SoniQ Rail Explorer (SRE)

Precisely identify, localize and predict operations-related irregularities in the rail’s interior.

In addition to the measuring methods and devices for documenting the rail’s longitudinal and transverse profiles, ultrasonic inspections serve to localize operations-related irregularities in the rail’s interior. Thanks to testing electronics and software from the PCUS pro® family, the SRE detects reflectors from volumetric defects on both the gauge corner side and the field side and even deep squats and head checks as well as corrosion in the rail base according to DIN EN 16729-1. The ultrasonic roller unit has nine test probes that insonify the rail from various different angles.

The SoniQ Rail Explorer’s development and manufacture doesn’t just rely on the applicable European standards and regulations to ensure it can be used worldwide in the tough conditions of railway operations. We also used our extensive experience of using ultrasonic inspection systems in the industry sector of railway maintenance (track superstructure) in order to provide EN Category 1 inspectors or higher with an ultrasonic rail tester suitable for pinpointing defects and carrying out regular inspections on short track sections, switches, crossings, level crossings and at railway stations.

Choose between purchasing your own SRE including training and software or having your rails inspected as a service. We’ll be happy to advise you.

Top-Features

Highlights

User-friendly operation

Ergonomically sophisticated, the SRE sets itself apart through being easy to use and through its sturdy construction. Thanks to its slim-line, carbon-fiber reinforced design and even weight distribution, the SRE can be easily transported (optional shoulder strap also available) and fits into the luggage compartment of a passenger vehicle. Support stands, which are folded up during the inspection procedure, ensure that the SRE stands up safely on uneven terrain and that the testing equipment is protected.

The guiding mechanism
  • ensures the test wheel remains aligned along the rail’s centerline
  • ensures the best possible insonification angle for the probes
  • differentiates between forwards and backwards operation and recognizes when the rail inspection has been interrupted.

A coupling water control system and a battery life monitored by a battery management function ensure that the SRE can be used to inspect rails for up to 8 hours.

The option of connecting a hand-held ultrasonic test probe makes it easy for the inspector to check welds and forging work. The removable rugged tablet with its intuitive touch-screen display makes things easy. It has a quick zoom-in and zoom-out function as well as a day/night mode with variable brightness adjustment.

In order to be able to carry out inspections on longer track sections without tiring, we recommend the optional lateral outrigger, which uses the other rail to provide support. An upgraded version of the SRE is currently being developed that will carry out inspections of both rails simultaneously.

Variable views for intuitively understanding the inspection results

With its powerful modular ultrasonic testing electronics, the SRE is used to detect internal, operations-related irregularities in the rail. The SRE exploits all the digital possibilities – from data collection to analysis of the raw data – and allows the findings to be incorporated into companies’ process chains. In this way, the SRE contributes to transparent data collection and analysis. Every round of inspections
  • reveals significantly more about the rail’s interior
  • allows the scheduling of condition-based maintenance measures
  • makes it possible to predict wear development and service life.

Control, data collection and analysis are all handled by the same software, which gives the inspector numerous options when processing the data. The inspection data collected on the entire inspected area are visualized using both A-scans and B-scans with configurable thresholds and as a volumetric image. The threshold value can be edited later in the amplitude-based volumetric view, which provides even more revealing information on the reflectors and their dynamic.

+ Test probes, each visualized separately

+ Synchronized A-scan und B-scan images

+ A-view selection for each test probe

+ Synchronized camera image

For the first time ever, a recorded visual image and an Augmented Reality (AR) display of the findings are integrated into ultrasonic testing equipment with A-scans and B-scans. With its optional camera, the SRE provides seamless photo documentation of the rail’s running surface. Each photo corresponds with the inspection software and its location is matched up exactly to the respective inspection points. The location information which is entered manually – the route or switch designations, hectometers and route markers – is supplemented with the data from the integrated distance counter and the GPS coordinates and linked to the ultrasonic inspection data.

With the aid of a Microsoft HoloLens, the inspector can use the optional AR function to display the indicators recorded by the SRE as a tomographic hologram in a spatially accurate 3D volumetric image. Intelligently integrating ultrasonic inspection equipment with the actual infrastructure enables easier classification of the data and makes it easier to interpret and intuitively evaluate the inspection results.

AI-based learning

The inspector can have the learned algorithms option (artificial intelligence) provide support with the detection of irregularities. Every indicator accepted by the inspector improves the performance of the pattern recognition. At the same time, every round of inspections assists condition-based maintenance and the analysis of the measures taken. Continuously feeding the results into an asset management program increases the informative value of the AI-assisted prognoses on wear development and the rail’s service life, which in turn improves the service quality and availability of the track infrastructure.

Lots of integration options

The relevant raw data is saved to memory and can be transferred via Wife/LTE, USB or SD card. Besides providing systemized verification and long-term access to all the inspection data, this allows the data to be immediately integrated into asset management systems. With the open interface, the data are also compatible with MR.pro®, Vossloh’s Smart Maintenance Application mapl-e and the commonly used ERP systems.

The inspection results can thus be incorporated straight into your company’s digitalized process chains. If you’d like our experts to analyze the inspection data collected, the workflow also provides for a cloud-based transfer of the raw data to a data processing center.

Services

Our range of services include:
  • Practically-oriented training on the SRE and its software, which can take place at a Vossloh Training Center or on your premises
  • A field manager to monitor your inspections
  • The annual check and calibration of the tester according to DIN EN 12668-1 and ISO 22232-1
  • Maintenance and procurement of spare parts
  • System check-ups and software upgrades
  • Carrying out analyses of the data you have collected
  • Dynamically customized SRE management (optional functionality can be purchased).

Facts

  • Total weight: < 20 kg
  • Measurements in operating mode: 870 mm x 300 mm x 930 mm (L/W/H); transport measurements with the push handle folded down: 1,100 mm x 300 mm x 580 mm (L/W/H).
  • Inspecting from as close as one millimeter, nine probes deliver an accurate picture of the rail’s condition at a testing velocity of 5 km/h
  • No interference with trackside switching equipment
  • Inspections only to be carried out by EN Category 1 inspectors or higher
  • Testing capacity of up to 8 hours

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