Manufacturing for the future

With over eight decades of manufacturing experience, Mario Carnaghi Spa has faced all possible machining challenges within the railway industry with its comprehensive product range and specialist engineering expertise

Founded in 1929 by Mr. Mario Carnaghi as a fully family owned venture, Mario Carnaghi Spa has developed over the years to boast a global presence thanks to its high quality machine tools, vertical lathes and milling machines that incorporate moving tables or mobile portals. Committed to its mission of delivering total satisfaction to customers across several challenging and ever-Mario 140 bevolving markets, the company seeks to source solutions to specific and complex manufacturing requirements through the provision of increasingly sophisticated machines. Driven by the goal of achieving technical excellence and optimum quality, the company uses its 80 years of expertise to remain at the forefront of both innovation and reputability.

“Mario Carnaghi Spa was founded by the grandfather of the current owner, also named Mario Carnaghi and the business is today in its third generation of family management and operation. We are based in Olgiate, Olona, which is strategically located close to a major airport in Italy. Our plants cover a surface area of approximately 100,000 square metres, of which around 20,000 square metres is within a covered production area. Since we began operating we have built approximately 3000 machines, which are medium to large in size,” reveals Dr Riccardo Fiorani, Sales Manager at Mario Carnaghi Spa. “Looking at the development of the company, the first type of machines built by Mario Carnaghi Spa were plano machines and half a century later milling operations were introduced so we began to build plano milling machines that could combine these solutions. During the 1970s the first vertical lathe was built by our company, while CNC control has also since been added to every product line and we have also improved the technology of our machines in line with new developments in technology. This CNC application and the development of further measuring systems has allowed us to produce machines that are among the top five brands in the world today.”

Throughout its history Mario Carnaghi has evolved to operate within several technically demanding markets, including the aeronautics/aerospace; automotive; chemical; defence/military; energy/nuclear; excavator/ construction; general purpose machining; oil and gas; rail; and shipping industries. Within the rail industry Mario Carnaghi provides high-quality machine tools for both wheel machining and rail and cross machining applications. The company’s wheel machining solutions offer effective solutions in the manufacture of fully rough wheels, rims, hubs, and brakes, which have been the base for the on-going development of its vertical turning lathes for rail applications. Mario Carnaghi has also traditionally produced machines that incorporate table drives of up to 180 Kw, twin ram heads, and pallet changing systems for high productivity solutions required by railways companies while maintaining the tolerances required. The result is a product portfolio that addresses the manufacturing requirements of both heavy and lighter source materials.

The competence of Mario Carnaghi within the application of rail and cross-machining expertise extends to the provision of milling machines that incorporate a moving bridge with high torque spindles, which are further equipped with one or two slide heads by means of hybrid locking systems for the machine’s rails. These can be mechanical, hydraulic or magnetic. The company also Mario 140 coffers comprehensive solutions in dedicated wagons machining for bogie-frames, frames for locomotive engines, wagons and the final chassis of the wagons themselves. Mario Carnaghi milling machines can be further equipped with special accessories, such as laser probes for checking the planarity of the metal sheets welded, the height and the width of the welding and afterwards to execute the milling of the weld till the ‘skin’ of the artefact.

“The machines that we deliver to the rail market are all designed and manufactured to meet the bespoke requirements of our clients and are amongst the longest and the strongest available to the industry. This is an important topic because railway material relating to track and wheel machining is relatively tough and difficult to machine, which means that the corresponding production equipment requires a lot of torque and rigidity,” Riccardo says. “There are also specific manufacturing techniques that apply to the production of train body frames and wagons, which are made using aluminium alloys. Mario Carnaghi is able to provide both equipment for heavy machining, as well as equipment that is designed to work with lightweight alloys. Machining with aluminium alloys is an activity that requires less torque but increased speed from the machine’s spindles.”

Further to developing high-quality machine products that address complex manufacturing applications, Mario Carnaghi is also at the forefront of developing bespoke production solutions to meet the unique engineering requirements of its clients using both lightweight and heavy materials. “We have recently developed a solution for a client that wanted to integrate a wall seal of a carriage between two aluminium sheets. To achieve this we applied a special laser probe to test the planarity of the welded aluminium sheets and detect any kind of deflection along the 25 mt length of the frame. This allowed us to create a 3D virtual scheme of the frame and after, to perform the milling of the welds according this “map” without spoil the surface of the train wagon,” Riccardo details. “This solution was developed for a light machining application, while in the field of heavy machining we develop machines that employ hydrostatic bearings that regulate the movement of the portal and linear axes of the equipment. The hydrostatic systems that we employ are able to operate within very extreme tolerances and is a technology that we develop using both milling machines and vertical turning lathes.”

Throughout all of its operations Mario Carnaghi works to increase the manufacturing capability of the business, while developing new solutions to meet the complex demands of its clients. This has enabled the company to engage with several respected rail organisations internationally, including the State Railways of the Turkish Republic (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryolları – TCDD), Georg Verkehrsorganisation GmbH (GVG) in Germany, as well as several other important clients across Europe and the company’s native Italy. “We continue to work to improve the efficiency of our manufacturing processes across the business and this has been driven by the large amounts of orders that we have received in recent years,” Riccardo explains. “An important step in this direction has been to empower the manpower by hiring new personnel, further, on the mechatronic side, we ensure that all of our machines are equipped with the latest available CNC release. We have updated the capability of our production facilities and due to the size of the machines that we plan to install, has been approved by the our board of managers, the industrial plan of five years aiming to extend the size of our covered facilities to host the construction of bigger machines. This will bring our company towards an increase of around 30-35 per cent of space to allow for increased production.”

Indeed, as clients operating across Europe’s existing rail networks continue to develop ever more demanding infrastructure there is a sizable requirement for increasingly robust manufacturing solutions. “Within the rail sector there is growing demand for high-speed trains, which means that there is a need for new technology that allows the trains to move faster. While the type of both the tracks and the rails switches are essentially unchanged, the composition of the material and the shapes used in the construction of the components is different. The material itself tends to be much more tough and therefore, it requires more torque and power to machine and remove chips from rails. Components for high-speed rail also have greater demands in terms of radius across the tracks and trucks, so that the machine tools for high-speed rail become longer because of the increased space requirement to commission the parts,” Riccardo elaborates. “This is a relatively rapid development within the rail industry so it is important that every contractor can implement the new track as quickly as possible. Therefore it is appreciated by our clients that we offer a pendular production system in which it is possible to place a rail into one side of the machine to be formed, while a second component can also be placed on the other ready for machining once the first rail switch has been machined. This allows for non-stop production by exploiting both sides of the machine.”

As Mario Carnaghi continues to address the changing needs of its clients within the rail industry and beyond, the company is confident of continued growth in terms of both economic success and manufacturing development. “Twelve months is a short scope of time for our company because some of the machines that we manufacture can take around ten to 24 months to develop, however within the rail sector there is increasing demand that is also matched by our business within the aeronautics sector and this will help us to grow the business over the coming years,” Riccardo concludes. “We remain committed to providing tailor-made solutions that address the specific needs of our clients and this will be a vital component in achieving further success in the future. There is an on-going demand for increased precision in the field of manufacturing, especially for high-speed rail and this is something else that we will be further developing.”