Russian Rail Shop Competition Results

 

Application of Bearing Diagnostics on Russian Railways

Automatic System for Rolling Element Bearings Diagnostics

VAST has developed and introduced an automatic system for diagnostics of rolling element bearings (DREAM- Diagnostic Rolling Element Analysis Module) in many branches of industry and transport including railways. The system consists of an IBM PC compatible personal computer, a means of envelope spectra measurements and software, DREAM. The input data for the system are the dimensions of the bearings, rotation speed and envelope spectra. This system automatically identifies both the type and severity of 12 different defects of the bearing by a single measurement and gives a condition prediction for the period up to 6 months. The system can work automatically without operator interaction in the diagnostic process. This enables even a non-qualified diagnostics operator to process up to several dozen spectra an hour. The basic system was developed in 1992 and since that time, has been installed in more than 200 enterprises in Russia and the West.

The Current Situation on Russian Railroads

There are no formal regulations adopted concerning methods and means of vibrodiagnostics of rolling element bearings though some of the railway divisions and repair shops introduce diagnostics for:

  1. Rolling element bearings and gearboxes on locomotives and subway trains using our automatic diagnostic systems including facilities at Ekaterinburg and Tomsk in Siberia.
  2. Noise control during periodic rotation of locomotive wheels, actually monitoring the condition of gears and not bearings including facilities at St. Petersburg and Moscow.
  3. Measurements of the vibration of rails under passing trains at a research center at Nizhny Novgorod, though the results of this approach are not promising at present.
  4. Also, wayside bearing temperature detectors are widely used for bearings on both subway and railways.

Plans have been adopted by the Russian railway ministry to introduce our automatic diagnostic system for rolling element bearings, gears and electric machines in repair shops in 1997. This system is based on a personal computer and an analog to digital converter board. Currently, one system is in operation in Kemerovo and is considered to be very successful to date. First, the locomotive is lifted. Then, forty-two accelerometers are temporary mounted at seven measurement points on each of six wheel pairs. Next, the wheels are rotated by the motors of the locomotive and the measurements are conducted. Two locomotives are typically diagnosed during one working shift for the vibration tests along with other maintenance diagnostics.

Fig.1 Diagnostic test stand for locomotive. The locomotive is lifted allowing the wheels to rotate from their own motors. The accelerometer is mounted on the gearbox bearing case.
Fig.2 Diagnostic test stand for locomotives. The locomotive is lifted, allowing the wheels to rotate from their own motors. The accelerometer is mounted on the box bearing case.
Fig.3 Diagnostic stand for wheel pairs from locomotives or cars. The wheel pair is rotated from an external drive and bearings are diagnosed. For locomotive wheel pairs, the gears are also diagnosed.

The other railway system currently in use is the diagnostics of wheel pairs before and after repair. Special stands are used for it. Currently, in Russia, there are about 300 such stands that are capable of being equipped with our automatic diagnostic systems. They can be equipped either with PC based systems or portable data-collector systems.

Fig. 4 Diagnostic stand for wheel pairs from locomotives or cars. The wheel pair is rotated from an external drive and bearings are diagnosed. For locomotive wheel pairs, the gears are also diagnosed.

 Our current and future developments:

  1. Continued sales of systems for the control of box bearings on existing test stands in repair shops.
  2. Continued sales of systems for the control of all bearings, gears boxes, and electric machinery on existing locomotive test stands in repair shops.
  3. Introduce more efficient test stands for diagnostics in repair shops, that is, roller stands that will allow testing both locomotives and freight and other cars as well.
  4. Introduce permanently and temporarily mounted monitor systems for use on trains in normal operation which can reliably predict safe operating periods for the bearings of up to six months.
  5. New development of wayside railcar bearing test systems using directed microphones.

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