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Tamil Nadu Express - தங்களை அன்புடன் வரவேற்கிறது - Swaroop Kutti

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Blog Entry# 4430903
Posted: Sep 17 2019 (23:01)

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Sep 17 2019 (23:01)   Rail coach making gets a hand from robots; MCF beats expectations

Yash M^~   4129 news posts
Entry# 4430903   News Entry# 391275         Tags   Past Edits
In 2018-19, when the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) at Raebareli manufactured around 1,500 rail coaches against a capacity of a mere 1,000, it surprised many. Apart from its human workforce, 44 robots are also being credited for the stupendous success. With robots being used successfully in the integrated shell assembly line and the robotic bogie fabrication line, MCF and its design consultant Ircon have drawn a roadmap to transform the Raebareli unit into the world's largest coach factory.These robots were imported from countries like South Korea, Spain and Germany. On the back of the robotic success story, the Railway Board has already lined up plans to make MCF the world’s largest coach factory, making at least 5,000 coaches annually. The unit may soon see its phase-II expansion increasing its capacity to 2,000 coaches. “In the Railway Coach Factory at Kapurthala, we have a staff strength of 7,000. The introduction of robots by Ircon...
has helped bring this down to 2,000 employees. From welding to cutting to assembling, robots are used in a majority of activities here,” said S K Chaudhary, chairman and managing director, Ircon. With the existing capacity, MCF has set a target of building 1,800 coaches during the current financial year. Where robots are used in Raebareli? The factory has an integrated shell assembly line with a very high level of robotic application (consisting of total 36 robots). According to Ircon, this unit delivers a minimum of two coaches in a shift of six hours to meet the production requirement. Similarly, robotic bogie fabrication line uses 8 robots and automatic handling of components to deliver four bogies in every shift of six hours each. In addition to this, Raebareli has an automated wheel and axle assembly line facility to produce one wheel set fully machined and assembled at an interval of every 18 minutes. “All these are world class facilities and nowhere in India, such robotic technology is used by the Indian Railways,” said Chaudhary. Now, the Railway Board is mulling over the option to bring robotic technologies to other manufacturing units as well. Ircon, which has already requested the railways to allot the MCF phase-II expansion project to it, said the average welding time of each part dropped nearly 70 per cent when robotic welding was used in place of manual welding. “As a work piece is replaced on one side, the robot welds on the other, and vice-versa. The operator simply replaces the finished product with component parts to be welded next. In doing so, the robot is always kept in motion resulting in total time savings of nearly 80 per cent,” said a senior MCF official. The advantage also includes using robots for multiple tasks in addition to the superior quality compared to manual wielding.
Roadahead for Raebareli
Chaudhary said the unit will be able to make aluminium coaches and even Vande Bharat type coaches which are of export quality. “Countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are always in need of coaches. Hence, expansion of the unit will help us in getting bulk orders from abroad, too,” he added. MCF will also manufacture bullet train coaches. Based on its production plan, at least 240 Memu coaches will be made in 2019-20 and 264 each in 2020-21 and 2021-22.


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