Rail Wheel Factory (earlier known as Wheel and Axle Plant) is situated in Bangalore, India. It is a state-of-the-art plant, meeting bulk of the requirement of wheels, axles and wheel sets for the Indian Railways. The spare capacity available is profitably utilised to meet the domestic demands for non-railway customers and exports.
RWF strives to build successful and lasting relationships with its customers by consistently exceeding their expectations. Customer focus and quality remain our watchwords.
All products are subjected to stage and final inspection, starting from the chemical composition of the molten metal till the final inspection. This includes micro/macro properties of the material, Magnetic Particle Testing, Ultrasonic Testing, Hardness, warpage, dimensional parameters, surface finish etc.
All our products are accompanied with a Quality Assurance Certificate and carry a warranty of one year from shipment. RWF has the full capability to design and manufacture any size of wheels, axles and wheelsets to suit individual customer’s special requirements.
Till early 1980s Indian Railways was importing about 55% of requirement of wheels and axles. Indigenous capacity was available only at Tata Iron & Steel Company [TISCO] and Durgapur Steel Plant [DSP]. The TISCO plant was technocally not capable of meeting the changing requirement of wheels and axles for the new designs of rolling stock and production was discontinued. DSP was only able to partially meet Indian Railways’ needs.
The cost of imports was high with prices rising in the world market. Financing of imports, delays in supplies and limited availability of foreign exchange adversely affected wagon production and rolling stock maintenance. It was in this context that in the early 1970s the Railway Ministry felt the necessity for setting up a new specialized Production Unit for manufacture of rolling stock wheels
and axles as import substitute. The ultimate objective was that DSP and the Rail Wheel Factory [RWF, formerly Wheel & Axle Plant] should be able to totally meet Indian Railways requirement for standard wheels and axles so that their import could be stopped.
An extensive study was made of the latest technology and equipment available globally possibility of collaboration and foreign exchange requirement. Based on this study the Rail Wheel Factory project was conceived in the mid 70s with IR deciding to:
Adopt the cast wheel technology developed by M/S Griffin Wheel CO., USA for wheel manufacture. American Railroads have been using cast wheels for freight operations while European Railways use forged wheels. Adoption of cast wheel technology was found more suitable as the productivity of the plant is higher and cost of production lower as compared to forged wheels. The net saving in foreign exchange on wheel imports was estimated at Rs.8 Crores per annum.
Undertake axle forging on special purpose Long Forging Machine followed by heat treatment furnaces with automated conveyors for movement of axles.
Provide axle-machining facilities incorporating profile copying lathes, special purpose end machining equipment and a wheel set assembly complex with integrated engineering for handling and movement of axles.
The Plannning Commission sanctioned the Rail Wheel Factory Plant project in 1978 at a cost of Rs.146 Crores. Trial production commenced during 1983. Late Smt.Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India formally commissioned the plant on 15 September 1984.