A partnership between Sperry Rail and Tekniplaz

Sperry Rail stirred interest at Railtex with the launch of its new, improved B-Scan Lite rail inspection technology.

B-Scan Lite tests for faults in rails using ultrasonic technology. Craig Payne, Sperry Rail electrical engineer, explains how B-Scan Lite was improved and why it was positively received.

Craig says; “B-Scan Lite is used by our Sperry engineers – as well as other rail testing engineers – worldwide.

“The product needed updating.

“We handle all the software and electronics in-house whereas we partner with precision engineering firm, Tekniplaz to develop all the mechanical elements of the design – the housing, mounting and dismounting – and all associated tooling. We do the technology while Tekniplaz designs and manufactures precision-moulded parts such as the enclosures. They tend to inject a little design panache in the process.

“We started working together by using Tekniplaz for 3D printing. They were a natural partner for Sperry Rail because they very quickly get and keep the process moving from prototype to production.

“Sperry Rail needed to update the product so it could be mounted and dismounted quickly. Tekniplaz took it from its previous rectangular design to an electronic enclosure with a more ergonomic, modern and organic design.

“Tekniplaz handles the creative side for us. The new product now looks great with its radius curves. Feedback at the show was that users loved how B-Scan Lite looks and feels, how it’s user-friendly and lightweight.

“When you see the final product, you’d consider it’s a straightforward design process but it involves a lot more honing than you’d imagine to arrive at that point – the point at which you think, ‘it can’t get any better’.

“It’s a proper partnership between Sperry and Tekniplaz. Together we’ve innovated B-Scan Lite which, judging from the feedback at Railtex, looks set to become the category leader. It will help Sperry and other rail industry test engineers more rigorously test rails and thereby make railways around the world safer.”

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