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New Railway Axle Forging Plant Starts

Can-Eng, Simmons supply major equipment for heating, forging, and finishing at AXIS L.L.C.

AXIS LLC — a joint venture of American Railcar Industries and Amsted Industries — has started up its $75-million forging plant in Paragould, AR, where it will produce railway axles. The 13,500-ft 2 plant is said to be the first new plant of its type to start up in the U.S. in more than 40 years.

American Railcar Industries has two nearby plants producing railway hopper and tank railcars; Chicago-based Amsted Industries produces locomotive and railcar wheels and bearings, as well as locomotive and railcar suspension and specialty components.

AXIS LLC heats, forges, and heat-treats double-length railway axles, for domestic and global markets.

Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. supplied, installed and commissioned the plant’s 20-tph rotary-ring hearth reheating furnace, robotic manipulator, high-pressure descaling system, and 20-tph walking-beam normalize/temper furnaces. It also provided the new line’s Level 2 automation, several in-line conveyors, and walking-beam cooling beds.

Can-Eng designs and manufactures a wide range of industrial heat-treating equipment.

The new AXIS plant also features a Simmons a fully automated roughing line supplied by Machine Tool Corp. Its affiliate NSH Machine Tool Group developed a turnkey solution involving machine tools, marking, inspection and automation/handling equipment — all of which are computer-controlled and automated.

Both Simmons and NSH Machine Tool Group are experienced manufacturers of specialized equipment for producing and maintaining railway wheel sets, wheels, and axles for freight trains, high-speed trains, and urban railway/transit cars.

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