The present defines the future. The future builds on the foundation of the past.
- Lailah Gifty Akita
The Rail and Transportation industry is vital to the economy of any nation. The Indian railways run more than 7,421 freight trains carrying three million tons of freight every day. China's national rail freight volume in Oct 2016 was about 310 billion tons. The DB Cargo, Europe’s largest rail network, has around 5,000 freight trains servicing around 4,200 sidings and terminals. The U.S requires the movement of approximately 80,000 pounds of freight per person every year and most of this is shipped by rail.
According to the U. S department of transportation federal highway administration, The freight transportation industry faces the following problems:
· Congestion and expanding capacity
· Systems operations improvement
· The safety and environmental effects of freight transport
· National security
The freight industry is expected to double by 2025. This will lead to congested freight networks, leading to increased travel time and less reliable schedules.
There is an intense need to improve operations not only because of the growth in freight traffic, but also due to the demand for smaller, more frequent shipments where reliability is particularly important. Reliability and predictability thus becomes of the utmost importance for freight transportation in an era of tightly integrated operations, limited inventory, and “just-in-time” manufacturing and retailing.
Build The Future on the Past:
Enter the “Industrial Internet of Things”, IIoT as coined by GE Digital. Also known as the Industrial Internet, it brings together brilliant machines, advanced analytics, and people at work. It’s the network of a multitude of devices connected by communications technologies that results in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, analyze, and deliver valuable new insights like never before. These insights can then drive smarter, faster business decisions for industrial companies.
Imagine a method of Intelligent transportation based on real-time traffic information and path optimization powered by IIOT. Hi-Tech Rail (R)evolution is a vision of an ecosystem where a train locomotive—a container—is embedded with hundreds of sensors that transmit data not only about the car itself itself, but also about it’s surroundings. It links the engine, the rail cars, the train yard, the tracks, and shipping ports efficiently, reliably, and safely in order to improve efficiency and eliminate waste.
The data emitted along with advanced analytics is used to serve:
1. As a real time health monitor for the locomotive, providing real-time information about the locomotive’s components, facilitating preventive and predictive maintenance and reducing downtime
2. To monitor the health of the entire rail ecosystem, including tracks and rails, further reducing both downtime and wait time.
3. To suggest routes and to complete course correction, relieving congestion in the rail ecosystem
4. To optimize the speed of the locomotive so as to attain fuel efficiency and fewer carbon emissions
5. To devise smart yard solutions that provide “just-in-time” loading and offloading operations
6. To better track of freight theft
7. To improve the audit process
8. To shed light on what needs to change or be made obsolete in the name of efficiency
The Future is Bright
The future is here and it is hyper connected. The outcomes of implementation of IIOT solutions are huge. A one percent fuel efficiency improvement may have a $100 million savings benefit for customers. Increasing the average speed by one mile per hour and reducing the parking time by one percent could generate billions of dollars in savings.
So can we build an efficient future looking back at the past and the present data?
Can we transform the transportation industry to be a self-aware and optimal system of the 21st century?
Do you know of any other use case where IIOT offers solutions for transportation, logistics, and freight systems?