On November 16, 2017, Vyksa Steel Works (AO VSW, a United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) subsidiary) of Vyksa (Nizhniy Novgorod Region) hosted a site committee meeting of the Railway Equipment Manufacturers’ Association Non-Profit Partnership (NP OPZT) regarding freight rolling stock, coordination of manufacturers in the metal sector, and safety and regulatory support. The event’s key topics included improved quality, reliability, and safety of train wheels used on freight rolling stock for the 1520-mm gage.
The event was chaired by Valentin Gapanovich, NP OPZT President and Senior Advisor to OAO RZD CEO. The meeting was attended by AO OMK President Vladimir Markin, VSW Managing Director Alexander Barykov and over thirty representatives of freight car manufacturers, repair and maintenance facilities, rolling stock operators, specialists from OAO RZD, research and educational institutions, and other organizations, such as OAO RZD, AO VSW, EVRAZ-NTMK, AO VNIIZT, TsNIIchermet Institute of High-Quality Steels, ROSNANO as well as NP OPZT international partners.
Discussions included the logistics of wheel tracking while in operation and plans to create a nationwide automated wheelset database to track and monitor the condition of the wheelsets and wheelset components in circulation. Meeting attendees also discussed changing the parameters used to certify wheels for operation and the application of alternative marking types.
Attendees of the site meeting also went on a tour of the Vyksa Steel Works facilities: Europe's largest wheel rolling facility and one of the world's most advanced plate mills (Wide Plate Mill-5000).
“It was very important to discuss and have the most recent requirements of the owners of the railway car pool in the 1520-mm area presented to us firsthand. We got a better grasp of what is going on in the industry. Having compared notes, we got confirmation that we were following the correct path by expanding VSW’s train wheel product offering to meet the new demands of car builders and railway operators. At this time, we are ready to meet the most stringent requirements: increased travel speeds, axial loads, the introduction of advanced IT technologies to keep track of components. We are prepared to help create a shared electronic document management system”, noted OMK President Vladimir Markin while commenting on the event’s proceedings.
“I consider this event to be very important. The practical decisions made will be recommended by us for discussion at the OAO RZD Research and Technical Council next year since they will result in drastic rolling stock changes. These are issues related to maintaining the car pool, developing infrastructure, and requirements levied on wheels”, said OPZT President Valentin Gapanovich commenting on the meeting's outcomes.
The Railway Equipment Manufacturers’ Association Non-Profit Partnership has been created to regularize the coordination among facilities operating in the industry which is expected to integrate financial and intellectual resources to promote technology innovation in the railway industry and in the national engineering sector.
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