GE’s new axle tester offers improved inspection quality, performance

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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GE Measurement & Control on Nov. 17, 2015 introduced the Compact Hollow Axle Tester (CHAT), combining hollow-axle inspection mechanics and ultrasonic angle-beam probes with GE’s high-quality ultrasonic instrumentation. For organizations with hollow axle inspection requirements, CHAT significantly increases productivity and drives improvements in quality and traceability, the company said.

Trains traveling at speeds greater than 124 mph (200 km/h), as well as urban commuter and/or metro trains subject their hollow axles to increased strain, which puts their structural integrity and reliability at risk. As a result, hollow axles must be inspected regularly for early detection of flaws to assure the cracks do not propagate quickly.

GE’s CHAT allows inspectors to perform regular evaluations and create dynamic inspection plans through fast data acquisition and image display with an intuitive interface and advanced software.

“This product brings a new level of inspection quality and flexibility to the rail industry, at a significantly lower price than existing automated systems in the market,” says Dr. Pierre Marty, Senior Product Manager at GE. “Compared with the traditional manual inspection process of hollow axles, CHAT dramatically improves accuracy and speed of inspections by enabling users to record parts traceability with an easy-to-use, digital device.”

Benefits of GE’s CHAT solution include:

• Light and compact design enabling a single person to move the trolley around and operate it alone.

• Ability to transport it in a small van without lifting tools.

• Composite frame for electrical protection to operate where electrified rails are present.

• Quick installation on site for immediate inspection.

• Multi-Channel UT instrument USIP 40 in 2, 5 or 10 channels configuration.

• Closed loop and seals for oil coupling to minimize oil spillage during inspection.

• Quick inspection time: 8 minutes for the signal acquisition, and less than 15 minutes including installation and recording of results.

• Large variety of probe holders for various bore diameters and number of probes for various specifications.

• Compliance with all specifications for conventional UT inspection of hollow axles.

GE supports CHAT globally, with comprehensive after-sales services and training programs.

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