Automation of control processes for innovative railway roller bearings | ZKL Group
Automation of control processes for innovative railway roller bearings

Automation of control processes for innovative railway roller bearings

Cylindrical roller radial bearings for railway applications are experiencing an increase in demand. The manufacturing and inspection process needs to be streamlined to increase competitiveness in a demanding market. We have therefore decided to introduce automation and autonomous control of inspection processes in 2021, which will reduce overall production times and increase productivity.
By automating the finishing operations, we will eliminate the human factor and its subsequent impact on the final quality of bearings for rail transport, which is strictly monitored and subject to high demands not only in terms of quality but also durability.

Each bearing part that passes through the line is uniquely marked, i.e. it has its history recorded, together with all the parameters checked and measured. This allows us to trace, even after several years, when the bearing was manufactured, inspected and with what parameters. This is made possible by a specific database that is linked to the control line via a higher-level autonomous control system.

By introducing an automatic line, we have created technological and economic conditions for finishing roller bearings with higher performance characteristics intended for railway vehicles. At the same time, we have expanded the automatic CNC-controlled production process of railway bearings, which have been produced on a modern production line since 2016, including turning and grinding operations. This is an improvement in the working conditions for the operating staff. The automation of control will eliminate the physically demanding burden for operators and at the same time increase the quality and productivity of work.
We took advantage of a subsidy opportunity to implement the project and started checking bearing rings fully automatically in June 2023.