Russian manufacturers of cars are increasing production capacity for parts

Russian manufacturers of cars urgently increasing their own capacity for the production of components. This will allow them to control the quality of the cast and not depend on imports. Experts have calculated that the expected correction in demand for rolling stock from cargo carriers will soon be in excess of casting and, as a consequence, reduce the price of car sets. In this scenario, there is a plus: an excess of players in the market will lead to increased competition among suppliers of components and improve the quality of products.

Cast in metal

Peak demand for freight car was in the years 2010-2011. Last year, Russian railcar produced 62.8 thousand freight cars that almost a quarter (24.4%) more than in the period before last. The total volume of production in Russia and Ukraine increased by a third — to 115 thousand freight cars.

These numbers could be higher, but the shortage of car sets — a set of components for the assembly of the car — last year totaled about 40 thousand units. Not cope with the needs of assembly plants foundries of "Ruzhimmash", "Plant of Metal Structures" (Engels), JSC "Novokuznetsk Car Building Plant", JSC "Armavir Heavy Engineering Plant" and others.

This led to what metallurgists pursued at the expense of quality and reduced control over the technology. "In the pursuit of volume businesses are beginning to produce products at the expense of quality," — noted in the Railways.

How to tell the BG market participants in foundry marriage rate has always been high. In Soviet times, culling poor casting reached 30%, a figure that was the norm. Marriage is sorted and returned to the facility. Now the figure is less than not. Occurrence of defects, is usually associated with reduced duration of a period of steelmaking in electric arc furnaces. This period is called reductive. In this process step, the oxygen is removed from the metal, and violations of the technology led to the development of fatigue cracks in the locations of casting defects — and this is the main cause of fractures. The problem is compounded fractures of poor casting with heavy frosts, because at low temperatures the metal changes its properties and becomes increasingly brittle.

Selfishness subcontractors exacerbated the lack of qualified personnel. As told in an interview with "RZD-Partner" the first deputy head of the Centre for Technical Audit of Railways Sergei Palkin capacity at foundries does not meet the requirements of the economy. "Sometimes it's poorly trained or generally attracted by the low-skilled workers. Such a situation does not allow a high degree of responsibility and reliability to produce high-quality molded parts," — he said. As an example, Mr. Palkin situation leads to Bezhitsk steel mill, where casting is not done on new technologies, and the old, long used by the enterprise scheme. "And due to the fact that the retained experienced professionals, breaks the side frames produced at the plant, are extremely rare, and in recent years the non-existent", — says the manager of Railways.

Last year, the leaders in terms of supply of low-quality steel casting Ukrainian enterprises "Azovelectrostal", belonging to the group "Azovobschemash" and Kremenchug Steel. According to the Railways, the share of "Azovzagalmash" accounted for 50% of fractures wagons 2009-2010 model years. According to the estimates of monopoly, in the past, there was a 24 break the side frames of cars, in 11 cases the manufacturer was at fault "Azovelectrostal", 3 — Kremenchug Steel. Beginning of the year was marked by new challenges in the industry. Since the beginning of the year was recorded seven cases of fracture side bogie frames of freight cars, with two of them ended in a crash. As noted in the Railways, in four cases, carts were made on these Ukrainian enterprises.

Difficulties arose with domestic manufacturers, "Altaivagon" share in the domestic market of car building is 12.4%, as well as leader of the Russian market "Uralvagonzavod" (40.6%). "Uralvagonzavod" does not fully cover the deficit casting and about 10-15% imported from Ukraine. "Altaivagon", according to a report for the fourth quarter of 2011, acquired a carriage casting plant in Kremenchug.

From poor Ukrainian rain affected many car builders. Among them is the division of the holding company Wagon "Russian Machines" Oleg Deripaska. As the BG development director "MC Holding RKTM" Sviatoslav Afanasiev, enterprise companies received casting Kremenchug plant. "The recent case of fracture of the side frame, which was in the Far East, may have in store for us financial loss," — he said.

Production problems have led to a number of major accidents on the railway. Just this year, in January, in the Amur region crashed cargo train carrying crude oil. Of the 68 train cars derailed with 18, were closed both ways Transsib, there was a fire a few tank cars. Damage from gathering in the Jewish Autonomous Region, March 11 incident, Russian Railways estimated at more than 100 million rubles. The total damage is estimated monopoly, is about 200 million rubles. "For the first three months of 2012, the number of fractures more than in the whole of 2011, which, in turn, was a record for the period since 1991," — said the director of the analytical agency "Infoline-analyst" Mikhail Burmistrov.

General situation forced the railroad to take radical measures. It was decided to suspend the operation of more than 10 thousand freight cars "Azovelektrostali" produced 2009-2010. To prevent kinks this year were brushed out of service 1.3 thousand cars "Altayvagonzavoda." Validity of the certificates for the production of casting "Azovelektrostali" and Kremenchug Steel was suspended. In addition, as told to the operators of the railway market, Railways in February forced the privateers to be examined in the repair depot. Some carriers temporarily braked third of the park, which gave them a lot of inconvenience.

This year, "Uralvagonzavod" plans to increase the production of castings by almost 15% — from 20.3 million to 23.7 million car sets car sets.

Orient express 

The most radical method of dealing with a deficit of accessories was the decision on the import of Chinese Railways casting. For a long time, Russia has refused to open the market to Chinese suppliers. Nevertheless, in April last year, Trading House Russian Railways agreed with Ruzhouskoy Tianruy company for the production of spare parts of locomotives and wagons on the supply of a large batch of castings for the domestic market. Products designed primarily car-repair enterprises and monopoly itself "Uralvagonzavod".

For Chinese parts Railways were very sensitive. As they say in Monopoly, all the major car casting, supplied as part of the signed contract, has been subjected to strict quality control both on the factory-and in the holding of JSC Russian Railways. Moreover, the casting was
subjected to inspection upon entry into the territory of Russia. In the divisions of the central directorate for repair of freight cars in the Russian Railways depot at Marsh (West-Siberian Railway) and Chita (Trans-Baikal Railway) was organized by the "visual and non-destructive quality control."

According to BG in the Railways, in 2011 trading house imported about 17.7 million units of the side frames, and about 11.2 million units bolster beams. According to BG, 50% of the cast delivers "Uralvagonzavod". In this case, the cost of Chinese casting was slightly below the market. "The fact that China is a cheap and low-quality products — outdated stereotypes" — say in the company.

Meanwhile, the Chinese colleagues addressed not only to state-owned companies. As the executive director of BG "Vagonmash" Sviatoslav Afanasyev, "In 2011, we received casting made in China."

In parallel, the Russian company rapidly built up its own foundry. According to the cumulative companies "Uralvagonzavod" in the current year increases the production of castings by almost 15% — from 20.3 million to 23.7 million car sets car sets. According to Public enterprises in the current year's deficit will continue in casting range of 10-15% and will be covered by Chinese counterparts that the company can import their own. In addition, the company continues to cooperate with the Kremenchug plant. In the next four years, "Uralvagonzavod" intends to implement an ambitious program: a fully modernized foundry capacity, replacing electric furnaces, open-hearth furnaces, and 100% cover their needs in the cast — up to 40 million car sets per year.

Tikhvin Railway Car Building Plant launches foundry with a planned capacity of 90 thousand tons of medium and large castings for its own needs, and for the market.

Ambitious plans are at LLC "VCR-Steel" (part of the holding company "Russian Machines"). Now the company produces medium and small castings, which meets one-third of "Ruzhimmash." The company promises to the end of the year to start a new foundry capacity to 12 million car sets per year. "We expect that the company" VCR-Steel "will be released on the design capacity in 2013 and will be able to close a significant part of the needs of JSC" Ruzhimmash "in a large cast," — the company says.

Thus, the total foundry capacity in Russia this year will increase by 40% and amount to 102.5 thousand car sets.

Are not going to give up their positions and rejected Railways Ukrainian producers casting. In March, the register of certification by the federal railways renewed the certificate on the side frames Kremenchug plant, which has been frozen at the beginning of the year. Source BG in the company informed that the company has pledged to replace at his own expense about 120 defective items, where they found the kinks side frames.

But, says Mr. Burmistrov, full use of the Ukrainian casting (also produced in Ukraine freight cars) in Russia will resume no earlier than the middle of the second quarter. The situation with the quality of casting seriously threatened the safety of railway transport as a whole, which certainly requires tough decisions regarding revocation and renewal.

Almost all Russian railcar companies are increasing their own foundry, not to depend on subcontractors and imports
Photo: Photo: ITAR-TASS

Meanwhile, experts say, completely abandon the Ukrainian-Chinese imports until early. According to Mikhail Burmistrov, this year, "VCR-Steel" and Tikhvin Railway Car Building Plant will likely not be able to start the production of a large car casting. At JSC "Altaivagon" line for casting is not fully established, which does not allow the use of its full capacity. "Therefore, protective measures are pointless and only lead to increased deficits, higher prices for casting, as well as increasing the risk of using counterfeit products," — he said. According to experts, the situation will stabilize until next year — after the new capacity to "VCR-Steel", Tikhvin Railway Car Building Plant and Bezhitsk steel plant.

In turn, the Railways are betting on the improvement of product quality. Believe in the Railways, the pledge of quality casting — go to the reinforced frame, which today started producing enterprise "Promtractor Promlit", "Uralvagonzavod" and a number of Ukrainian factories. In this production factor of the fatigue resistance of more than two units, which is above the standard of 1.8 times.

Meanwhile, some market participants believe that in the near future the Russian companies will be faced with a surplus of casting. By 2014, when most of the plans being implemented, the power plants will grow to 200 million car sets. At the same time, market participants and analysts predict will soon fall in demand for cars and correction — from 115 thousand units of rolling stock in the past year to 100-105 million units in the current year.

Surplus capacity will affect a significant price drop and die, and cars, they said. This will lead to the fact that poorly performing companies will leave the market, and the rest "will differentiate from price competition in quality and value for the consumer."


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