© DB AG / Faruk Hosseini

That's how we keep electric motors running

Nothing works without our electric motors. To ensure that the motors of our electric locomotives can still be used for a long time to come, the Dessau maintenance depot has introduced a technical process to extend their service life for the long term. The principle is simple: when the insulation system of an electric motor has suffered substantial damage, the coils of the motor, which are firmly encapsulated in impregnating resins, must be replaced.

At temperatures above 400°C, the resin compounds on the coils are thermally dissolved in a special hot-air oven. New coils are then inserted into the electric motor and impregnated. The motor is now ready for operation in the train again. 

Thanks to this thermal process, the motors do not have to be replaced. This is good for the environment, as it means we are saving raw materials.

In the Dessau maintenance depot over 200 electric motors are successfully reconditioned each year, saving over 430 metric tons of steel and recycling over 50 metric tons of copper. Since there is no need to acquire new raw materials for the motors, the reconditioning saves around as much CO2 as is emitted each year by 100 people living in Germany.

Old electric motors before reconditioning
Old electric motors before reconditioning
The resin compounds on the coils are thermally dissolved in a special hot-air oven
The resin compounds on the coils are thermally dissolved in a special hot-air oven
After dissolving the old windings, they are removed manually
After dissolving the old windings, they are removed manually
The almost finished motor housing is painted by hand
The almost finished motor housing is painted by hand