Points Remote Condition Monitoring

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Points remote condition monitoring removes the requirement to assess this equipment manually. Learn more about how our technology works here.

Read our use case on how this technology can improve points equipment performance, save costs, enhance safety and situational awareness.

At a Glance

  • Remote condition monitoring techniques reduce the cost of maintaining points equipment.
  • Condition Based Maintenance can significantly reduce costs when compared to traditional Routine Maintenance.
  • Reduced time trackside improves safety on the network.
  • Our Centrix data platform improves situational awareness, automates alerts and enables AI analysis of data.

The Challenges

Costs:

The routine inspection and testing of track circuit equipment has a significant annual cost. Historically, these assets have posed significant operational and safety risks. As such, they have a high frequency of inspections.

Time and Process Constraints:

Inspections can be time consuming. They can also include intrusive processes, where maintainers take control of the machine and/or visually inspect covered components.

How our Products Helped

  1. Our SA380-TX data loggers allow for dynamic, condition-based maintenance regimes to be implemented. These data loggers can monitor:
    • Points Motor Current
    • Detection Relay State
    • Locking Mechanisms
    • Hydraulic Pressure on Clamp Lock type points
    • Air Flow on Pneumatic Flow type points
    • Load pins
    • Vibrations via accelerometer
    • Oil levels on Clamp Lock type points
    • Point Swing times
    This data is transmitted in real-time to the Centrix data platform, where it is automatically analysed.
  2. Maintenance teams are alerted immediately via email if any points or switches show signs of poor performance or degradation. Alarm thresholds are automatically determined from historical data.
  3. With these automated monitoring tools in place, the need for routine manual inspections is greatly reduced. Situational awareness is also increased via instant notification of events of interest.
  4. Our Centrix data platform allows for remote event investigation. It can also replay point and switch events, allowing engineers to understand patterns of intermittent faults.

Results

The graph below shows a single capture trace from Centrix. It shows points remote conditioning in action:

You can see that this capture trace has a saw-tooth characteristic - this suggests that rotor windings are being commutated poorly. Typically this is caused by worn motor brushes. This saw-tooth will become more pronounced over time as the brushes further degrade.

Engineers can visit this site, knowing where the source of the issue is likely to be. In this case, they can prepare to resolve the worn motor brushes. This would potentially not have been detected by a visual inspection.

With access to data like this, you can expect the following results:

With access to data like this, our client was able to see the following results:

Reduced costs:

Remote condition monitoring of points can reduce the need for on-site maintenance inspections significantly. This can bring down costs by up to 70%.

Improved safety:

Staff safety is improved through reduced time spent trackside. Fewer visits to sites means there is less time spent by workers in dangerous environments.

Optional unit installations:

Once an SA380-TX unit is installed on site, multiple other units can be ‘slaved' to it. We recommend SA380-TXL and SA380-IT units to ensure the most effective use of installations.