Derbyshire based Rail Vision Europe is a leading innovator in the Rail Analysis, Diagnostics and Rail asset tracking market. It specialises in visual track inspection systems using camera and laser technologies to recognise track defects and make highly accurate measurements.
They have developed systems for mainline railways, underground and tramways, demonstrating a breadth of technology application across continents including The Americas, Europe and Asia.
Optima Design Services were approached to design and test an experimental rig to support a range of scanning and camera equipment, having previously assisted in the development of the principal camera and processing units. The re-configurable frame was to be housed on the front of a specially adapted Landrover which could be propelled along a rail-line, to simulate the motion of a locomotive.
It was intended to support an array of current and, yet to be developed, equipment, which could be varied in height to ensure correct focusing and calibration of cameras and scanning elements. The key requirements were robustness of assembly, anti-vibration, reconfigurability and minimum weight and footprint.
The final solution was a multi-part steel and aluminium framework which could be folded during transit, or stowed in the rear of the vehicle, dependent on operational status . It used an array of keyhole features to allow the support of units and varying heights, and a sliding assembly to allow fitting at a working height.
Optima utilised FEA to assess the suitability of the design to repeated use and supplied a full set of manufacturing drawings ensuring that the design intent was correctly transferred into the manufacturing phase.
The assembly has provided a flexible test-bed to perfect and calibrate Railvisions’s highly advanced line scanning equipment, without the necessity to lease expensive rolling-stock and rail-time. It can also be deployed as a commercial vehicle, providing live track-monitoring and track-diagnostics for network providers.