Multitasking saves time and money: that is confirmed by a contact-free profile measurement device of the Austrian innovation incubator NextSense. Thanks to a non-contact measurement process, CALIPRI delivers high-precision and reproducible measurement results for a wide range of profiles. Whether it is rails, switches, wheels or brakes, CALIPRI measures them all.

This multifunctionality generates cost advantages. Instead of having to purchase a single device for every object to be measured, one is enough, thanks to the CALIPRI method. The railway industry quickly recognised this advantage, and that is why important names in those industries bank on the handy device. Now it’s been updated and optimised once more with the software release 6.0. The basic advantages can now be used even more intuitively, and more functions have been added.

With high-speed trains racing over their track systems at 300km/h (186mph), one might wonder how come the wheel and rail dimensions are still monitored with a sliding calliper. Ever since the market launch of CALIPRI in 2008, a high-precision, laser-based measurement method for profile dimensions has been available, which delivers reproducible results independent of the user. The developer and producer of this device, the Austrian company NextSense, has further simplified its handling and extended its functionalities with the newest software update.

No contact, no conflict
Already in its previous version, the device had won over renowned customers such as Deutsche Bundesbahn and SNCF. The decision of customers in favour of CALIPRI is based time and again on its phenomenal advantage in comparison to existing measurement solutions.

Christoph Böhm, Marketing Manager of NextSense, explains: "Other measurement devices have to be attached to the object. When doing this, even a slight tilt makes for a substantial difference in the measurement. Thus correct profiles are measured as wrong and wrong ones are measured as correct. CALIPRI is immune to such slight, manual mistakes, which can result in significant measurement errors."

In fact, you measure the profile with CALIPRI without contact. In doing so, three laser lines scan the surface and an intelligent image processing system records segments of the object profile and combines them into an entire profile. This profile is then measured by correspondingly defined algorithms, and all important quality values as well as wear values are displayed. This way, deviations from nominal values can be recognized in a matter of seconds.

For the entire measurement procedure, the distance and angle of the sensor to the measured object do not have to be kept precisely the same throughout. This way, the results are free of any operator influence and are reproducible. In addition, the device can be used in areas difficult to access, where traditional measurement devices are hardly of any use. These advantages are linked to a significant cost reduction: One and the same device can be used for numerous and diverse measuring tasks, thanks to the contact-free method and a modular software concept.

Whether it is the thickness, diameter, profile, wheel clearance or the rails and switch geometry, one device measures all. That reduces acquisition costs, in comparison with traditional gauges, which more often than not have to be purchased individually for each object to be measured. Service and training costs, as well as measurement times, are also reduced.

Update to upgrade
Now, the developers of the Graz-based innovation incubator have upgraded and further optimized the functionality and operability of CALIPRI. What is crucial with the software release 6.0 is the option for displaying a measurement cycle clearly and comprehensibly. A graphical measurement plan shows the entire rail vehicle or segments of it, including all points to be checked.

Thanks to the multifunctionality of CALIPRI, such points include, for example, the wheel profiles, brake discs and wheel diameters. Following the measurement, the results are classified according to the given tolerances and correspondingly colour-highlighted. Owing to a completely new data format, measurement plans can be administered centrally and be transferred to other CALIPRI devices.

This ensures that the rollout of a new measurement plan among geographically widespread workshops, for instance, is simple. With the release 6.0, partial measurement plans, so-called ‘variants’ of a measurement plan, can also be defined for the first time. With a single click, the workshop associate can then expand the weekly check of the wheel profiles and brake discs and measure the diameter and wheel clearance as well.

These features will now be presented to the wider public for the first time at the InnoTrans 2014 in Berlin from 23-26 September in Hall 23, Stand 510.

For more information, please contact NextSense.