Pantograph Condition Monitoring System

The Pantograph Condition Monitoring System (PCMS) provides automated analysis and reports on the condition of pantograph heads on electrified rolling stock passing through a monitoring site. Automated analysis from this system allows for the prevention of over-head wiring tear down incidents that are a result of damaged pantograph heads and also allows for predictive maintenance of carbon strips.

Currently ART is working on a project to deliver 5 PCMS systems throughout the Sydney Trains network by the end of 2015.

  • As trains pass underneath, the PCMS captures, measures and reports on the condition of each pantograph head. Measurements taken include: carbon thickness, carbon damage (missing carbon, edge chips, abnormal wear and cracks), pantograph head yaw angle, missing horns, horn alignment, uplift force and train speed)
  • The system operates at speeds of up to 180km/hr in all weather conditions
  • Reduces maintenance cost through better planning and use of automated inspection
  • Exception reports can be viewed in client software and also sent by e-mail
  • Main line use, no need to locate in a custom shed, or in a slow zone

PantoInspect conducts automatic quality control inspections of pantographs on electrified trains in motion which enables the operator to monitor the fleet and respond to issues.

With this system, real-time measurements on the condition of pantographs are made by lasers at speeds of up to 180 km/h.

Carbon wear and other pantograph defects are detected and reported via the PantoInspect data processing system. The operator is then promptly alerted to any potential problems which gives a vital opportunity to take corrective action.

Preventing carbon failure is a key maintenance concern in terms of revenue and availability. Timetable delays, outages, and train recovery is costly. If left unattended, pantograph defects could eventually cause tear-down of the overhead wire which is not only inconvenient and very costly, it is dangerous to passengers and personnel. By detecting serious conditions of pantographs before it is too late, the PantoInspect system can prevent considerable damage and repair costs can be avoided. Detecting wear and smaller defects will also allow for a more effective maintenance scheme.

PantoInspect works on operational trains so there is no need to move vehicles to service sheds for manual inspection. The PantoInspect solution is an obvious choice for rail operators that want to proactively manage and reduce the number of delays and accidents.

The PantoInspect system is unique because it is an all-weather outdoor system with a high level of accuracy and automation. It measure thickness, detects cracks and tearing of carbon strips. It also allows for constant inspection of horns, uplift pressure and train speed, as well as working bi-directionally and independent of the type of the train.

The PantoServer analyses high speed data and issues alerts and alarms when deemed necessary. Depots and Operations can be separately informed of information and unique identifiers means that data is ring-fenced and secure to the asset owner/maintainers. This information can also serve as the basis for on-charging on a user pays analysis basis*.

Pantograph Condition Monitoring System.pdf

For further information or advice please contact Australian Rail Technology on Ph: 02 9482 5710 or use the Contact Form below: