An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Francesco Lombardo, Business Development Manager, Lucchini RS, Italy



Mr. Francesco Lombardo

Chairman of the Organizing Committee, The International Wheelset Congress


INTERVIEW With Mr. Francesco Lombardo

Rail Analysis India: The International Wheelset Congress, initiated by Lucchini in the 1960s, has become one of the most influential international conferences in the railway sector. What do you think makes it such an attractive event ?

Mr. Francesco Lombardo: I believe people in the railway sector are very interested in the latest developments related to wheelsets, because they are a very critical component for vehicle safety, and the conference can offer them the perspectives of producers and users of such components.

“For the first time, the next edition will deal not only with wheels and axles, but also with all those components that make the wheelset an integrated system to be considered in a global way during the design, production, testing, and maintenance phases of any rail project.”

Rail Analysis India: Lucchini RS Group is among the global leaders in the design and production of wheelsets. What other sectors will be represented at the Congress?

Mr. Francesco Lombardo: Representatives from a broad range of business and industry attend the Congress. This means both manufacturers and assemblers as well those who are using and maintaining components like brake discs, bearings, housings, sensors, gearboxes and suspension systems will be there. We also welcome attendees from universities and research centers to share their experience with international wheel and axle experts.

Rail Analysis India: As the Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the 2019 Congress, can you talk to us about the themes that are the focus of this edition?

Mr. Francesco Lombardo: The primary theme is the wheelset as an integrated system. From the manufacturing and production side, we’ll be looking at the integrated design of wheelset components, materials development, manufacturing and assembly processes, as well as issues related to the qualification and certification of components and subsystems. From the maintenance, management, and operation perspective the focus will be on the condition-based maintenance approach, inspections, automation and digitalization, along with service and performance optimization solutions.

Rail Analysis India: The first edition of the Congress was held in Italy, since then, it has travelled to countries as disparate as Japan, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the U.S. The highly successful 2016 edition was in Chengdu, China. Tell us about the 2019 edition.

Mr. Francesco Lombardo: We’re proud to say that the “XIX International Wheelset Congress will be held in Italy from June 16th through June 20th of 2019”

In a stunningly beautiful venue: the historical building complex owned by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on San Giorgio Maggiore Island in Venice.

Rail Analysis India: The Congress is held every three years in different countries around the world, what are you most looking forward to at the 2019 Congress in Venice?

Mr. Francesco Lombardo: Representatives from across the industry have been encouraged to submit papers describing work related to a variety of industry sectors so I’m looking forward to hearing about the latest industry developments and solutions in the discussion sessions and round tables as well as the opportunity to network and dialogue with other industry innovators and experts from around the world.