INTELLISWITCH – New Project Funded by Innovation Fund Denmark

Wednesday 22 Apr 15


Dorte Juul Jensen
Professor, dr. techn.
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 47 77
When metals roll against each other under high loads, damage may occur in the form of plastic deformation, lipping, rolling contact fatigue etc. This may lead to crack initiation, evolution and finally to failure of the metal component. This is the situation for components such as gears and bearings in wind turbines and for rails and wheels of trains.

In a new project called INTELLISWITCH, supported by DKK 12.7 million from Innovation Fund Denmark, such challenges are going to be investigated for switches and crossings (S&C) in the Danish rail net. Partners in INTELLISWITCH are Rail Net Denmark (Banedanmark), who is responsible for the Danish rail net and its 3500 S&Cs, and 4 departments from DTU, namely DTU Wind Energy, DTU Compute, DTU Electrical Engineering and DTU Mechanical Engineering. The overall aim of the project is to develop a “maintenance performance indicator” which can estimate the need for maintenance of the individual S&Cs taking into account the loads and dynamic forces as well as the mechanical and metallurgical conditions of the S&Cs. With such an indicator, appropriate maintenance can be predicted in advance, thus avoiding unscheduled repair and delays in railway traffic.

Four international partners from Sweden, Norway, Austria and the UK are affiliated to the project and a two-day kick-off meeting has just been held with both the national and international partners. The meeting was extraordinarily successful with detailed and intense discussions between the partners, stimulating more ideas and ways to advance fast in the project. “A very interesting aspect of INTELLISWITCH is its interdisciplinary nature, which allows us to combine research in different fields such as sensor technology, metallurgy, mechanical, dynamical and statistical modeling, as well as Big Data evaluations”. Only thereby will it be possible to get a holistic picture of the complex situation of S&Cs and thus replace corrective maintenance with condition-based maintenance and renewal.