Prattville, Ala. – Fras-le North America will launch a new railway shoe line at Railway Interchange 2019. The event, taking place September 22-25 in Minneapolis, Minn., is considered one of the largest rail interchanges in North America, bringing together more than 9,000 professionals worldwide.
Developed after three years of research and numerous dynamometer tests, the shoe, which will equip American rail freight cars, arrives with a new concept and material. It is capable of withstanding extreme cold and heat environments, while promoting less wear and higher braking stability when compared to local competition.
To be in compliance with strict US operating and marketing standards, the shoe has been approved by the Association of American Railroad (AAR) under specification M-926. It also had to comply with the quality assurance program (M-1003) of the same institute and be registered and approved in the official AAR approved supplier’s directory.
“Our goal is to achieve a 10% market share of this segment in five years, with annual production of 1.3 million units,” said Fras-le North America Vice President Bob Harrison. The company invested about $1 million (USD) in machinery and tooling. It is a highly competitive and regulated market, made up of players with a consolidated track record with a market size of 13 million shoes per year.
In addition to this, Fras-le North America will showcase a modern and innovative rail brake shoe, developed to global standards, thanks to the research and development structure of its own laboratories and the Randon Technology Center (RTC).
“Being present at Railway Interchange means reaffirming Fras-le’s commitment to its’ customers. As well as being aligned with the latest trends in the international rail segment, especially, in the North American market. From a friction manufacturer standpoint, it is a natural fit, it’s taking a step further in expanding our product line offered in North America,” comments Director Anderson Pontalti.
With a broad portfolio of auto parts solutions, Fras-le – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of friction material – has a global presence with nine factories located in Brazil (Caxias do Sul, Sao Leopoldo, Sorocaba and Joinville), China (Pinghu), the United States (Prattville, Alabama), India (Manesar, Haryana), Uruguay (Montevideo) and Argentina (San Martin, Buenos Aires).
It also has distribution centers in Germany, Argentina, Colombia and the Netherlands, and commercial offices in the US, Chile, Mexico, South Africa and Dubai. The commercial structure is supported by the distribution centers abroad. The teams are exclusively dedicated to logistics and foreign sales from Brazil and in various locations around the world. That enables the organization to serve customers in over 120 countries.