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NDT.net Issue - 2016-04 - NEWS

TSC Inspection Systems launch a new revolutionary solution for freight rail axle inspection - AXIS™

TSC Inspection Systems31, Milton Keynes [United Kingdom]
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2016-04
Building on the success of ACFM® technology across the energy, transportation and defence sectors, TSC are proud to introduce AXIS™ - a fast, easy and accurate solution for of freight train axle inspection.

Until now, NDT techniques used in the freight rail industry are recognised to have major drawbacks in their ability to detect and evaluate shallow, surface breaking defects. TSC Inspection Systems can now present the revolutionary AXIS™, a simple, fast and accurate NDT solution that addresses these limitations and provides operators with confidence in freight rail axle integrity management. The safety and integrity of a freight wagon axle is of critical importance. Failure can lead to unimaginable safety consequences, not to mention significant financial loss. Current technologies used to inspect the centre span of wagon axles are usually ultrasonic testing (UT) and magnetic particle inspection (MPI). Both of these methods have weaknesses, particularly when trying to detect shallow surface breaking defects in real-world situations, where there is a heavy reliance on operator technique and interpretation.

AXIS™ was borne from the completion of a project working with a major freight rail operator who wanted to develop an inspection system to inspect a series of freight wagon axles. Following independent trials, ACFM® was selected as the technology of choice. The main reasons for selection were ACFM’s sensitivity to surface breaking defects, ease of deployment and the ability to reject various factors which can create spurious signals and data in other technologies, such as lift-off; making the technology easy to use and interpret.

The new AXIS semi-automated system is capable of inspecting an axle in 2 minutes and has been specifically designed to be used by non-NDT trained rail technicians; with a key feature being an automated defect detection procedure, with simple “PASS / FAIL” reporting. Further in-depth analysis of failed axles can be carried out by a supervisor, who is trained in ACFM® data interpretation, identifying the location and size of defects found. A further benefit that ACFM® technology brings is that all inspection data is automatically stored for audit and review purposes.

Dr Mike Smith, TSC’s Director of Technology and Innovation, commented: “This is an exciting product development for TSC as it utilises a custom designed crawler to deploy one of the largest ACFM® array probes that TSC has ever built. AXIS™ offers rail operators a powerful and effective NDT solution, reliably supporting safety and maintenance schedules, improving rail vehicle reliability, whilst reducing the costs of operation”.

For further information please visit the AXIS™ microsite at www.tscis.com/pages/campaign/axis/ or contact Dr Mike Smith – Technology & Innovation Director on email: msmith@tscis.com

About TSC Inspection Systems
TSC Inspection Systems provides Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) service, rental and product solutions developed using their unique and patented Alternating Current Field Measurement (ACFM®) Technology. The ACFM® technique detects surface-breaking cracks in metallic structures and components, without the need to remove protected coatings, therefore minimizing downtime for critical operations.
TSC Inspection Systems was established in 1984, as a spin-off from University College London, by a team of Professors and Lecturers who were recognised leaders in the fields of NDT, robotics and fracture mechanics. ACFM® was developed with support from BP, BG, Conoco and Shell, who were keen to dramatically improve the reliability of underwater inspection, reduce the reliance on the operator and provide auditable inspection records. TSC offers clients a wide range of support in the execution of inspection programs around the world including Inspection Services, Equipment Rental, Product Sales and Technical Support.
For further information please visit the TSC Inspection Systems website www.tscis.com

TSC Inspection Systems

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