• News

Supply Side: Amsted Rail, PowerRail, ZEBOX

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Microsoft has recognized Amsted Rail for its successful use HoloLens 2 mixed-reality technology to support a customer during the pandemic.

Microsoft has recognized Amsted Rail for its successful use HoloLens 2 mixed-reality technology to support a customer during the pandemic.

Amsted Rail has earned Microsoft’s Use-Case of the Year recognition for manufacturing. Also, PowerRail is moving its aftermarket locomotive parts business to Exeter, Pa.; and seven U.S. transportation and logistics companies, including BNSF and the Port of Virginia, have partnered with ZEBOX to help support startups.

Microsoft has recognized Amsted Rail for its successful use of HoloLens 2 mixed-reality technology. “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of Amsted Rail’s customers was confronted with an issue that could not be resolved locally, therefore halting assembly,” explained Amsted, which provides undercarriage and end-of-car freight and passenger railcar components. “Under normal circumstances, a service engineer would travel to provide on-site customer service. With international borders shut down and health and safety concerns, Amsted Rail shipped a HoloLens 2 kit to its customer instead. Engineers, service technicians and other specialists from around the Amsted Rail globe collaborated and remotely guided their customer, ultimately solving the complex problem in a timely manner.”

“Our customer was able to learn and interact with information in a completely new way, all while working outside in the snow from a mobile hot spot,” Amsted Rail Chief Innovation Officer Mike McDonnell said. “The use of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 technology enabled us to get our customer’s assembly up and running in a timely manner while reducing travel expenses and health and safety risks of our employees and customers.”

After nearly 16 years of operation in Duryea, Pa., PowerRail will be moving to a new facility in Exeter, Pa., in the next several months. At 200,000 square feet, the new location is more than double the size of PowerRail’s existing corporate offices and distribution center, and offers more warehouse space. It will house the company’s corporate offices and distribution center, as well as the PowerRail Industries and Avoca Rail Products manufacturing facilities.

The facility, which PowerRail purchased, features LED lighting, a high-efficient HVAC system, energy efficient electrical systems for equipment and machinery, and a new powder coating system.

PowerRail expects to hire additional machinists; welders; and customer service, accounting and logistics employees to work there, according to Executive Vice President of Operations and Finance Kevin Wright.

“When I first started this company 19 years ago, we were simply a distributor,” PowerRail CEO and Board Chairman Paul Foster said. “Over the years, our business model has changed, and now we are much more than that. Today, we are manufacturing and remanufacturing parts and components, and we’re distributing them globally. This new facility will allow us to continue to grow and provide our customers, both domestic and international, with the quality and service they have come to expect from PowerRail.”

Established in 2003, PowerRail offers a range of new and rebuilt rail-related parts and components, including bearings and journal boxes, electrical rotating parts, engine components, compressors, pumps, and motors, from various manufacturing facilities across the U.S. The company also offers locomotive rebuilds, overhauls and mobile maintenance at its locomotive shop. PowerRail has locations in Europe and Australia as well.

ZEBOX America Vice President Charley Dehoney

ZEBOX—dubbed an “international accelerator and innovation hub for the supply chain, logistics and Industry 4.0 spaces”—has formed strategic partnerships with BNSF, Cargomatic, EDRAY, Ingram Industries, project44, Port of Virginia, and TRAC Intermodal.

ZEBOX’s aim: to connect startups and entrepreneurs with global industry leaders. Through the new partnerships, “we’re establishing ZEBOX America as the premier space for high-impact innovation in the U.S. logistics, transportation, and supply chain sectors,” said Charley Dehoney, Vice President of ZEBOX America, based in Arlington, Va. “Our corporate partners will get access to game-changing new technologies and processes, and our entrepreneurs and founders will gain vital expertise, funding opportunities, and the ability to rapidly scale in the U.S. and globally.”

Tags: , , , , , ,