DIGITAL FREIGHT TRAIN
INNOVATIVE SERVICES FOR THE RAIL FREIGHT COMMUNITY
Traxens has developed the Digital Freight Train – and its high value-added services – to the entire railway system, turning conventional wagons into intelligent wagons in record time. Geolocation and arrival notifications, consignment transport conditions and status monitoring, digital assistance for loading/ unloading, wagon management and predictive maintenance... a whole range of services for a safer, more modern and more efficient freight railway system.
A first in Europe: TRAXENS and SNCF team up to offer the first IOT-based freight train system allowing digitalization of operations.
Train Operation Autom
. Multimodal Solution
. Safety and Security Improvements
. Predictive Maintenance
. Reliable Journey Information
. Consignment Monitoring and Protection
Traxens and SNCF LOGISTICS have designed and implemented in a 2-year timeframe a revolution for the Freight train. With their respective in-depth knowledge of the industry combined with breakthrough technology, the partners produce a bright vision for the future of rail freight.
The solution brings a digital transformation of the freight transport industry allowing a global, scalable and multimodal supply chain solution.
#fretnscf #traxens #DIGITALFREIGHTTRAIN
The lack of data for rail freight Rail wagons, in the same way as shipping containers, have remained largely absent from the digital connected world. A rail wagon does not generate any data itself, which means that any data used to manage it must be generated manually. The result is that data about rail wagons is costly to gather, incomplete, and not totally reliable. Implications of the lack of complete, reliable, low-cost data Managing a complex rail system without timely and reliable data on rail wagons results in operational inefficiencies which impact the cost and level of service. The data required to analyze weaknesses is not available, and the feedback data to evaluate the effectiveness of changes is not as easy to obtain as it should be.
Despite the many advantages of rail freight over road transport, these inefficiencies have contributed to the migration of traffic from rail to road. Constraints of the rail environment If the need for gathering data from rail wagons is so great, why has no simple solution been found? Many companies already offer solutions to track rail wagons, but the uptake has been low to date. This is because the rail environment imposes some tough constraints on potential solutions, which mean that none have been developed at a cost which allows massive deployment.
Rail wagons, in general, do not have a power source. Changing or recharging batteries frequently would be very costly so any solution much use as little power as possible.
Rail wagons travel over vast distances, including areas not covered by the global GSM mobile phone network.
Rail wagons are subject to harsh and extreme meteorological conditions, as well as dirt and shocks. These constraints are exactly the same as those for shipping containers, which is why TRAXENS’ solution is a good fit for rail with reasonably few modifications. In addition to these constraints, rail wagons share another important characteristic with shipping containers: they are in usually surrounded by other rail wagons. This characteristic has been used to design an optimized solution which suits both environments. Beyond the technical constraints, the rail freight ecosystem and the intermodal container ecosystem share a similar and complex structure: asset owners, lessors, operators, cargo owners who sometimes own or lease wagons, infrastructure owners and operators. TRAXENS’ Solution TRAXENS’ solution was developed to address these specific constraints and complexity. The first three years of the company were entirely dedicated to developing breakthrough technology and concepts, leading to several patents.
A proprietary mesh radio network, called TRAXENS-NET, which yielded the best performance/power consumption ratio and therefore yielding the lowest operational cost.
An information architecture where the devices (TRAXENS-BOXes) are equipped with enough computational power and contextual information to make intelligent use of power-hungry communication resources while optimizing the usefulness of the data generated and transmitted. TRAXENS-BOXes are permanently attached to the rail wagons and can communicate through GSM and TRAXENS-NET
A Big Data platform which gathers the data from up to millions of TRAXENS-BOXes and distributes it across a complex Supply Chain ecosystem for optimal monetization. (TRAXENS-HUB)
TRAXENS-NET is an ultra-low power consumption mesh radio network for an optimal performance/power consumption ratio for the unique container or rail environment. It uses much lower frequencies than those used by Bluetooth and is more resistant in environments which have a lot of metal and humidity. It also consumes much less power for a given volume of data. Rail wagons spend much of their time surrounded by other rail wagons. TRAXENS-NET saves battery power by automatically grouping wagons in a “cluster” with only one wagon, called the head of the cluster, using a power-hungry GSM connection. The head of the cluster is chosen dynamically so that use of battery is evenly spread over all wagons. The exchange of data between wagons using TRAXENS-NET consumes a tiny fraction of the power needed for a GSM connection. This means that 10 wagons in a TRAXENSNET cluster with only one communicating through GSM, would collectively use just 10% of the energy used if each wagon communicated in isolation. A cluster of connected wagons can span several kilometers
In zones where many wagons are often grouped even more battery power can be saved by positioning TRAXENS-GATE devices. TRAXENS-GATE is a powered device which automatically becomes the head of the cluster and then communicated through other network technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Satellite. Typically TRAXENS-GATEs can be positioned in the locomotive and plugged into the locomotives power supply. This means all the TRAXENS-BOXes in the train can save battery power by only using TRAXENS-NET. It also means that the rail personnel access to technical data generated from the whole train using any standard smartphone or tablet via the TRAXENS-GATE Bluetooth connection.
The TRAXENS-BOX is a monitoring device which can be used on all wagon types. The TRAXENS-BOX is permanently attached and collects data such as GPS position, temperature, impacts, movement, and vibration and transmits it in the most energyefficient way to TRAXENS-HUB, the TRAXENS data platform.
Additional data can be gathered through remote sensors wirelessly connected to the TRAXENS-BOX through TRAXENS-NET. Sensors can measure parameters associated with the wagon or parameters associated with the cargo. For instance, humidity, temperate and pressure for cargo, and brake sensors for wagons. As the architecture of the system allows the addition of up to 16 sensors for each wagon, new sensors can be developed and deployed to capture new useful sources of data later on.
TRAXENS-HUB is the Big Data platform that gathers all the data from the TRAXENS-BOXes and delivers it in the most useful form. It is built to be scalable to manage millions of containers or wagons and an unlimited number of users. It uses novel data structures to allow secure partitioning of data to allow each actor to have access to only the data he needs. One person could have access to the position and ambient temperature of a wagon, another could have access only to data on shocks, and yet another only the data about the humidity of the cargo.
The solution provides a new source of data about the position and condition of rolling stock and cargo. This data can be put to many different uses which benefit operations, security, and service.
Link to brochure
Twitter : @DigitalFr8Train
The Brake Test
The brake test application is made possible by a specific sensor which is linked to the TRAXENS system via TRAXENS-NET to the TRAXENS-BOX on each wagon. The TRAXENS-BOX for each wagon is linked to the TRAXENS-GATE in the locomotive. This allows the train staff to have access to brake information locally, even in areas not covered by the GSM network. This application can cut the pre-trip brake inspection from a typical 45 minutes to 15 minutes. It can require less personnel and require less walking around the tracks, and still provide a more reliable testing process. It participates to operational efficiency, cost reduction, and security and also produces data that can be collected and analyzed for a better understanding of the frequency and cause of inspection failures. Another benefit of the brake sensor application derives from the fact that it can also detect if the handbrake is applied or not, and therefore create an alert, locally or at a distance, is the handbrake is position is incoherent with the current activity. The same sensor can also be used to detect whether the wagon is loaded or empty. If an additional sensor which detects the position of the loaded/empty lever is deployed, the system can automatically create an alert if the lever is incorrectly positioned.