• Barry Michael Aldridge

Solving the 4 C’s Challenge!

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Loughborough-based Flotec, a leading supplier of reliable hose and engineering solutions to rail, has launched a series of innovative modifications for DMU rolling stock.


Trains can experience substantial engine issues due to a combination of steep inclines and build-up of contaminants and debris in the system.


The result is a ‘return to idle’ (RTI) situation which can catastrophically slow the train down.


This problem results in delays and/or cancellations which frequently causes disruption throughout the rail network.


Passengers are far too often affected by poor service, journey disruption and cost (ripple effect cost implications being financial loss to both the passenger and train operator).


To address this issue, Flotec has designed an innovative variable pitch fan and temperature management application which is effective in keeping DMU rolling stock engines suitably cool and filtered so not to result in RTI scenarios.

The modification is composed of a series of parts:

• Hydrostatic Hose Applications

• Reservoir Maintenance

• Advanced Fan Control

• Variable Displacement Pump (VDP) Integration

• Variable Pitch Fan (VPF) Innovation and Installation

Flotec’s innovation has delivered a solution to the rail industry 4 C’s challenge:

  1. Cost (Reduction)

  2. Carbon (Reduction)

  3. (Increased) Capacity

  4. (Improved) Customer (Satisfaction)

When Flotec entered the rail market, it realised that it had to develop a business model and product innovation that provided preventative longer-term solutions rather than temporary remedies so to genuinely solve the 4 C’s Challenge.

Flotec approached a carefully chosen selection of train fleet operators to present the idea and demonstrate the tangible benefits where collaboration commenced to design, develop, manufacture, install and test the engine modification in ‘real life’ track environments before being implemented on the public and commercial rail network.

Flotec developed a ‘push’ marketing strategy where the company was able to innovate and provide a genuine solution to a historical problem.

The Flotec guarantee is an elimination of RTI DMU train engine problems so that end-users benefit from increased capacity and improved service.


Flotec has been instrumental in ensuring that people and goods get to their places of destination with minimal disruption.


Considering the UK's recent acknowledgement of 'keeping key workers moving', the Flotec innovation has been a critical success factor in ensuring that trains arrive on-time, operate efficiently and get key workers to their places of employment as rapidly as possible.


Understandably, improving train engine performance provides substantial environmental and carbon benefits.


The Flotec innovation has tangibly addressed the 4 C's Challenge whilst giving train operators a far more reliable fleet.


Flotec’s modification is suitable for TOCs, FOCs as well as train leasing companies.


The Flotec variable pitch fan and engine coolant solution is the first of its kind in the UK.


A Value-Added Service Provision: On-Site System Upgrade.