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The application of Optimess Laser Measuring Systems in the Tram and Railway Industry
Possibilities application:

1.Measuring of rail waviness

2.Wheel profile measuring

3.Application in wheel-set measuring stations

4.Trackage maintenance

5.High-speed track width measuring

6. Scanning of the wheel head at high speed

7.Scanning of the rail cross-section

8.Scanning of the rail longitudinal section

9.Ripple measuring

10.Research and development

11.Measuring of wheel position on track in passing

12.Behaviour wheel/rail

13. Other applications in the R&D area

14.RAILMONITOR - A world first in mobile rail measurement

15. Mobile measuring system for wheel profile measuring

16.Catenary measurement

Production and maintainance:

----Measuring of rail waviness

During production, waviness of the running area is mainly caused by the necessary setting process. In later operation, this will lead, for example, to amplified running noise and will require additional re-grinding of the rail. Apart from high costs this grinding process will also cause abrasion of the hardened sections in the rail head.

According to the norm, the waviness is determined by placing a metal ruler of fixed length (e.g. 3 mtr.) and measuring of the minimal and maximal deviation by means of a thickness gauge. Apart from the long test periods, this measuring method is not absolutely independent of the tester and allows only limited possibilities of documentation in the form of a test protocol.

Therefore, a non-contact measuring device is in operation at a major rail manufacturer's for several years. By means of 4 laser sensors the running area is scanned on-line, in a non-contact method during production. The software of a high-performance computer is capable of determining the amplitude and wavelength of the surface waviness by Fourier Transformation. By means of a ruler created by the software, the min. and max. values are being determined analogue to measuring by hand.

Comparative measurements over a longer period have shown that deviations of max. 0.05 mm between both measuring methods occur. Just recently, also the rail evenness at a 90?angle to the running surface is being registered. The measuring system has been examined and approved by leading railway companies. This year, a further rail manufacturer has incorporated this measuring system into his production.

----wheel profile measuring

Non-contact wheel-profile measuring presents the possibility of fast, non-contact registration of the parameters for subsequent wheel-set machining. For this profile registration a laser sensor is being moved along the profile. By simultaneous scanning of the travel path and the laser distance values, the profile is registered by the computer, and then the characteristical parameters as, for example, thickness, height and width of the wheel flange, and wheel width will be determined. The systems, which are also in operation in the tramway- and underground sectors, have been developed in co-operation with Deutsche Bahn AG and have been integrated directly in wheel-set processing machines; so that the processes of pre-measuring, machining, and control-measuring can be carried out by one machine.

----Application in wheel-set measuring stations

While the above mentioned application is only used for determination of the characteristical parameters of the wheel profile, the use of several sensors at the 2- or 3-axis-positioning unit allows for determination of nearly all wheel-set parameters, e.g. profile determination, impact measuring, brake-disk measuring, wheel flat detection, etc. By entering the wheel-set identification all parameters, which are to be determined, are being fixed, automatically measured and registered. The laser sensors' flexibility with regard to deviation, measuring distance, and measuring range also allows for optional resetting and retrofitting of already operating measuring stations, working in contact method.

----Trackage maintenance

A time-optimised recording of the rail condition gains more and more importance due to the increasingly short train sequence in the areas of newly built railtracks. Therefore, trackage measurements should ideally be integrated into the machining process, or they should be carried out by specialised measuring vehicles within the normal train sequence, i.e. they should be feasible at a speed of between 120 and 250 km/h. Also in this case, laser sensors, due to their non-contact measuring value intake, their small size, and high measuring frequency, have gained special importance.

----High-speed track width measuring

These measurements have been carried out by means of laser systems by institutes in the research sector (e.g. TU Berlin) for quite some time. For this, the lasers were arranged in free space profile, so that measuring was carried out diagonally to the side of the rail. This positioning required a later correction of the measuring values due to the individual movement of the measuring vehicle. Just recently, a special sensor for track-width measuring has become available. Here, the laser beam within the sensor is redirected twice, so that vertical measuring at the measuring point, stipulated in the norm, is possible at the wheel head. The sensor has been positioned in such a way in the shadow of the wheel that it is also possible to pass through point mechanisms without any lifting of the measuring system. The sensor is waterproof, and in case of contamination, the optical installation is cleaned automatically by a cleaning system.

Comparative measurements with contact systems (max. 120 km/h) have generated absolutely identical, reproducible measuring values. The sensor can be operated at a speed of up to 250 km/h.

----Scanning of the wheel head at high speed

For a fast classification of the wheel head's wear-and-tear condition in view of an assessment of the necessary re-working, measuring vehicles were equipped with laser sensors, in such a way that there were 5-7 sensors positioned on each side of the rail around the wheel head. At these points measuring values are recorded every 20cm and compared to the control profile stored in the computer. The computer classifies the deviations according to the allowed tolerance values. The vehicle's movements overlaying the measuring values are compensated for mathematically by the computer.

----Scanning of the rail cross-section

During the necessary machining of the rail profile the profile is being monitored before, during and after the grinding process. For this purpose, either a dot scanning OPTImess sensor is moved by means of a linear unit diagonally to the direction of travel, or laser scanners are used. In the case of laser scanners, the measuring point is scanned along a line over the rail profile, and the result is a section along the measuring line. This "rail section" is compared to the control profile, which is to be manufactured, with the aid of the computer, and the grinding parameters are adjusted accordingly.

----Scanning of the rail longitudinal section

With the same sensor positioning as for the classification of the wear-and-tear condition, also the longitudinal waviness can be recorded. With the aid of the computer the wave lengths and amplitudes are being determined by Fourier Analysis from the recorded rail surface. The measurement can take place during the rail machining process or during a separate measuring drive. After the measurement, a separate measuring protocol for each section of the track will be prepared.

----Ripple measuring

Ripple measuring is a special kind of measuring of the longitudinal section. In this process, ripples with wave lengths of 1mm to 1.8 mtr. are detected, evaluated, and classified by a sensor in the centre of the driving surface. The sensor's position is chosen in such a way that the individual movements of the measuring head will not influence the measuring result.

----Research and development

In the research and development area there are many measuring tasks which can be performed by means of laser sensors, and of which only a few are to be mentioned exemplary in the following.

----Measuring of wheel position on track in passing

The high scanning frequency of the OPTImess sensors (up to 50 kHz) provides the possibility to scan the wheel's outer side. By the defined positioning of the sensors at the sides of the railtracks, the recording of the wheel-sets' positions within the rails is possible at high speed. With this kind of in-line positioning of several sensors within the area of points, it is also possible to reach conclusions about the running behaviour of wheel-sets in points and to optimise guides inside of points.

----Behaviour wheel/rail

By simultaneous measuring of rail and wheel positions the wheel-set's running behaviour can be recorded (sinus running). Due to the wide measuring distances, it is possible to install the sensors suitably protected below the carriages.

----Other applications in the R&D area are:

Measuring of rail movements
Approach measurements during wagon connecting
Heeling measurements of wagon superstructures
Recording of the current-collector position

These examples of application have been listed to point out the diversity of the OPTImess sensors for measuring processes in railway practice. The variety of measuring ranges (4-800 mm), high scanning frequencies (up to 50 kHz), small size, and operating possibilities on nearly all kinds of surface, as well as insensibility with regard to impact stress, are properties which have turned laser sensors into an universal sensor for measurements in the area of wheel/rail. Many kinds of application are also transferable to measuring tasks in underground and local transport organisations.

A">During the necessary machining of the rail profile the profile is being monitored before, during and after the grinding process. For this purpose, either a dot scanning OPTImess sensor is moved by means of a linear unit diagonally to the direction of travel, or laser scanners are used. In the case of laser scanners, the measuring point is scanned along a line over the rail profile, and the result is a section along the measuring line. This "rail section" is compared to the control profile, which is to be manufactured, with the aid of the computer, and the grinding parameters are adjusted accordingly.

----Scanning of the rail longitudinal section

With the same sensor positioning as for the classification of the wear-and-tear condition, also the longitudinal waviness can be recorded. With the aid of the computer the wave lengths and amplitudes are being determined by Fourier Analysis from the recorded rail surface. The measurement can take place during the rail machining process or during a separate measuring drive. After the measurement, a separate measuring protocol for each section of the track will be prepared.

----Ripple measuring

Ripple measuring is a special kind of measuring of the longitudinal section. In this process, ripples with wave lengths of 1mm to 1.8 mtr. are detected, evaluated, and classified by a sensor in the centre of the driving surface. The sensor's position is chosen in such a way that the individual movements of the measuring head will not influence the measuring result.

----Research and development

In the research and development area there are many measuring tasks which can be performed by means of laser sensors, and of which only a few are to be mentioned exemplary in the following.

----Measuring of wheel position on track in passing

The high scanning frequency of the OPTImess sensors (up to 50 kHz) provides the possibility to scan the wheel's outer side. By the defined positioning of the sensors at the sides of the railtracks, the recording of the wheel-sets' positions within the rails is possible at high speed. With this kind of in-line positioning of several sensors within the area of points, it is also possible to reach conclusions about the running behaviour of wheel-sets in points and to optimise guides inside of points.

----Behaviour wheel/rail

By simultaneous measuring of rail and wheel positions the wheel-set's running behaviour can be recorded (sinus running). Due to the wide measuring distances, it is possible to install the sensors suitably protected below the carriages.

----Other applications in the R&D area are:

Measuring of rail movements
Approach measurements during wagon connecting
Heeling measurements of wagon superstructures
Recording of the current-collector position

These examples of application have been listed to point out the diversity of the OPTImess sensors for measuring processes in railway practice. The variety of measuring ranges (4-800 mm), high scanning frequencies (up to 50 kHz), small size, and operating possibilities on nearly all kinds of surface, as well as insensibility with regard to impact stress, are properties which have turned laser sensors into an universal sensor for measurements in the area of wheel/rail. Many kinds of application are also transferable to measuring tasks in underground and local transport organisations.

A">During the necessary machining of the rail profile the profile is being monitored before, during and after the grinding process. For this purpose, either a dot scanning OPTImess sensor is moved by means of a linear unit diagonally to the direction of travel, or laser scanners are used. In the case of laser scanners, the measuring point is scanned along a line over the rail profile, and the result is a section along the measuring line. This "rail section" is compared to the control profile, which is to be manufactured, with the aid of the computer, and the grinding parameters are adjusted accordingly.

----Scanning of the rail longitudinal section

With the same sensor positioning as for the classification of the wear-and-tear condition, also the longitudinal waviness can be recorded. With the aid of the computer the wave lengths and amplitudes are being determined by Fourier Analysis from the recorded rail surface. The measurement can take place during the rail machining process or during a separate measuring drive. After the measurement, a separate measuring protocol for each section of the track will be prepared.

----Ripple measuring

Ripple measuring is a special kind of measuring of the longitudinal section. In this process, ripples with wave lengths of 1mm to 1.8 mtr. are detected, evaluated, and classified by a sensor in the centre of the driving surface. The sensor's position is chosen in such a way that the individual movements of the measuring head will not influence the measuring result.

----Research and development

In the research and development area there are many measuring tasks which can be performed by means of laser sensors, and of which only a few are to be mentioned exemplary in the following.

----Measuring of wheel position on track in passing

The high scanning frequency of the OPTImess sensors (up to 50 kHz) provides the possibility to scan the wheel's outer side. By the defined positioning of the sensors at the sides of the railtracks, the recording of the wheel-sets' positions within the rails is possible at high speed. With this kind of in-line positioning of several sensors within the area of points, it is also possible to reach conclusions about the running behaviour of wheel-sets in points and to optimise guides inside of points.

----Behaviour wheel/rail

By simultaneous measuring of rail and wheel positions the wheel-set's running behaviour can be recorded (sinus running). Due to the wide measuring distances, it is possible to install the sensors suitably protected below the carriages.

----Other applications in the R&D area are:

Measuring of rail movements
Approach measurements during wagon connecting
Heeling measurements of wagon superstructures
Recording of the current-collector position

These examples of application have been listed to point out the diversity of the OPTImess sensors for measuring processes in railway practice. The variety of measuring ranges (4-800 mm), high scanning frequencies (up to 50 kHz), small size, and operating possibilities on nearly all kinds of surface, as well as insensibility with regard to impact stress, are properties which have turned laser sensors into an universal sensor for measurements in the area of wheel/rail. Many kinds of application are also transferable to measuring tasks in underground and local transport organisations.

, A">During the necessary machining of the rail profile the profile is being monitored before, during and after the grinding process. For this purpose, either a dot scanning OPTImess sensor is moved by means of a linear unit diagonally to the direction of travel, or laser scanners are used. In the case of laser scanners, the measuring point is scanned along a line over the rail profile, and the result is a section along the measuring line. This "rail section" is compared to the control profile, which is to be manufactured, with the aid of the computer, and the grinding parameters are adjusted accordingly.

----Scanning of the rail longitudinal section

With the same sensor positioning as for the classification of the wear-and-tear condition, also the longitudinal waviness can be recorded. With the aid of the computer the wave lengths and amplitudes are being determined by Fourier Analysis from the recorded rail surface. The measurement can take place during the rail machining process or during a separate measuring drive. After the measurement, a separate measuring protocol for each section of the track will be prepared.

----Ripple measuring

Ripple measuring is a special kind of measuring of the longitudinal section. In this process, ripples with wave lengths of 1mm to 1.8 mtr. are detected, evaluated, and classified by a sensor in the centre of the driving surface. The sensor's position is chosen in such a way that the individual movements of the measuring head will not influence the measuring result.

----Research and development

In the research and development area there are many measuring tasks which can be performed by means of laser sensors, and of which only a few are to be mentioned exemplary in the following.

----Measuring of wheel position on track in passing

The high scanning frequency of the OPTImess sensors (up to 50 kHz) provides the possibility to scan the wheel's outer side. By the defined positioning of the sensors at the sides of the railtracks, the recording of the wheel-sets' positions within the rails is possible at high speed. With this kind of in-line positioning of several sensors within the area of points, it is also possible to reach conclusions about the running behaviour of wheel-sets in points and to optimise guides inside of points.

----Behaviour wheel/rail

By simultaneous measuring of rail and wheel positions the wheel-set's running behaviour can be recorded (sinus running). Due to the wide measuring distances, it is possible to install the sensors suitably protected below the carriages.

----Other applications in the R&D area are:

Measuring of rail movements
Approach measurements during wagon connecting
Heeling measurements of wagon superstructures
Recording of the current-collector position

These examples of application have been listed to point out the diversity of the OPTImess sensors for measuring processes in railway practice. The variety of measuring ranges (4-800 mm), high scanning frequencies (up to 50 kHz), small size, and operating possibilities on nearly all kinds of surface, as well as insensibility with regard to impact stress, are properties which have turned laser sensors into an universal sensor for measurements in the area of wheel/rail. Many kinds of application are also transferable to measuring tasks in underground and local transport organisations.




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