Using a list of customer requirements, Orbis designed and built an engineering test rack system to run and test a Wheel Slide Protection (WSP) unit used for light passenger rail.

The system involved a standalone computer station connected through an umbilical cable to a pneumatic system designed to withstand the extreme temperature ranges associated with an environmental chamber. The software application was a custom build to meet the specifications of testing the WSP unit.

The overall system was composed of two main components: the control rack and the test rack.

The control rack housed all data acquisition equipment and a computer. It was the main user interface for the operator while testing the WSP unit. The custom software application controlled the pneumatic system on the test rack, and displayed recorded data during testing.

The custom software application was written in LabVIEW. It is used to test how the WSP unit reacts to various pneumatic settings on the valves on the Test Rack.  The software can be used in three different settings:

  • Manual Test: User Manipulates speed Sensor Inputs
  • Automated Test: Pre-Loaded file with speed sensor inputs
  • Dump Valve Test: Manual control of cutoff and vent valves

At the end of test execution, a Comma Separated Value (CSV) report of collected test data is saved and available for viewing.

The Test Rack was built to be placed inside of an Environmental Chamber and could therefore withstand temperatures between -40ºC to 60ºC. It replicated the pneumatic brake valve system used in light passenger rail. The test rack included:

  • NEMA 4 Electrical Junction Box that housed terminal blocks used for valve control
  • Junction spot to mount the WSP unit under test
  • Pneumatics and air tanks necessary for testing
  • Pressure transducers and gauges
  • Cutout valves

The operator is able to control the test system and observe how the WSP unit reacts to various tests.  By using the Light Rail Pneumatic Test Rack System, our customer was able to observe and test the WSP unit under various situations prior to installing it on a rail car.

Orbis Light Rail Pneumatic Test Rack System Specifications
Control RackFull-height workstation enclousure
PC, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse
Emergency Stop
480VAC -> 120VAC Transformer
Input VAC disconnect switch
0-150VDC, 0-26ADC Programmable Power Supply
24VDC, 10W Power Supply and 24VDC, 180W Power Supply
cRIO 8-slot Chassis
8 Channels of Analog Input
4 Channels of Analog Output
32 Channels of Digital Input
16 Channels of Digital Output
Connector for detachable cables
Test RackBuilt to be placed inside Environmental Chamber (-40°C to 60°C)
NEMA 4 Electrical Junction Box (with DIN terminal blocks & relays)
Athena, Dump Valves
Pneumatics / Air Tanks
Pressure Transducers / Gauges
Cutout Valves