Digitalisation of Wheel Profile Measurement in Freight Transport

Digitalisation of Wheel Profile Measurement in Freight Transport
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NEXTSENSE GmbH

This article first appeared in the Railway-News Magazine Issue 1, 2022.

IGE Relies on Optical Measurement Technology from NEXTSENSE to Break New Ground in Wheel Profile Wear Measurement

For more than 30 years, the name IGE has been a household name in the European railway scene, and now the Internationale Gesellschaft für Eisenbahnverkehr is also one of the pioneers in modern analysis tools. Using NEXTSENSE optical measurement technology, it is replacing outdated wheel profile measurement instruments with new ones. User-independent measured values, more accurate results and operation at the touch of a button, are a source of great enthusiasm among the workforce.

As one of the few private rail transport companies in Germany, IGE offers a wide range of services in the rail sector. Whether goods transport, special transport or tourist nostalgia train journeys, the operator takes its guests and above all its goods wherever there are railways in Europe. Day in, day out, it has to deal with numerous foreign wagons, that are loaded to the brim over Europe’s rails. There is no question that the subject of security is very important here. Each wagon is carefully inspected by trained wagon masters before departure, with special attention paid to the wheels. This process takes two to three hours, depending on the length of the train and the condition of the wagons. Only wagons that pass this inspection will have their papers handed over to the train drivers for departure. If, however, there are defects of an operationally dangerous nature, the wagon will be parked and further action will be decided with the vehicle owner.

Stefan Gärditz, railway operations manager at IGE with responsibility for vehicle safety, summarises:

“The quality of the wagons is already very high, but there is still a risk that a train may not leave due to a lack of safety. We can only detect these defects, and take the wagon out of service at an early stage, if we carefully examine the wear and tear of the train wheels.”

Measurement of the Wheel Flange

To date, the wear of the individual train wheels has been checked manually with a calliper. The wagon master goes under the wagon and manually places the calliper on the wheel. As a rule, the wheel flange is measured; in cases of doubt, the experienced wagon master can also determine the hollow tread of the running surfaces with the naked eye.

Gärditz describes the current situation:

“However, this manual method carries the risk of obtaining different results depending on who carries out the measurement. Time pressure and incorrect handling when using the calliper are the two most frequent sources of error.”

With this approach, a certain continuity and comparability of results are almost impossible. In addition, manual measuring with the calliper is a physical strain that should not be ignored, especially for the older generation of wagon masters.

Download the full PDF here.

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Digitalisation of Wheel Profile Measurement in Freight Transport

Digitalisation of Wheel Profile Measurement in Freight Transport

IGE Relies on Optical Measurement Technology from Nextsense to Break New Ground in Wheel Profile Wear Measurement.

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Use the form opposite to get in touch with NEXTSENSE GmbH directly to discuss any requirements you might have.








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