|The device increases safety in rail transport, as it enables early detection of defects on the running surface of the wheel prior to assembly.
The system designed by the technology centre meets the demanding standards of Italian homologation, and as a result strengthens the market position of the company greatly.
The Basque technology centre IK4-IDEKO has developed a state-of-the-art ultrasonic inspection system for the train manufacturer CAF. This system secures a sound condition of train wheels and is thus a significant contribution to rail transport safety. The device was delivered to CAF recently and its use allows the manufacturer to become an approved supplier of rolling stock in Italy, as it meets the demanding homologation standards of this country.
This, of course, greatly enhances its market position. "The inspectors of Trenitalia, the Italian state railway company, have verified that the system meets all demands and have confirmed its correct operation," according to Ivan Castro, a researcher from the Department of Inspection and Measurement of IK4-IDEKO.
Moreover, this device allows the inspection to be carried out on all manufactured wheels prior to assembly, using state-of-the-art pulse-echo ultrasound and tandem techniques to detect defects on the entire thickness of the running surface of a wheel.
The high flexibility and modularity make that the system can easily be adapted to different geometries and sizes of railway wheels. After completing the design of the system and checking correct operation, experts from the technology centre have trained staff from CAF who will use the system. The development of this device was made possible thanks to the specialisation of IK4-IDEKO in NDT.
This field requires skilled professionals who meet stringent approval standards with international certification. The inspection and measurement division is one of the main areas of research of the technology centre, a benchmark company in the Basque Country in Advanced Manufacturing."The development of this system for CAF establishes IK4-IDEKO as a specialised agent in ultrasound technology, with all required tools, equipment and suitable professionals to perform these tasks. Also, it is the result of the strategic commitment pursued by the company for years in the field of non-destructive testing, especially in the railway sector" Castro added.
IK4-IDEKO also has a long history of research, generation and application of knowledge aimed at testing and quality control of various components for railways, a sector in which the sound condition of the parts and safety during operation is an absolute must.