Feasibility of autonomous robotic systems for wheelset reworking
University of Birmingham
With support from Northern
This project explored the feasibility of low cost high-resolution automating inspection techniques and using additive manufacturing techniques repair wheels by adding material back on to the thread surface.
The project found it feasible to use depth camera technology mounted on a robotic arm to create 3D point cloud representation of a wheel set and algorithms to determine a path that can keep an inspection head at a constant distance from the surface of the wheelset. A review of the current inspection techniques additive applications and materials types followed by a trail of additive repair on a section of railhead demonstrated that this approach is visible in principle.
Further trails of adhesive repair are needed to understand the science and metallurgy that will support the development of adhesive rail and track component repair.