This paper describes a major capital project that was recently completed at a North American wrought railroad wheel manufacturing facility. The overall goals and concept of the project are outlined. Upgrades and improvements to band saws, the 10,000 ton forging press, rolling mill, and associated hydraulic systems, are described with emphasis on improvements in process speed. Installation of new wheel handling robots, which replaced an additional number of older, less robust wheel handling robots, is reviewed. Further, a new in-line wheel heat treating process, which provides for rim quenching and tempering of the wheel shortly after the forging and rolling process is completed, is described in detail. The new computer-controlled heat treating process features a rotary heating furnace to austenitize the wheels, several rim spray stations for quenching, a slot-in-the roof tempering furnace, controlled cooling operations, and automated Brinell testing. Important equipment maintenance concerns that were addressed are also reviewed. Finite element analysis (FEA) results for the new wheel heat treating process are discussed, along with other process considerations.

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