Simmons Machine Tool Corporation of Albany, New York has completed start-up of the world’s most automated railway wheel set production line for National Alabama Corporation’s ‘state of the art’ railcar production facility in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The wheel set production line consists of an axle finishing line that processes axles from a semi-finished condition to finish size. A wheel machining cell utilizes Simmons machines and automated handling equipment to process wheel bores to match axle wheelseat diameters produced on the axle line. Simmons equipment also is used to mount the wheels on to the axles and is completely automated.
Simmons claims that one of the key advantages to its technology is extremely low misfit rates resulting from complete control of the axle, wheel and wheel set mounting process. Additional benefits consist of improved safety due to near elimination of direct interface with the equipment by workers.
Together with its sister company Niles-Simmons and strategic partners Guedel Automation and SEMA Machine Tools, Simmons provides all of the key equipment required for the wheel set production line. AAR certification of the equipment has been obtained.
Simmons Machine Tool Corporation (smtgroup.com) manufactures machines dedicated to railway wheel set maintenance and production. The company is part of the NSH Group which is comprised of Hegenscheidt in Erkelenz, Germany, Niles-Simmons Industrieanlagen GmbH in Chemnitz, Germany, and NSH-CTI in Nanchang, China. The NSH Group has more than 1,100 employees worldwide and group sales exceeding US$ 380 Million.