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Remote condition monitoring and control of wayside rail lubricators

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Ajay DesaiAjay Desai, Gopinath ChattopadhyayGopinath Chattopadhyay, A Howie
Effective lubrication of the wheel rail interface plays an important role in prolonging the life of rail and wheels and can save tens of millions of dollars in maintenance and replacement costs. Condition monitoring and control of wayside rail lubrication equipment is a complex issue and is traditionally undertaken using unskilled labour at great cost. Remote monitoring of wayside rail lubricators reduces the need for staff to attend the sites in person, work in the trackside danger zones, and in remote locations. With many different technologies available at hand, decision making can be a difficult process. Wayside rail lubricators come in many types and theirperformance can vary depending on their configuration, placement, and control. The North American model of rail lubrication greatly differs to that of the models used in Australia. Lubricator blades come in many configurations, performance can greatly vary depending on selection and placement. This paper looks at the application of the different real time monitoring systems offered by the two major suppliers of wayside rail lubricators and the benefits of these systems verses the traditional manual monitoring. For this trial general packet radio service (GPRS) / 3G technology has been used.The wayside rail lubricators in this trial are in remote locationswith poor access conditions. Data available from the test siteinclude the health of lubricators, grease levels, train movementand security of the unit and parameters relating to grease dispensing. Difficulties encountered, system constraints, andlimitations are discussed for the systems and permit maintenancedecisions to be made prior to leaving the depot. Cost benefits ofemploying such technologies are discussed.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


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Luleå, Sweden


Division of Operation and Maintenance Engineering, Lulea University of Technology

Place of Publication

Lulea, Sweden

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Railway Engineering; Not affiliated to a Research Institute; QR Network;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

International Workshop and Congress on eMaintenance