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Novel condition monitoring techniques applied to improve the dependability of railway point machines

Asada, Tomotsugu (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Point machines are the key actuator used in railways to provide a means of moving a switch blade from one position to the other. Failure in the point actuator has a significant effect on train operations. Condition monitoring systems for point machines have been therefore implemented in some railways, but these condition monitoring systems have limitations for detecting incipient faults. Furthermore, the majority of condition monitoring systems which are currently in use cannot diagnose faults. The ability to diagnose faults is useful to maintenance staff who need to fix problems immediately. This thesis proposes a methodology to detect and diagnose incipient faults using an advanced algorithm. In the main body of this thesis the author considers a new approach using Wavelet Transforms and Support vector machines for fault detection and diagnosis for railway electrical AC point machines operated in Japan. The approach is further enhanced with more data sets collected from railway electrical DC point machines operated in Great Britain. Furthermore, a method to express the qualitative features of healthy and faulty waveforms was proposed to test the transferability of the specific algorithm parameters from one instance of a point machine to another, which is tested on railway electrical DC point machines used in Great Britain. Finally, an approach based on Wavelet Transforms and Neural networks is used to predict the drive force when the point machine is operating. The approach was tested using electrical DC point machines operated in Great Britain. It is shown through the use of laboratory experimentation that the proposed methods have potential to be used in a real railway system.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Roberts, Clive and Koseki, Takafumi and Martin, Russell
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Subjects:TF Railroad engineering and operation
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4155
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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