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Lynxrail secure contract with Roy Hill for Enhanced Condition Monitoring for Rollingstock

Perth engineering company, Lynxrail, has secured a contract to install its Automated Train Examiner (ATEx) technology on the new Roy Hill rail line 33 km from Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. 

The ATEx uses leading edge optics, electronics and machine vision algorithms to assess the condition of key rolling stock components while the trains are running in service.  Lynxrail founder and CEO, Kris Kilian, has been developing this technology since the 1990s.  “We started with an idea to extend the life of the aging ore car fleets that were being used in the Pilbara at the time.  To do this we had to have detailed information on the condition of key ore car components and we started taking photos of those components to develop a history of each vehicle.”  Kilian said.  “We have come a long way since then and the product that we will be using for Roy Hill is the result of thousands of hours of development work in the past 18 years.  Roy Hill will be using our Wheel Profile Monitor, Brake Shoe Monitor and the Hunting and Tracking Monitor.  We will also be providing an acoustic bearing monitor (RailBam) from Adelaide company TrackIQ which “listens” for faulty wheel bearings to complement our technology.”

The optics are mounted at sleeper level and on small towers adjacent to the track. We take high precision measurements of rolling stock wheels to assess their spacing and speed, and to survey their dynamic behaviour. At the same time the system synchronises the cameras and strobes to develop the optimal triggering strategy for obtain pictures of the components at normal operational speeds. Three high definition images of each wheel are captured at different angles, as well as two images of the brake shoe.  These images are processed on site and arranged in a database according to the vehicle number and train by using Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) technology.  Sophisticated machine vision algorithms measure key parameters such as flange thickness and brake shoe thickness.  This information is stored in a database available for viewing via a web-based viewer, and any critical components that are deemed to be unsafe are reported immediately via email to Roy Hill. 

According to Manager Rollingstock Maintenance at Roy Hill, Bruce Brymer, it was critical to keep maintenance costs down and extend ore car wheel life.  “Wheels are one of the biggest costs in a railway,” Brymer said.  “At Roy Hill we are starting a new operation and we plan to maximise the life of our wheelsets. The ATEx and the RailBam will complement our Wheel Impact Load Detectors and Hot Bearing Detectors and provide continuous condition monitoring data for these key areas. This data will allow Roy Hill to confirm bogie performance is meeting design expectations and wheel wear is within the target range to achieve the predicted wheel life for the railway”.

For additional information contact Lynxrail - John Phelan,

Commercial Manager, 0407 28 698 john_phelan@lynxrail.net

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