Case study # 1036 Rail vehicle damper test system


Case study # 1036 Rail vehicle damper test system
Case study # 1036
Rail vehicle damper test system
Our client, a major player in the field of railway maintenance, was having reliability problems with a damper test rig, built in the
1970s. Whilst the mechanics and speed control system were in good order, the data capture and display systems were
extremely fragile. The system had failed several times over the last 12 months and repair was becoming more difficult and
expensive. To minimise cost and operator confusion, it was decided to simply add a new data capture and display system to the
existing test rig. All existing hardware would be left intact for a short period, too allow the operators to become familiar with
the new system, without limiting throughput.
A new data acquisition system, based around a Keithley Instruments KPCi-3101 data acquisition card was developed, using CEC’s
TestPoint version 5.1 as a software development platform. The software communicates with an ACCESSTM database which holds
test parameters for all the dampers that are repaired by the workshop. Screens are provided to allow, under password control,
the modification or addition of data to the database files. Incoming data is displayed against deflection as a Lissajou circle.
Limits are displayed on the graph to allow the operator to assess the performance of the damper. The software automatically
compares maximum and minimum values against pre-loaded threshold values and will display a PASS or FAIL status at the end of
the test sequence. Data is stored to .CSV format files to allow for importation into EXCELTM. A report is generated in PDF format
to allow for electronic transport and viewing using Adobe AcrobatTM
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