Hindalco & Metra SpA's Rail-Tech partner for manufacturing

01 Sep 2023

Hindalco Industries Limited, the world's leading aluminium rolling and recycling company, is joining forces with Italy's Metra SpA, known for its expertise in value-added aluminium extrusions. This landmark partnership aims to introduce cutting-edge technology for high-speed aluminium rail coach manufacturing in India, aligning with Hindalco's commitment to bolster domestic manufacturing and support the Indian Government's vision.

Bringing Cutting-Edge aluminium Technology to India This collaboration combines Hindalco's extensive aluminium manufacturing experience with Metra's advanced know-how in aluminium extrusion, machining, and welding. The goal is to bring world-class technology to India, a feat previously limited to Europe, China, Japan, and select countries. Hindalco's involvement positions it as a key player in modernizing Indian Railways, the world's largest rail network.

Satish Pai, Managing Director of Hindalco Industries, stated, "Our partnership with Metra marks a new era for aluminium extrusions in Indian passenger trains. This aligns with our commitment to aluminium applications in commercial vehicles, freight wagons, electric vehicles, and passenger trains. Together, our expertise will enhance the efficiency, durability, and sustainability of these trains, setting new benchmarks for the Indian rail industry."

The Significance of Extruded aluminium in Railways Extruded aluminium is pivotal in railway coach manufacturing due to its advantages of reduced weight and enhanced mechanical strength. With 60 years of experience in producing aluminium extrusions for the transport sector, Metra specializes in fabricating and machining railway extrusions, further enhancing the partnership's capabilities.

Enrico Zampedri, CEO of Metra SpA, expressed enthusiasm, stating, "Collaborating with Hindalco Industries offers an exciting opportunity to showcase our aluminium extrusion technology globally. Together, we aim to redefine aluminium extrusions for high-speed train manufacturing in India, merging Italian expertise with Indian market knowledge."

Aluminum's Role in India's Rail Revolution Indian Railways is undergoing a transformative phase with significant upgrades in rail infrastructure and the introduction of high-speed air-conditioned carriages. Notably, the Vande Bharat trains, known for their comfort and speed, exemplify India's future rail transport. These trains, designed to operate at speeds over 200 km/h, owe their efficiency to aluminium.

Hindalco has allocated Rs. 2,000 crore for manufacturing passenger coaches for Vande Bharat trains. The partnership with Metra will provide the cutting-edge technology needed for this ambitious project.

The Green and Efficient Choice High-grade aluminium alloy has gained global prominence in high-speed railway coach manufacturing, offering aesthetic designs and greater speeds due to its lightweight properties. European, Chinese, and Japanese suburban metro systems, high-speed trains, and long-haul rail traffic extensively use aluminium railcars.

While initial costs may be slightly higher, the long-term benefits, including infrastructure savings and reduced carbon emissions, are substantial. aluminium boosts energy efficiency by reducing aerodynamic resistance and transmission loss, leading to lower wear and tear on rolling stock.

In October, Hindalco launched India's first all-aluminium lightweight freight rake, providing higher speeds and payload capacity while saving over 14,500 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime. The company plans to introduce three more freight wagon designs in the coming months, targeting specific commodities like cement and food grains.

Metra SpA, based in Italy, is a renowned name in aluminium extrusion technology, producing high-technology aluminium extrusions for various applications globally, including railways, mechanics, industrial, automotive, and architecture. Their state-of-the-art fabrication solutions have set industry standards, making them a trusted partner for innovative projects worldwide.

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