The Challenge

Image The Challenge

Railway wheels are exposed to great dynamic stress. For this reason, they must be subjected to non-destructive testing during the manufacturing process with the aim of detecting material flaws that may have been caused during production. The challenge was to design an automated inspection system that covers a wheel diameter range from 540 mm to 1,350 mm and has the ability to test the contoured or flat web of the wheel.

The Solution

With RAWIS (Railway Wheel Inspection System), ROSEN has designed an innovative and modular inspection system for the automated ultrasonic testing of railway wheels. The wheel rim and wheel hub are inspected by phased array probes, while the web of the wheel disk is inspected by two conventional UT probes with water jet coupling. One squirter assembly, including the probe, is installed on each multi-axle robot for the inspection. The robots are installed on the inside and the outside of the wheel, positioning the squirters in parallel with the contour of the wheel disk. The contour of the wheel disk is automatically detected by a laser sensor before the inspection and transmitted to the robot’s control software. This allows automated ultrasonic inspection of railway wheels during the manufacturing process, inspecting a wide range of products – independent of batch sizes and without any loss of productivity.

Technical details

  • Ultrasonic testing requirements as specified in EN 13262, ISO 5948, AAR M107/208
    (others on request)
  • Dead zone ≤5 mm
  • Sensitivity
  • FBH 1 mm for wheel rim
  • FBH 3 mm for wheel hub and web
  • Wheel diameter range: 540 mm – 1,350 mm (others on request)
  • Inspection time 60 sec/wheel for cargo wheel and 90 sec/wheel for high speed wheel

The Benefit

  • High resolution
  • Fast scan speed
  • Automated feature detection
  • Evaluation algorithm with feature clustering
  • Automated re-evaluation of wheels with indications
  • Modular system design with standard components for rim, hub and web
  • Automated scan of the rim and web contour
  • Automated robot control for web inspection
  • Integrated into the wheel inspection line