Transportation / Mobility

April 4, 2007


Sumitomo Metals to Increase Capacity to Produce Railway Wheels for North America

Keywords: Manufacturing industry Transportation / Mobility 

In response to the growing demand for railway wheels in North America, Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd., a major Japanese steel manufacturer, has decided to increase its capacity to produce wheels for railway use at its steel works, it was announced in January 2007. This latest investment follows a facility upgrade completed in August 2006 and will enable the company to achieve a productive output of 240,000 railway units per year.

Although approximately 1.5 million freight cars are in service on the railways of North America, the demand for wheels is increasing both for new freight cars and for replacement of the wheels of existing freight cars due to several factors: rising fuel prices have prompted a shift from road to rail transport; increases in the volume of freight from Asia have boosted shipments by rail; and standards governing the replacement of wheels have been tightened.

Demand for wheels in North America is estimated to be 1.5 million units per year, but manufacturers in North America supply only around 1.2 million units per year, and the market recognizes the excellent quality of Sumitomo's steel wheels. In response to these demands, Sumitomo Metals has been requested by major users to increase its production and will start to increase the production capacity for railway wheels from April 2008.

Posted: 2007/04/04 11:51:48 AM
Japanese version