Odd Harald Eliesen, Business Area Manager of Inspection East, provides input on NDT inspection of trains and explains why this area is less evolved in Norway.

Moving forward

“Historically speaking, we have gone from hitting the wheels with a hammer and listening to its sound, to using advanced Eddy Current testing to evaluate the condition of train axels, wheels and boogies. Trains have evolved and safety requirements have evolved with them. This means that NDT inspection has become more standardised and regulated, together with stricter requirements with regards to material selection.

At FORCE Technology, we have worked together with the Norwegian train companies since 2000. We are among the few who have all the necessary certificates, and we have cooperated in close proximity to our clients and our objects. This has provided us with unique insight into client needs and common challenges.

The most critical area to monitor and inspect is the shaft / axle. A damage to this part can lead to catastrophic events. Unfortunately, this is also the area that is most prone to damage - and must therefore be carefully monitored. We recommend using a combination of Eddy Current, Ultrasonic testing and Magnetic Penetrant testing.

Inspection of trains in Norway

Norway has a low volume of train sets. This makes it difficult to create large, assembly line type facilities for inspection and testing of trains. This forces costs and time spent per inspection up to a higher level, making it less efficient. In a perfect world, inspection of trains would be more automated, allowing for improved reporting and the ability to repeat and compare results with higher accuracy. This would make it easier for clients to assess results, and one could make better assumptions for the future.”