Laying a stronger foundation for the competitiveness of rail freight is SweMaint AB’s mission. The role of Northern Europe’s leading supplier of repair and maintenance services for freight wagons also comes with a responsibility to continually deliver the right solution at the right price. The company is now once again taking its level of service up a notch in line with its strategic long-term goals.
The Wheel Maintenance business unit is a key part of the company’s operations and is critical to, literally, keeping freight traffic rolling. In one year, over 10,000 wheel pairs pass through the company’s workshops. With cutting-edge technology, the company provides services such as turning (SweMaint has one of Sweden’s only wheel turning machines), bearing box audits and re-wheeling.
SweMaint’s market offering comprises activities that all extend wagon lifespan for the freight forwarder or wagon owner. Thorough maintenance cuts operating costs and extends the wagon’s lifespan – a financially prudent approach that is also in line with everyone’s efforts to achieve a more sustainable society.
To meet market needs, further cut lead times and, most of all, adapt wheel production to the EU’s new noise reduction requirements that will go into in force on 1 January 2021, wheel turning capacity will now be doubled at the company’s Gothenburg unit.
Starting on 1 January 2021, freight wagons and wagons used in continental traffic will no longer be permitted to have cast iron blocks. The new composite block, which will replace the cast iron, has greater durability but wears down the wheels more, resulting in an increased need for turning.
The new rules will be imposed in the entire EU in 2024, but countries like Germany and Switzerland will already begin complying with the reduction requirement this year. The rest of the train world will be forced to gradually transition and adapt. However, wagons in Sweden are exempted from the EU directive until 2032 given the colder weather conditions – the composite blocks currently available do not perform satisfactorily when the temperature is below freezing.
For SweMaint, the investment totals around SEK 25 million and also includes the construction of base plates and peripheral equipment. Installation, fine tuning and start-up are expected to take around 6 weeks, after which production will commence on a small scale in parallel with employee training.
Delivery of the new wheel lathe began in week 36. The lathe was built in Spain by Danobat, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-performance machine tools. Given the lathe’s size and complexity, it must be delivered in four separate batches starting on Monday 31 August and ending on Tuesday 8 September.
“Starting this coming winter, we will be able to provide our customers with significantly higher turning capacity for wheel pairs. Also, the investment in peripheral equipment now enables us to meet the greater demand for a combo of turning and bearing box audit services that the market has signalled,” says Kari Arbelius. Head of Wheel Supply, SweMaint.
For more information, please contact:
Peter Overup, CEO, SweMaint,
+46 705 45 87 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanns Sperling, Head of Production, SweMaint,
+46 705 85 29 25 or email@example.com
Kari Arbelius, Head of Wheel Supply, SweMaint,
+46 707 24 49 05 or firstname.lastname@example.org