reliability centered maintenance (rcm) and ultrasonic leakage reliability centered maintenance (rcm)

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  • Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and Ultrasonic Leakage Detection

    (ULD) as a maintenance and condition monitoring technique for freight rail

    airbrakes in cold weather conditions

    by

    Vivek Poddar

    A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    Master of Science

    in

    Engineering Management

    Department of Mechanical Engineering

    University of Alberta

    © Vivek Poddar, 2014

    University of Alberta

  • ii

    ABSTRACT

    Freight rail airbrakes need improvement in reliability to reduce failures, which can

    lead to harm to the environment, loss of human life, and a negative impact on the

    economy. This research focuses on identifying the failures of airbrakes using a

    Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) framework, which uses Failure Modes

    and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to identify and rank failures. For the purpose of our

    research, the FMEA result of railroad operating companies was used to research

    on condition-monitoring techniques for airbrake leakages. Ultrasound Leakage

    Detection (ULD) is presented as an alternative to the soap and bubble test, as it is a

    more effective, proactive method to locate and quantify leakages. Experiments

    were conducted both in the field and in laboratory with simulated and original

    components to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate and verify the implications

    of ULD in cold weather conditions. Correlations between operating pressure,

    temperature, leakage orifice size, flow-rate and ultrasound intensity were

    performed to analyze interdependencies. Principal Component Analysis was

    applied on the spectral features of dynamic sound signatures to reduce the number

    of variables and find the correlation between them. The contribution that the

    frequency ranges made to the factors was estimated to find those having

    significant impact on spectral feature value for different levels of a particular

    operating variable. For the sum of contributions from individual spectral features,

    the frequency range of 2400 – 2500 Hz has the maximum contribution. Frequency

    range, 1100 – 1200 Hz can be used as a feature for discriminating orifice size, as it

    has 46% contribution for the Root Mean Square (RMS) value of Power Spectral

  • iii

    Density (PSD). The results of this research compares the contribution values of

    frequency ranges, but it does not state the value at which the readings become

    significant. With extensive quantitative research on the contribution of frequency

    ranges and an operational inspection strategy, ULD will result in an effective

    detection method for airbrake leakages in rail service that will be useful for

    assessing leakage location and severity with more accuracy. This will facilitate

    reliable airbrakes operations at severe weather and topographical conditions.

  • iv

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    I would like to thank the Canadian Rail Research Laboratory (CaRRL) for

    providing me with the opportunity to participate in this research. My deepest

    gratitude goes to my supervisor, Dr. Michael Lipsett, for his invaluable dedication,

    guidance and insight during the two years of thorough research. He was always

    there, whenever I needed help. Huge thanks go to Dr. Michael Hendry and Dr.

    Derek Martin, who were always ready to provide any kind of financial support for

    field visits, experimental components and workshops. Without their hard work and

    help, the experimental setup could not have been accomplished. I also appreciate

    the support I received from other members of the laboratory in the Mechanical and

    Civil Engineering Department, namely Roger Marchand and Christine Heygers. I

    learned a lot from their dedication, technical knowledge and positive attitude.

    They were so willing to provide assistance every time I asked. Thank you all for

    making my graduate life fruitful and smooth at the University of Alberta.

    I would like also to thank Transport Canada, Canadian Pacific and Canadian

    National. Special thanks also go to Dale Iverson, Abe Aronian, Mitchelle Jameison

    and Karen from Canadian National, Canadian Pacific and Wabtech for being

    always ready with support related to data or field visits. Sandy and Alan from SDT

    were supportive with instrument knowledge and rental for conducting

    experiments.

    Of course, gratitude is owed to my parents, brothers and friends who have fully

    supported me throughout my education and my life and stuck with me even on the

    days when I was not at my best. Lastly, I am thankful to my peers and my senior

    colleagues Laura Ibarra, Azadeh Shadkar, Chunendra Sahu, Vivek Bhushan,

    Waqas Aawan and Tamran Lengyel for always uplifting whenever it was required.

  • v

    STATEMENT OF ORIGINALITY

    I hereby certify that all of the work described within this thesis is the original work

    of the author. Any published (or unpublished) ideas and/or techniques from the

    work of others are fully acknowledged in accordance with the standard referencing

    practices.

    Vivek Poddar

    August 5, 2014

  • vi

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Abstract ................................................................................................................... ii

    Acknowledgments .............................................................................................. iv

    Statement of Originality ..................................................................................... v

    Table of Contents ................................................................................................ vi

    List Of Tables ...................................................................................................... viii

    List of Figures ....................................................................................................... ix

    Acronyms ................................................................................................................. x

    Chapter 1: Introduction ..................................................................................... 1

    1.1 Background and Motivation ....................................................................................... 1 1.2 Problem Definition ........................................................................................................ 2 1.3 Objective ............................................................................................................................ 3 1.4 Organization ..................................................................................................................... 4 1.5 Important Definitions ................................................................................................... 4

    Chapter 2: Literature Review .......................................................................... 6

    2.1 System Reliability Theory ........................................................................................... 6 2.2 Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) .............................................................. 8

    2.2.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 8 2.2.4 Failure Modes Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) ...................................... 10 2.2.5 Failure Consequences ....................................................................................................... 11 2.2.6 Proactive Actions: Preventive and Predictive Tasks ............................................ 13 2.2.7 Default Actions ..................................................................................................................... 15 2.2.8 Applying RCM ....................................................................................................................... 15

    2.3 RCM in Airbrakes .......................................................................................................... 16 2.3.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 17 2.3.2 Critical Components .......................................................................................................... 19

    2.3.2.1 Control Valve .................................................................................................................................. 19 2.3.2.2 Air Compressor ............................................................................................................................. 22 2.3.2.3 Brake Valve ..................................................................................................................................... 22

    2.3.3 Functional Failures ............................................................................................................ 23 2.3.5 Proactive Actions ................................................................................................................ 23 2.3.6 Currently Used Leakage Inspection Methods ......................................................... 24

    2.4 Most Critical Failure Mode: Leaka

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