Archive for the locomotive parts Category

Small Winona company makes it big in rail industry

Posted in locomotive parts with tags , , , , on January 7, 2013 by millerfelpax
By Edie Grossfield
The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Reprinted from as originally published April 2012.

Miller Felpax Chief Executive Officer Steve Blue

Keen business strategy during the past two years along with a designed company culture are the reasons Winona-based Miller Felpax continues to thrive through rocky economic times, said the company’s President and CEO Steve Blue.
The manufacturer of freight train parts reported significant growth during the first quarter of 2012 — a 20 percent increase in sales over the first quarter of 2011.

About half of that growth is the result of Miller Felpax purchasing Amfab, a Chicago-based rail products company, in April 2011, Blue said. He shut down its operations in Chicago and moved the business to Winona, creating about a dozen local jobs, he said.

Also contributing to company growth was heavy investment in developing products for train “truck assemblies.” Truck assemblies make up all of the parts underneath locomotives and rail cars, where the wheels and axles are. The company spent a lot of money for the tooling and engineering to be able to compete with larger companies in that area, Blue said.

“We placed a big bet about two years ago,” he said. “I hired a guy and spent a lot of money to expand our presence in that business. And, we started knocking off big projects right away, stealing them from the big guys — really huge competitors.”

Small but growing

Miller Felpax is a relatively small company for what it does. It has about 50 employees, but manufactures parts that can be found on every single freight train running in the United States today, Blue said. Also, about 25 percent of the company’s sales are outside the United States, including in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, India, South Africa, Europe and Australia.

The late Rudy Miller founded the company in Winona in 1948, after he invented a device for lubricating locomotive axles. Today, Miller Felpax is owned by Miller’s daughters, Carol Ann Mackay and Helen Lou Kurtz.

The word Felpax evolved from the name of Miller’s first product, which was called something like a felt pack, said Blue, who has been with the company for almost 14 years.

Over its 64-year history, Miller Felpax has generated more than 220 patents in the rail industry, although some of those have expired, Blue said.

Sales at Miller Felpax, the privately-owned rail product manufacturer, rose 20 percent over the same period last year, according to Chief Executive Officer Steve Blue, left. Also pictured is Audio Designs contractor Jim Meyers of Winona.

During the last 10 years, the company has tripled in size, even growing through most of the recent U.S. recession, Blue said.

“I wouldn’t say we didn’t hit a soft patch. We did, but nothing serious. And every year we just seem to climb higher than we did before,” he said.

United efforts

Blue said Miller Felpax is able to keep growing because its products help save the railroad industry millions of dollars “by extending the life of the locomotives and rail cars and reducing their operating expenses by quite a bit.”

Also, a company culture that recognizes and rewards employees for working together toward a single goal makes employees happy and Miller Felpax successful, he said. The company culture is by design, and includes peer reviews.

“What we do is say everyone is playing on the same team and we’re playing against the enemy, or the competition, if you will, as opposed to playing against each other,” Blue said. “One of the ways we’ve structured it so we can achieve that is say there’s only one goal for this company: That’s making our operating budget number.”


Versylon, the Really TOUGH Stuff from Miller Felpax.

Posted in locomotive parts, rail parts, railway parts on October 10, 2012 by millerfelpax

Temperature Tough.  Load Tough.  Impact Tough.

Versylon is strong, hard and dense. That means components stand up to heavy impact loads. The unique strength and toughness of our special molded nylons result in parts that are both much more resistant to cold flow and creep than UHMW, and tough enough to survive in any railroad environment, hot or cold. AAR approved Versylon parts are currently being used by Railroads, Railcar Manufacturers, Leasing Companies, Utilities and major Chemical Companies. You will save money in service because Versylon reduces wear and cold flow. You will save money upfront when you buy from the manufacturer – Miller Felpax. Versylon is the really tough stuff from Miller-Felpax.

Miller Felpax Freight Car Parts

Posted in locomotive parts, Locomotive Truck Parts, rail parts, railway parts on September 27, 2012 by millerfelpax

Miller Felpax offers a product line of small plastic wear parts used on the Barber(TM) style trucks/bogies for railcars/wagons. These parts are manufactured with our specially formulated polymer, Versylon, the really tough stuff. Looking for a particular part? Check out our parts catalog for ordering information or call our customer service representative, 1-877-843-0767

Brake Beam Wear Guide

The Miller Felpax Brake Beam Wear Guide is a nylon based product designed for wear and impact resistance, cold weather toughness, high temperature endurance, and a low coefficient of friction. The Brake Beam Wear Guide can be applied to any freight car truck used in North America.

Lube Disks

Miller Felpax is the leading supplier of freight car lube disks that satisfy AAR Rule 47. Our one piece lube disk is the most cost effective method of lubricating steel center bowls today. It’s virtually impossible to lose center bowl lubrication with our lube disk. Our lube disks are shipped in quantities of 100 per 25 lb. box.

Freight Car and Locomotive Vent Protectors

Miller Felpax manufactures vent valve protectors for both locomotives and freight cars. See our parts catalog for more details and ordering information.

Coupler Carrier Wear Plates

Our Coupler Carrier Wear Plates are designed to survive in any railroad environment, hot or cold. Made of specially molded Nylons, this AAR approved product is used by many railroads, car manufacturers, leasing companies, and car owners. You’ll save money through reduced wear and replacement costs.

Miller Felpax Center Plate Lube Disc

Posted in locomotive, locomotive parts, rail parts, railway parts on September 13, 2012 by millerfelpax

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