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First phase of automating inspection of wheels, bearings likely to be completed in 2020: Railways

First phase of automating inspection of wheels, bearings likely to be completed in 2020: Railways

The first phase of automating the process of detecting defects in wheels and bearings of locomotives, coaches and wagons is likely to be completed in 2020, the Railways said on Wednesday The move to shift from manual inspection to machine-assisted automatic identification of defects will help in meeting challenges in providing safe, efficient and economical services, according to the national transporter.

The railways is adopting the Online Monitoring of Rolling Stock (OMRS) system and under this, acoustic bearing detectors, rail bearing acoustic monitors, wheel impact load detectors and wheel condition monitors will be used to detect faults in bearings and wheels of rolling assets, it said in a statement. The term rolling stock in railways refers to locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons.

The first phase of installing 25 OMRS systems at 20 locations is in progress. These locations were identified by a high-level multi-disciplinary committee of the Railway Board, the transporter said. Till now, six OMRS systems have been installed and 10 more will be installed in the ongoing fiscal. The process is likely to be completed in the current calender year 2020, according to the statement.

The first OMRS system was installed at Panipat in November 2017 and a Central Control Room called "National Command Centre" for monitoring OMRS sites was set up at Delhi's Kishanganj in March 2018. "To cope up with present challenges of safe, efficient and economical services, the Indian Railways is moving towards the adoption of automation and instrumentation in its maintenance practices for detecting defects and deficiencies in rolling assets.

"The objective is to achieve machine-assisted automatic identification of defects in rolling stock, well before any catastrophic failure," the railways said. The transporter said automation will lead from "time-based maintenance" to "condition-based predictive maintenance", increasing reliability and availability of rolling assets.

Inspection of rolling stock has largely been manual and personnel carrying it out rely on their judgement, it said, adding that inspections are conducted when locomotives and trains are stationary or moving slowly. Up to June 2019, bearing faults were detected in 33 wagons, six coaches and one locomotive. In seven coaches, the faults were in their wheels.

The railways said it was encouraged by the results from deployment of the OMRS system that detected some critical faults that could have led to accidents. It said it would go ahead with greater adoption of track-side-based maintenance systems with the aim of predictive maintenance.

"Further, moving towards predictive maintenance practices in yards, the railways is envisaging to convert its 'freight examination yards' into technology driven 'Smart Yards' for automatic detection of faults, defects and deficiencies in wagons," the statement said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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