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Schuler supplies production line for railroad wheels
Ramkrishna Titagarh Rail Wheels Ltd. has ordered a turnkey production line for railroad wheels from Schuler (Photo: Schuler)
A new Indian client has placed an order with ANDRITZ Metals for a comprehensive railroad wheel production line, including a wheel roller, two forging presses, automation, dies, as well as a rotary hearth furnace and a heat treatment facility.
Ramkrishna Titagarh Rail Wheels Ltd. is a collaboration between one of India's primary forged parts suppliers and the country's largest private-sector manufacturer of railway wagons. India, the world's most populous nation, plans to invest over $700 billion in its railway network in the coming years. This sizable order falls in the upper double-digit million euro range.
"Schuler has already proven its expertise in the manufacture of railroad wheels with numerous production lines installed on the Asian continent," says Naresh Jalan, managing director of Ramkrishna Forgings. "It was important for us to select a supplier whose equipment stands for high quality."
"Forged railroad wheels are best at handling the extreme stresses of heavy acceleration and deceleration," explains Christian Palm, Director Hydraulic Presses at Schuler. "We are pleased to make a small contribution to taking rail transportation in India to the next level with this production line."
The process of forming rail wheels involves four steps before reaching the machining phase. Initially, a 10,000-ton hydraulic forging press shapes a disc-like preform from a heated billet in two stages. Subsequently, it attains its final diameter in a wheel roller. Finally, the rolled-out wheel is calibrated in a second 5,000-ton press, where the hub is axially offset and pierced.
ANDRITZ Metals Germany, one of Europe's largest furnace manufacturers, collaborates with Schuler to construct facilities for manufacturing railroad wheels and axles. Upstream from the press line, the ANDRITZ rotary hearth furnace ensures consistent heating of the billets to 1,250 °C. Following the forging process, the wheels undergo normalization in the ANDRITZ high-temperature furnace at 980 °C.
Afterward, only the rim of the railroad wheels undergoes hardening and tempering in the ANDRITZ low-temperature furnace at 480 °C. The entire reheating and heat treatment process guarantees fully automated production, maintaining a consistent quality adhering to Indian railroad standards.
Ramkrishna Forgings Ltd., founded in 1981, is listed on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Bombay Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of 110 billion rupees (1.2 billion euros). As one of India's leading forging technology companies, it provides highly engineered, mission-critical automotive and non-automotive components, offering integrated solutions. With an installed capacity of 210,700 tons, the company employs approximately 5,300 individuals across its seven locations in India.
Titagarh Rail Systems Limited (TRSL) plays a significant role in both passenger and freight rail systems, manufacturing railway wagons, components, passenger coaches, and metro coaches. As India's largest private sector manufacturer of railway wagons, TRSL has secured significant orders from Indian Railways, as well as orders for the manufacturing and supply of metro trains for projects in Pune and Surat.
TRSL is also involved in the production of full aluminum body metro coaches for Pune, which are designed in partnership with their Italian venture. With a strong presence in both the freight and passenger rolling stock sectors, Titagarh supports India's Atma Nirbhar and Make in India initiatives. In addition to its facility in Uttarpara, West Bengal, TRSL maintains engineering infrastructure in Titagarh, West Bengal, and Bharatpur, Rajasthan.