Wheel Monitoring System

Wheel Monitoring System (WMS)

Reduce noise of vehicles and maintenance costs on local public rail transport systems

Rail vehicle wheels are subject to heavy loads and wear: Out-of-roundness (polygonisation) or wheel flats are the result. The reasons for these phenomena have not yet been fully explained, but the consequences can nevertheless be significant:

  • Excessive vibration and noise impact are a burden to local residents and diminish acceptance of tram or underground train lines.
  • Greater wear as a result of increased strain on wheels and tracks.
  • Reduced safety due to the danger of derailment.

Wheel damage increases exponential over time, which is why timely detection of damage considerably reduces maintenance costs. Automatic monitoring of the condition of tram wheels with WMS reliably provides the required information.

1) Measuring location: Entering vehicles are identified by a vehicle detector. Sensors inside the track record the signals during vehicle crossing. 2) The computer performs the measurement data analysis (autonomously). 3) Transmission of the analysis results via a network. 4) The SQL-based server database saves the determined parameters and enables access to the analysis results from any PC-workstation. 5) Clear representation

It used to be necessary to take a vehicle out of service and measure all the wheels manually on a regular basis. Now, WMS automatically provides information about the wheel condition of the entire fleet of vehicles. Progressive damage is documented in detail, allowing early scheduling of maintenance. Maintenance is only carried out on worn wheels and as determined by their condition; the reduction of routine wheel inspections minimises maintenance costs.

The WMS was specially designed for service under the rugged environmental conditions of an operational track. Core components are one or more track measurement points that independently identify the trams and carry out measurements. Ideally, the track measurement points are installed in the company's depot. This way, all trams are registered on a regular basis. The data is relayed to an analysis unit, and analysed according to damage indicating parameters. Irregular, worn wheels or wheels with wheel flats yield higher damage parameters, even with minute, incipient damage.

The "acoustic fingerprint" of each tram is saved in a database, and can be retrieved from any workstation. Thanks to the complete integration of WMS in the infrastructure, the track measuring point itself and an analysis unit are the only hardware needed. Staff members are able to monitor the condition of tram wheels from their usual workstations, and if required, initiate all necessary steps.

As an option, additional airborne-noise measurements can be made with the system for monitoring motors, ventilators, and miscellaneous equipment while the vehicle is passing. This permits an integrated condition-monitoring system of trains for the first time.

WMS – the advantages at a glance:

  • Detailed knowledge of the wheel condition of the entire fleet of vehicles
  • Convenient and user-friendly handling through integration into the infrastructure, with high acceptance of the system as a result
  • Quieter vehicles
  • Detailed documentation of the wheel condition provides support in case of possible damage claims
  • Maintenance adapted to the wheel condition is more cost effective and efficient
  • As an option, overall monitoring of trains incl. motors, ventilators and other equipment.

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