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245 Automation inspection

Published: 27 August 2019

QTMS is a system for continuous track monitoring in connection with normal operations. The system is installed on at least one of the vehicles that travel the selected distance, in this case a locomotive on the ore track. Hardware has been adapted to meet the conditions prevailing on the Iron Ore Line during winter time. This mainly includes heaters that result in the snow not attaching to installed cameras. There are a large number of measurement values that QTMS delivers that have not been mentioned in this report, as the focus has been on monitoring insulated joints and switches and crossings from an inspection perspective.
The system consists of: Speed sensors, GPS, Gyroscope, 2 accelerometers, 2 microphones, 2 cameras and 4 headlights.
The sub project has met the objectives of:  
•    Verifying the hypothesis that it is possible to automate a large part of the inspection of insulated joints,frogs and switch blades  with data from a QTMS system mounted on vehicles in regular traffic.
Demonstrating the possibility of receiving support in the prioritisation of inspections and for action planning of insulated joints, frogs and switch blades.The sub project has shown that with continuous measurements of vehicles in traffic it is possible to follow up the status of turnouts and insulated joints over time and that it is possible to supplement measured results with images from the site. With regard to displacement, it has been shown how the deflection of the rail between each individual sleeper can be followed and this shows whether one or more sleepers lack support from the ballast. The dimensions of the displacement in mm can be compared with the guide values used when inspecting turnouts and insulated joints.
From the acceleration signal, small defects around insulated joints and switches and crossings can be identified. The measurement value is to a certain extent speed-dependent, but through frequent measurements trends can be visualised and deviating results can generate a work order that could be an ocular inspection but also direct action. Through the installation of cameras, images can be generated based on measured values at a specific position along the path. This can in many cases simplify an ocular inspection as it can be done remotely.
The project has collected about 20 passages between Kiruna and Narvik and analysed measurement values relating to track section  Kiruna - Riksgränsen.

Stakeholders: Luleå tekniska universitet, Tyréns, InfraNord, Trafikverket. Railcare, Kaunis Iron och IBM.

Project leader: Martin Höjer, Tyréns