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Automatic train wheel inspection system (ATWIS)

Automatic train wheel inspection system uses total of 400 hundred transducer (transducer array) laid on the track to do a complete inspection of the train wheels, this includes the wheel trim, wheel spoke area. In contrast to some system that use transducers to move along the wheel while the train is moving, this transducer array approach provides better signal, better inspection coverage, better wheel transducer coupling and thus provides better inspection quality. The system will automatically mark the cracked spot of the wheel and automatically generate the testing report.

The automatic train wheel inspection system consists of three parts, Transducer Array, On Site Ultrasound Electronics Center and Remote Control Monitor Center, as shown below.

Transducer array that are used for inspection the train wheel, and the camera, laser etc that are used for the train wheel geometry measurement are installed in the gauge side of the track, the total length of the track is about 82 feet.
On site electronics Unit Room have a couple of ultrasonic units and industrial computers. The electronics inside this room has two major functions. First, they implement ultrasonic data acquisition and processing, output inspection report, send testing data to the remote control unit. Second, they implement automatic control function of the system, such as automatic recognition of the train ID, automatic picture shooting, automatic speed calculation, automatic paint mark, automatic coupling fluid squirting, automatic temperature compensation and automatic lighting.
Remote control unit room also have a couple computers that are used to communicate with the on site electronics, analyze and display the inspection results, generate testing report.

The train runs into the inspection station at 5kilometers/hour, ATWIS will start to work. The water coupling system sprays the water out. During the inspection, ultrasonic data acquisition unit, industrial control computer, transducer array all are working automatically. In the remote control unit, testing result can be obtained through the network.

The following scheme is a typical maintenance shop setup.
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