February 2013The value of Rail Inspection systems using a suite of instruments in a concurrent test regime is an attractive proposition for several key reasons.
Firstly, there is a significant benefit in requiring less time on-track by needing only one track occupation. This means less disruption for revenue traffic which offers the rail operator significant cost savings in two ways. The first is that more revenue traffic can be directed down the line and secondly, the network owner is not required to support multiple test runs from separate testing companies to complete the required testing.
In conjunction with the value of that concept are the advantages of using a suite of instruments deliberately developed for one common rail inspection system, capable of concurrent testing across different levels. C.A.T.E.R has developed a range of rail inspection instruments with the same or similar displays, controls, interfaces and reporting formats across the testing levels; from pedestrian to train-borne. With less training time required due to the familiar operational and maintenance procedures, training costs are reduced and also offers an arguable improvement in analysis accuracy and maintenance regimes.
Even further, is in having the capacity to collate the information streams into one set of reports for accurate analysis leading to Condition Monitoring. This attitude of Predictive Maintenance and flaw trending is considered as the “Holy Grail” of Rail Inspection.
In conjunction with the benefit of similarity, and consequent operator familiarity, of the software across all levels of C.A.T.E.R Rail Inspection systems are clear economies for an operator to be able to work at the pedestrian level of HANDWave up to the full train-borne systems with several rail inspection systems onboard. The advantage of this flexibility of setup offers significant cost savings for operators as the concurrent testing regime does not require the purchase, staffing and maintenance of several different types of vehicles.
Condition Monitoring, the essential aim of any inspection process, is made possible with RIPWave, the powerful post-test analysis program developed by C.A.T.E.R. This powerful software has the ability to collate, synchronize and report using multiple streams of information which is then used to give run-on-run comparisons in various output formats, including being fed into higher level rail network databases.
This worthwhile expansion of C.A.T.E.R's technical capabilities is unique in the Rail Inspection industry. It maintains this Australian company at the forefront of rail maintenance systems' development for safe and cost effective rail travel.