VRZ Cleans Passenger Cars More Efficiently and Consistently with Wheelabrator Autoblast Machine


LaGrange, GA - (July 16, 2008) - The recent operational introduction of the Autoblast® machine at VRZ in Moscow, celebrated the machine's successful integration into the plant. With the new equipment in place, VRZ now cleans passenger rail cars more efficiently. The automated machine offers cost-effective, repeatable results and leaves the cars with an optimal surface profile for repainting. The Autoblast Cabinet with airblast touch-up is a Wheelabrator® system that consistently provides positive results.

With trains serving nearly every city and town across the country and over 128,000 kilometers (2006) of track, Russia is home to one of the largest rail systems in the world. This expansive railway infrastructure requires continual maintenance and modernization.

At the Moscow VRZ plant, old passenger cars are stripped of paint, rust and scale so that restored cars can be put back into service. In 2004, after years of using manual airblast to complete this process, VRZ began looking into more efficient, cost effective methods of railcar refurbishment. Wheelabrator Group was approached with the hope of finding a solution.

Wheelabrator designed Autoblast Cabinets with airblast touch-up are being used with great results in rail refurbishment enterprises across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Repeat customers in this market have strengthened Wheelabrator's reputation for building quality machines that get the job done. Although VRZ was familiar with the success of machines already installed, establishing a solid business relationship was key before any purchasing decisions were made.

Wheelabrator Group was determined to demonstrate their exemplary service and customer relationship building. Various individuals on the project team traveled to Russia to ensure they were completely familiar with VRZ's specifications and needs. Similarly, VRZ decision makers were welcomed to the U.S. and taken to facilities that had the proposed machine already installed, in order to see its abilities first-hand. By 2006, VRZ was confident that Wheelabrator could deliver, not only in terms of a quality machine, but also in terms of premium service.

The finished Autoblast Cabinet, with twelve EZEFIT® wheels and two dust collectors, strips several layers of paint and rust to take passenger cars down to bare steel. A 27 meter long car can be cleaned within two hours with virtually no touch-up. The Wheelabrator® machine is intended to clean 1000 cars annually, preparing them for a fresh coat of paint and a return to service.

Although the machine is based on previous designs, there are several unique features that have been incorporated to ensure that it fits perfectly into VRZ operations. A dual language operator interface shifts between English and Russian at the touch of a button.

Frequency drives on the wheels adjust blast intensity to suit the application---a particularly important feature for thinly skinned passenger cars that are more easily damaged than tank cars. Even the installation required special considerations, with greater logistical planning necessitated by such a large machine fitting into a tight space.

Wheelabrator Group, a global provider of surface preparation and finishing solutions, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2008. Committed to offering the broadest array of technologies, products, services and technical know-how, the Wheelabrator Group works closely with customers to deliver the best solutions for their specific requirements. The company's strategically located and electronically linked offices allow Wheelabrator Group to provide unrivalled customer service and support worldwide. For more information on Wheelabrator visit the web site at www.wheelabratorgroup.com or e-mail info@wheelabratorgroup.com

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
MEDIA CONTACT:
Pamela Akin
Flammer Relations, Inc.
Marketing Manager
770-383-3360
Wheelabrator
Laura Everett:
800-544-4144, ext. 2295
laura@flammerpr.com
Pam.akin@wheelabratorgroup.com

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