SBB train identification

By OCR reading of the identification numbers of all train wagons
Railway industry
Large format OCR identification for SBB
Safety in the field of rail transport is essential and is regularly provided by automatic controls.

Among other things, SBB invested in an automatic control system for vehicle-mounted axles. During the measurement, a vision system realized by Qualimatest ensures the identification of each vehicle and thus guarantees the recording of the measurement results with the identification to the vehicle.

Optical recognition:

The principle of optical character recognition (OCR) is reliable in a clean environment with few external disturbances, the challenge of this application was to make the OCR identification also reliable in an external environment and much more restrictive:

  • The evolution of vehicle design requires several recognition strategies (variable position of texts)
  • The length of a train up to 400m, the images to be analyzed (1'024 x 400'000 pixels) represents 400MB per measurement
  • The installation is outdoors, it must withstand the different climatic conditions, the lighting must ensure a uniformity of images day and night, in full sun, in the rain or in the snow.


Solution and Technology:

The area where the various texts allowing the identification of the vehicles can be recorded is recorded along the entire length of the train (1 x 400 meters) and then cut into smaller images each corresponding to a vehicle. The identification strategy has been optimized to recognize different text formats (size, position and color may vary). With the additional identification of the order of passage of the axes, the direction of travel of each vehicle is determined and the position of each axis on the vehicle is deduced.

Additional specifications:
  • Passage speed: 3 m / s
  • 1024 pixel linear camera
  • Pixel size: 1.0 mm
  • Synchronization by digital interface
  • Data exchange with the central unit by TCP / IP
  • Recognition strategy for all current registrations


System features:
  • Outdoor installation in an unprotected environment
  • Modular construction with components and a standard platform
  • Custom solution from an extensive library of algorithms
  • Functionality guarantee for the entire system
  • Maintenance service


Project management and technologies
a broad technical and organizational know-how

Mastery of multiple disciplines such as micromechanics, electronics, optics, automation and software

Tailor-made solution
Solutions meeting specifications

qmt designs, develops and industrialises solutions that meet the specifications of its customers

Tailor-made solutions
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For optical control

To increase production yields
and the quality of the parts

For aesthetic control

For acoustic and vibration control

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