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Keeping Rail Operators on Track

The production of new rail wheels can be completed with Dormer Pramet's standard assortment of RCMX inserts.

An important element in any rail infrastructure is the machining of rail switches and crossings.

Dormer Pramet works with many manufacturers to offer both standard and custom tools to produce new railway switches.

The renovation of railway wheels can be achieved with Dormer Pramet's standard assortment of inserts, grades and chip breakers.

The railway industry is enjoying sustainable growth and expected to be worth more than $200 billion by 2020.

Metalworking provides an invaluable role in the maintenance, repair and manufacture of numerous railway applications, including track, wheels and wagon parts.

With a year on year increase of 2.6%, the railway industry is enjoying sustainable growth and expected to be worth more than $200 billion by 2020. An increasing demand for passenger and freight rail services is seeing a rapid growth in infrastructure investment around the world.

Global tooling manufacturer Dormer Pramet has, for many years, supported the railway segment with a wide range of cutting tools for both production and maintenance.

Rail Switches and Profiles

An important element in any rail infrastructure is the machining of rail switches and crossings - the moveable sections that guide trains from one track to another. They have a limited lifespan that varies depending on numerous conditions, such as level of usage and surrounding environment.

A railroad switch, for example, created from new material has a standard guarantee of five years. If the switch is made from an applied material or has gone through a process of regeneration or necessary treatment (rubbing down, parts exchange etc.), this lowers its guarantee time to two years.

To ensure reliability and safety of the switches, they must be updated regularly to remain fully operational, which is a huge undertaking. The Czech Republic has one of the most extensive rail networks in Europe with 5,600 miles of track and more than 25,000 switches.

Dormer Pramet's indexable production facility is located in the Czech Republic and the local team works with many leading manufacturers to develop standard and custom tools for the production of new railway switches and the renovation of existing ones.

Tools for other switch parts (such as sliding chairs and switch rods) offer several advantages including durability, insert edge stability, shape precision and a rigid solution.

The Pramet railway assortment encompasses train and tram switches for all major rail profiles. The 60E1 and 60E2 rail profiles, for example, are the most common in Europe. The type T section rail (flat bottom rails) is suitable for medium and heavy load traffic.

Wheel Set Machining

In new wheel set machining, most parts are manufactured from forged pieces. The production of new wheels, particularly roughing and finishing operations, can be completed with the Pramet brand of standard RCMX inserts. Numerous sizes, grades and chip breakers provide options for every workpiece material and cutting condition.

As well as the manufacture of new wheels, there is a continuous need for wheel reprofiling through a wide assortment of machining centers from various manufacturers.

The Pramet holders are suitable for some of the market leading manufacturers, including Hegenscheidt and Rafamet machines. Since 1950, Hegenscheidt-MFD has installed more than 2,000 wheelset reprofiling machines around the world. Both companies use special-purpose wheel lathes for railways, metro, tram, and other light-rail transit systems, along with heavy-duty single and double-column vertical turning lathes, large bridge-type milling machines, horizontal lathes and special machines.

Dormer Pramet's historical cooperation with machine producers and rail repair services has enabled the company to develop a wide range of standard and custom solutions for increasing productivity and reducing costs typically associated with these processes. This means that the renovation of railway and tramway wheels can be achieved with its standard assortment of inserts (LNMX, SNMX, CNMX), grades and chip breakers. Also, it offers a range of cartridges with pocket protection, allowing for a comprehensive and versatile solution for depth of cuts between 1.0-16.0 mm.

A Dormer Pramet customer in Ukraine, for example, required support with the re-profiling of railway wheels made of steel with a high hardness of 450 - 615HB. "The LNMX30 insert with RF chip breaker and T9315 grade achieved a high level of durability and was significantly more productive than an equivalent supplier, machining 12 wheels compared to the competitor's five," said a company spokesperson.

Another success was with a specific machine builder for wheel set reprofiling in Poland. The customer wanted to resolve a chip breaking issue when machining hardened steel 800 - 900 mpa. Once again, the LNMX30 insert was used, this time with the TF chip breaker and T5315 grade. "This combination achieved 50% longer tool life compared to competitors, but also significantly improved chip breaking on the perpendicular surface," said the spokesperson.

The Pramet T5315 grade is a versatile option designed for turning grey and ductile cast iron, as well as various steels, including hardened steel. It is suitable for roughing and finishing with medium to high cutting speeds and capable of both continuous and interrupted cut. This makes it a versatile option in challenging machining conditions.

Dormer Pramet's approach to systematically partner with railway manufacturers has allowed the company to further refine and develop the niche railway cutting tool offer.

For more information contact:

Dormer Pramet

2511 Technology Drive

Suite #113/#114

Elgin, IL 60124


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