Friday, August 30, 2013

Motion Control momentum in Russia

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Amsted Rail and Russian freight car builder United Wagon Co. have entered into a joint venture to introduce heavy-haul freight rail rolling stock components into the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) freight rail market, which includes Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Under the agreement, UWC will receive full intellectual property rights to Amsted Rail’s 18-9836 Motion Control truck for railcars operating on the 1,520mm (five-foot) broad-gauge rail of Russia and other CIS countries. Amsted Rail engineers developed a 25-metric-ton-per axle version of the Motion Control truck for this purpose, and will continue a direct licensing relationship with its existing Russian partners, while UWC will have the authority to issue new licenses to produce Motion Control trucks for other Russian and CIS manufacturers of railway rolling stock. Amsted Rail and UWC also agreed to establish a joint venture for designing and manufacturing new freight car components.

Amsted Rail will continue to provide local engineering and field service support for the Motion Control truck.

“This partnership is a major first step in accelerating the adoption of the next generation 25-metric-ton-per-axle freight railcar technologies in Russia,” said Amsted Rail Managing Director CIS Marcus Montenecourt. “The synergies that UWC and Amsted Rail together bring, along with its many global partners, will provide a strong platform for the adoption of many new innovative freight railcar technologies.”

“We could not be more excited about this new partnership with UWC,” said Amsted Rail President John Wories. “Our companies share the same goals and objectives to bring the next generation freight rolling stock technology to Russia and the CIS.”

“The agreement between our companies will contribute to the development of heavy-haul railway transportation and will play a major factor in enhancing the railway network capacity,” said UWC CEO Roman Savushkin.

UWC operates Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant, described as “one of the largest and most advanced newly introduced transport manufacturing facilities in Europe, at the cutting edge of European industrial technology.”
Launched in early 2012, it aims to achieve full capacity in 2014.

Tikhvin says it “has adopted some of the most advanced global technologies. Its manufacturing equipment, including automated lines and industrial robots, has been provided by some of the leading international industrial design firms from over 40 countries, such as Danobat of Spain and Germany’s Eisenmann, KUKA Systems, Heinrich Wagner Sinto, and Siemens-VAI. Similar equipment designed by these firms has been successfully operating at Volkswagеn Group, General Motors, Daimler, BMW, Ford Motor Company, and Airbus S.A.S.”

Tikhvin has an integrated in-house foundry and car assembly plant. Most components are produced onsite, with use of automation lines and robotic technologies. The plant operates an Integrated Factory Control System, which is based on the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) and was designed in the cooperation with the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE).

Tikhvin manufactures four types of freight cars based on designs developed by Starfire Engineering & Technologies of Lawrence, Kan. “A crucial element of our product is the Barber S-2-R truck with a 25-ton axle load,” the company says. “Railcars coming out of Tikhvin are faster, have greater lift capacity, strength, and lifespan, reduced maintenance costs and stock levels, and lower energy and material consumption.”