Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Indigenous Ultra Sonic Flaw Detector Automation System for inspecting tracks on the move

 Chennai (MAS):  In a country where railway tracks run over thousands of kilometres, the Railways continues to use an outdated technology for inspecting them.

The Indian Railways has now proposed to modernise the track inspection system, and has roped in a team from IIT-Madras for the purpose. Krishnan Balasubramaniam, dean of Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR), recently unveiled the indigenously developed ultra sonic flaw detector (USFD) automation system, which, he says, has many advantages over the incumbent system.
Mr. Balasubramaniam, outlining the positive aspects of the new technology, said that fish plate joints, wear and tear, and the welding strength of tracks could be inspected much quicker without blocking any trains, which is the case with the system that is currently in use.
“The computerised track verification machine could carry out inspection of the double track for a length of 10 km per hour with the maximum speed fixed at 20 km, as against the verification of single track done by the current one.”
The USFD machine could even detect corrosion in the bottom of the tracks and the size of a crack, with the data recorded on a computer for future use.
Mr. Balasubramiam said the new technology had already been tested on a distance of for more than 1,000 km by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of the Railways. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, he added.
The USFD automation project was developed for a few lakhs, whereas foreign technology would cost a minimum of Rs. 2 crore, he said.

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