RINL to Start Commercial Production of Forged Wheels at Rai Bareli
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd will start commercial production of forged wheels at its Rae Bareli unit in Uttar Pradesh this month. Earlier, the company's plan was to start commercial production by March-April 2020 following the hot trial of forged wheel lines at the plant, but it was disrupted due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd has set up a plant in Rae Bareli at a cost of around INR 1,680 crore, with a production capacity of 100,000 pieces of forged wheels per annum. The wheels produced at the unit will be supplied to the Indian Railways.
German SMS Group was awarded the contract as consortium leader in 2016 to supply the plant on a turnkey basis. The supplier consortium consists of SMS group and Niles-Simmons-Hegenscheidt Chemnitz of Germany. SMS group provided the buildings including equipment, infrastructure, water management and transformer station. Furthermore, SMS supplies the wheel rolling line with billet saw plant, billet storage and billet heating machine. Wheels, QT system and mechanical contour machining units are provided by NSH. The fully automatic plant will produce wheels with diameters from 720 to 1,200 millimeters.
The bars up to nine meters long produced in the continuous casting process are first shortened by two billet saws to the length designated for the respective wheels. Behind the sawing machine the billets are taken over by an automatic gantry crane and put into temporary billet storage. An infeed conveyor transports the billets to the rotary hearth furnace which homogeneously heats up to 22 tons of billets per hour before forging. The furnace may be operated with either propane or natural gas. After heating, another conveyor transports the hot billets to the forging line. In a second step, the billet is formed in a press with a pressing force of 9,000 tons to a wheel blank and is then rolled out in an automated process on the wheel rolling machine (type DRAW 1250) to its full diameter. In the process, 13 CNC-controlled axes act simultaneously on a vertically rotating wheel. The rolling process is followed by piercing of the pin bore and final shaping of the web area, the so-called dishing. This process takes place in two stages in the piercing and dishing press with a pressing force of 5,000 tons. After measuring the wheel the contours are machined. In a final step, a testing system makes sure that the quality standards of RDSO are met.