rotation slot 84 of the window panel 30 and the anti-rotation hole 52 of the side wall structure 30 so as to prevent a rotation of the window panel 26 relative to the side wall structure 30 about the reference axis of the location hole 46 of the side wall structure 30. This ensures a precise positioning of the window panel 26 relative to the side wall structure 30. It is then possible to fix the window panel 26 to the side wall structure 30 using fixings 88 such as screws or bolts inserted in the fixation slots 56. Once the window panel 26 is fixed, the location pin and anti-rotation pin are removed.

[0028] Once the central window panel 26 has been fixed to the side wall structure 30, the second and third window panels 24, 28 on each side of the central window panel 26 can be assembled by the same method. Each of the second and third window panels 24, 28 has a side edge that overlaps a corresponding side edge of the first window panel 26.

[0029] Preferably the window glass panels 56 and window panels 24, 26, 28 are assembled to the side wall structure 30 before the side wall structure is fixed to the floor structure and roof structure of the vehicle body 12, 14.