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3D Measuring Arm Meets Challenge Inspecting Large Locomotive Components

Traction & Service has acquired a Kreon Ace measuring arm to meet the challenge of inspecting large parts in the railway sector. The company’s goal being to inspect the geometric stability of certain railway security features, such as the carriage or engine chassis and body. The large-scale measuring arm delivers precision much greater than the tolerances to be inspected and provides highly reliable measurement accuracy.

A measuring arm is not normally the equipment of choice when it comes to inspecting railway bogies. Instead, traditional jigs and calibrated test benches are used. Unlike these custom-made benches the Kreon Ace measuring arm can be adapted to all types of trolley. A single measuring arm was therefore able to replace multiple traditional jigs and provide more reliability and higher measurement accuracy.

“The product proved to have great potential straight away. The tool’s versatility allows us to meet all our measurement and dimensional inspection requirements for casings, trolleys and components” states Dino Parelli, Rolling Stock and Maintenance Manager.

The flexibility of the Kreon Ace measuring arm allows the company to diversify its portfolio of measurement services. Dimensional inspections on damaged carriages have been carried out by measuring the flatness, the alignment and the perpendicularity of different surfaces in order to evaluate any possible structural deformation. In addition, the company is planning on using the Ace measuring arm for internal applications, such as checking existing control instruments like jigs and gauges.

Traction & Services is now exploring the possibility of providing measurement services off-site, due to the Kreon measuring arm’s ease of use and mobility. With the heavy and bulky jigs used previously, this was not an option.

The KREON ACE 7 axis 4.5m measuring arm with probe, used in conjunction with Polyworks measuring software, is suitable for the following applications inspections using probes on bogies, casings, trolleys and components, generating measurement and conformity reports, inspection of existing control tools, such as jigs and gauges and the possibility to carry out measurement services off-site.

A feasibility study is undertaken prior to conducting any specific operations the measuring system has never been used for before, such as checking alignment and perpendicularity on damaged vehicles. Subsequently, a technical dossier is shared with the customer in order to prepare the appropriate measurement range in the Polyworks programme.

The company found the Polyworks software tools to be very effective, in particular with regards to its capability of guiding the operator and preventing errors. In addition, clear reports are easy to create and interpret, reducing the time required for control processes.

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