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NEXTSENSE dethrones the wheel flange gauge

In keeping with the motto "Focus on the essential", NEXTSENSE GmbH will proudly present a portable wheel profile measuring device for smaller budgets at this year's InnoTrans exhibition.

NEXTSENSE dethrones the wheel flange gauge

In keeping with the motto "Focus on the essential", NEXTSENSE GmbH will proudly present a portable optical profile measuring device for smaller budgets at this year's InnoTrans exhibition - and digital wheel flange gauge. This might just spell the end for traditional mechanical gauges, which look set to be replaced by a measurement device that is able to work contact-free. According to the manufacturer, the device makes light work of measuring wear parameters on railway vehicle wheels with the utmost precision. Reducing the number of work steps and the extent to which users are involved in measurement operations enables wheelsets to be checked more reliably than ever. This ultimately increases the availability of the fleet and allows maintenance intervals to be optimised.

Railway vehicle wheels are typical wear parts. The constant weight on the wheels when in use causes wear, which can have significant negative effects on the safety and reliability of railway vehicles. For this reason, all wheel profiles are measured regularly. Various gauges and measurement devices can be used for this purpose; they vary primarily in their degree of automation, their technology and the quality of the measured data they provide. However, a substantial gap in the market has been noted among the expensive tactile and optical profile measurement devices and the cheap mechanical gauges. There has been no suitable alternative to these devices for small businesses or rail transport companies specialising in goods transport – until now.

No contact, no conflict

NEXTSENSE, the optical sensor specialist known for its multifunctional CALIPRI C40 profile measurement device, has currently developed a product whose improved cost-benefit ratio means that error-prone wheel flange gauges now face serious competition. Clemens Gasser, Managing Director of NEXTSENSE GmbH, explains: "CALIPRI Prime wins customers over because it provides the high-quality measured data that they expect from our products, but at an affordable price. It's an unbeatable offer that will allow manufacturers, operators and service engineers to check wheel profiles in a matter of seconds with just one hand." The optical testing device can measure variables such as flange height, flange width and qR. In addition, the manufacturer guarantees that the device measures wear values comprising wheel width, hollow tread and rollover, allowing a complete wheel profile measurement. The measurement device is therefore capable of providing the results of several measurements in one, which would otherwise require the use of multiple mechanical gauges such as a tyre wear gauge or tyre thickness gauge. NEXTSENSE has stated that it will showcase the device at this year's InnoTrans, the leading international trade fair for transport technology, where it will be available to pre-order at a special discounted price.

CALIPRI Prime is based on advances in the laser light sectioning process, which projects a laser line onto the profile to be measured and captures the contour with a camera. The use of multiple laser lines to capture the shape of the profile, thereby eliminating the possibility that the device could tilt or distort the image, is a world first. The measurement device can be operated by hand thanks to this "trick" – as such, the possibility of user interference is eliminated, thus making the results more consistently reproducible.

Manual becomes digital

Mechanical gauges require measured variables to be read off a scale (which is often done inaccurately), documented in writing and then painstakingly entered into a database. CALIPRI Prime, by contrast, shows the wear values on its integrated display as soon as the measurement has been taken and can transfer the measured data to a computer via USB.

With this innovation, NEXTSENSE has expanded its product range in the budget segment and is addressing the needs of workshop users, railway vehicle technicians and freight train operators. NEXTSENSE will present the CALIPRI Prime from 20th to 23rd September 2016 at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin (hall 23, stand 507).

 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 726903.

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