ZDM- VR FleetCare, a subsidiary of the rolling stock service of the Finnish national operator VR Group, will install Train Scanner equipment in June 2021 for the automatic external inspection of trains operating in the Helsinki area. It can be used to identify, for example, loose bolts, open hatches, any malfunctions or external damage.
Train Scanner is developed in partnership with Vire Labs, a Finnish Internet of Things (IoT) machine-based solution provider.
Train Scanner is based on machine vision, shape recognition and artificial intelligence technologies. To scan passing trains, 6.5 m high supports are used, equipped with scanners, which are installed on both sides of the railway track. The side and roof of the wagons are inspected using a line-scan camera with the highest possible speed of obtaining visual information and a resolution of several millimeters. The data from the scanner is processed in real time using edge computing technology, and information about any deviation is transmitted to the maintenance personnel. All received data is placed in a cloud service.
VR FleetCare reported that Train Scanner trials were conducted in pilot mode for one year and the results were encouraging. In June 2021, the first rolling stock to be inspected using the Train Scanner will be the FLIRT commuter trains built by Stadler before arriving at the depot.
VR FleetCare believes the Train Scanner offers a number of benefits. In particular, in addition to improving traffic safety, due to the data obtained, it will be possible to determine the overhaul intervals with great accuracy, to reduce the number of inspection checks.
So far, Train Scanner equipment has been tested on passenger trains, but it can be applied to any other rolling stock. The Train Scanner can also be used at border stations, for example to automatically check wagons for compliance with local operating regulations (photo: VR FleetCare).