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CASE STUDIES

Own development model for Integrated Management of Technological Innovation.

DWPM

THE CHALLENGE

The Basque technology centre IK4-IDEKO has developed a state-of-the-art inspection system using laser triangulation to secure a sound condition of train wheels.

The Basque technology centre IK4-IDEKO has developed a state-of-the-art inspection system using laser triangulation to secure a sound condition of train wheels. This forms a significant contribution to rail transport safety. The study of wear evolution makes it possible to programme and optimise maintenance processes, reducing the costs of such tasks.

The main differences in relation to its predecessor are: installation in a day, resolution of the diameter, higher passing speed and easy calibration. Furthermore, the resistance and precision of the unit developed by Danobat has been maintained.

THE SOLUTION

With the use of laser triangulation, the surface of the wheel can be rebuilt in 3D by extracting the typical parameters of wheel wear.

With the use of laser triangulation, the surface of the wheel can be rebuilt in 3D by extracting the typical parameters of wheel wear. Accuracy is provided by the structure design that secures the stability of the unit as it absorbs deformations and vibrations generated by the trains on passing. This solution is compatible with easy to assemble structures as they avoid concrete structures. IK4-IDEKO has carried out a study of vibrations. This resulted in a design that is installed in a day, because of the absence of a foundation. The unit measures with the accuracy required by the market.

The calibration process follows the same philosophy of immediacy since it only requires 10 minutes of occupation of the track to complete. No need to adjust the components during this process.

To achieve higher speeds, the image acquisition software has been improved. 800 photos a second are taken that are screened to eventually obtain 24 photos from where the laser projections are obtained. The segmentation/identification process of the laser lines was achieved through the study and analysis of a wide range of possibilities and typologies in wheels.
After resolving the identification of the laser line, the distortions of the lens are corrected and the laser line is projected onto a three-dimensional space to obtain the laser triangulation. The cloud of points is entered in a reconstruction algorithm to calculate the diameter and obtain the wheel profile. The algorithm is designed to obtain an easy calibration and a correct measurement regardless of the position of the wheel.

RESULTS

The first measuring equipment installed on track was a success thanks to the work carried out on the test bench.

The first measuring equipment installed on track was a success thanks to the work carried out on the test bench. TRL phases have been followed right from the from the technology in laboratory phase to the industrial application phase.

The closest tolerances on the market of profile meters were reached while the unit is not expensive and requires a minimum time for installation on track.

APPLICATIONS

This laser triangulation technology can be applied in other sectors such as aeronautics, automotive, food…

RESEARCH LINES

This laser triangulation technology can be applied in other sectors such as aeronautics, automotive, food… The development of these systems establishes IK4-IDEKO as a specialised agent in the transfer of knowledge to the market. Also, it is the result of the strategic commitment pursued by our centre for years in the field of artificial vision, especially in the railway sector. Besides, IK4-IDEKO has a long history in research, generation and application of knowledge focused on three-dimensional measurement of bulky workpieces (Visup).

EQUIPMENT

IK4-IDEKO uses cutting/edge facilities that put us in the front line nationally and internationally in our specialisation. As a support to the research activity carried out in the field of inspection and measurement, this year a new laboratory will be inaugurated, equipped with the most advanced technology in non-destructive testing; this is apart from the already existing showroom with measuring equipment. The showroom was originally used as a test bench for the validation of the equipment. Thanks to the dynamic tests carried out on this bench where wheelsets pass at speeds up to 10km/h, many of the problems encountered during the industrialisation phase of the product have been solved.