Acoustic Bearing Monitoring

Acoustic Bearing

The RailBAM system from TrackIQ is an acoustic bearing monitor for rail vehicle wheelset bearings.

The system operates by using a microphone array at the side of the track that listens to each of the wheels passing the site to identify the type and severity of any defects present.

RailBAM is a condition monitor, rather than a failure detector.  Unlike a hot box detector, which typically gives less than 1 hour of warning between the fault being detectable and complete bearing failure, the RailBAM system monitors the defect over a period of weeks, and tens of thousands of miles, so that maintenance and vehicle down time can be planned and in service failures are avoided.

Condition monitoring is becoming more and more important in rail vehicle maintenance.  RailBAM allows the fleet operator to know the condition of the bearings in the fleet and to target maintenance resources on the most severe defects.  This means that the overall population health of the fleet's bearings is improved while minimising the cost of maintenance.  RailBAM also gives the opportunity to move to a condition based maintenance policy and away from simple interval based maintenance.

RailBAM is also economical in application.  Because the system is detecting and trending defects and not detecting a failure, it is not necessary to have the system placed at intervals on every track.  Specific locations can be selected in order to capture complete fleets of vehicles so that the number of RailBAM installations required to cover the railway infrastructure is considerably less than that required if using hot box detectors.

RailBAM is located to the side of the track, with only clamp on sensors fitted to the rail to minimise the installation time and so keep traffic disruption low during the installation phase.  The system is also easy to maintain with a self diagnostic capability to enable faults to be easily and quickly located.

RailBAM is provided with a database and flexible reporting tools so that the system user is provided with the information that they need in a clear format to enable maintenance planning as well as analysis of defect progression and different maintenance strategies.

You can visit the TrackIQ web site here.

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Acoustic Bearing Monitoring

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