THE QUALITY of rail welding work can be monitored and recorded with a computer-controlled Rail Welding Monitor System recently developed by Plasser American Corp. Running on a Microsoft Windows platform on a notebook computer, the software automatically records and analyses rail welding as it is carried out by Plasser machines.

A data file is created for each weld, with the location recorded by GPS. Further information can be entered manually by the operator, or automatically from a railway’s asset database as is done with Plasser-built track recording cars. The current, applied force and stroke are recorded, and saved to a database for future off-line access. Graphs of the weld parameters are stored as bitmaps.

The program checks automatically that all welds meet accepted standards, measuring if the upset stroke length is greater than 13mm and the applied force is over 40 tonnes.

An overview screen shows the force and stroke charts together (above), but each signal can be enlarged to full-screen mode and the user can zoom in with a mouse. The charts can also be printed in full colour.

Plasser American Corp, USA

Reader Enquiry Number 148