Railroad Gate Readers
The Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) Gate Reader System is installed at the gate to capture railcar information of all inbound and outbound railcars. Railcar information includes car number, tag status, railcar axle, time stamp, car orientation, and speed. The information is wirelessly transferred to remote database server. The system is used by both Olefin and Polymers Shipping and Distribution (S&D) groups to monitor railcar activities.
AEI Gate Readers
The system utilizes fixed Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) readers to read the RFID tags from railcar. Each rail car has two Radio Frequency (RF) tags located on both sides of the car. Each tag is preprogrammed with car ID, number of axles, etc.
RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification, refers to a radio communication technology that is an automatic data collection solution. RFID systems consist of an RFID tag and an AEI reader. The encoded identification information in RFID tags is decoded without making physical contact of AEI reader.
The Gate Reader System includes two AEI readers, two RF Modules, train present detector, wheel sensors, GSM/GPRS wireless cellular modem (wireless telecom network worldwide), and Cisco Bridge for wireless Local Area Network (LAN). System automatically collects and transfers electronically coded information from rolling railcar at the gate to a database server.
As the train passes the gate, the system senses train presence, direction, and speed via the wheel detectors and decodes the tag data via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) subsystem. When it receives the axle and tag data, it combines the data to create a clean consist – a list of all cars and locomotives on the train. Within seconds of the train passing the site, the system will generate a clean consist file and deliver the file to host computer through local port, dial-up via wireless cellular modem, LAN or wireless LAN.
3.1 Maintaining monitoring list
The system provides a monitoring list for inbound rail cars. When a car on the monitoring list arrives at the gate, the system will send email(s) notification to users on the monitoring list for that particular car.
3.2 Maintaining list of in plant cars
List of cars in plant is updated automatically as cars go through the gate. System will remove car from the list when the car is on the outbound direction passing the gate, and add the car to the list when the car is on the inbound direction passing the gate.
3.3 Maintaining switchlist
System will automatically update the switchlist for cars shipped, unshipped at the site, as well as cars transferred to and from the site. When a car is on the outbound direction passing the gate, system will remove the car from the switchlist.
3.4 Email alert when a car comes back within two weeks of shipping
When a car comes back on site, the system will check the most recent shipping date of that railcar, and will send email notification if the ship date is less than two weeks.
Inbound/Outbound Cars, Car inventory, list of cars with missing tags (A side, B side, or both)
- Maintain the system operation 24x7: Email alert is sent to operators and system admin when there is problem with hardware, software, database, or wireless network. Technical personnel are instantly notified when problem occurred.
- Improve accuracy of in plant car list
- Avoid railcar receiving or shipping errors.
- Reduce shipment planning and scheduling costs.
- Eliminate human error caused by manual update in plant car list
- Decrease labor hours required to keep track of in plant cars