17 July 2017

Eurailtest’s Partner Laboratory LEM, 20 years of test and measurement

It was in 1997 that the Test and Measurement Laboratory (LEM), a Eurailtest EIG partner laboratory for urban light rail systems in particular, first saw the light of day. Its original role was that of performing acceptance tests for the RATP procurement department. Since then, LEM has considerably developed its service portfolio, henceforth using its test and measurement skills in areas relating to infrastructure, rolling stock, equipment, buildings, staff and users. 80% of its test activities are performed in situ and the remaining 20% in the laboratory. At is base in Boissy-Saint-Léger (near Paris), LEM can boast a collection of 3,300 different measuring devices.

Its resources are spread across 3 complementary sections:

  • The mechanical section, which handles railway safety-related tests
  • The electrical section, which is responsible for measurements relating to the railway environment and rolling stock
  • The physico-chemical section, which is in charge of fire behaviour tests in accordance with French (NF F16-101) and European (EN 45-545) standards.

In its Eurailtest partner laboratory capacity, LEM also works for outside clients, not just for RATP. Through this cooperation, it is able to propose its services internationally, cases in point being its contribution the development of the 1st electrified urban transit line and validation of track insulation for the Cuenca tram system in Ecuador.

For LEM, it is important to plan ahead and anticipate emerging client needs. It is therefore constantly looking for new and innovative methods such as the use of connected objects for reliability tests on sensors and networks, automatic defect detection via image processing, acoustic maintenance aids and, for fire reaction tests, an innovative Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) approach.

For the laboratory, exemplarity, technical excellence, accountability, impartiality and confidentiality are all values on which its long-term future and independence will depend!