Rail automation

Next to the Gate- and Crane automation solutions, DIS also provides the solution to automate rail and intermodal operations.

How it works

The standard package consists of similar identification and classification systems like deployed for waterside- & Gate automation. By means of OCR portals, the containers on rail cars are identified and classified when arriving and track split ups can be managed. The captured OCR results can be used to inspect the inbound train as well, or a process can be in place where containers are inspected during rail operations itself as detailed below.

During rail discharging operations, RMG OCR in combination with a Position Detection System will constantly verify container pick-up and optionally container conditions are recorded.  At drop-down, slots are automatically resolved through the positioning system. This can either be to ground slots or directly to terminal tractor. By means of PLC integration, job orders from the RMG operator are automatically completed. In case of discharging to ground slots or chassis’/cassettes, our platform may hold the container & geospatial slot details until being handed over to the next container handling equipment.

For loading operations, scenarios and required solution may vary. A de-coupled process may be in place where reach stackers pre-stack the containers for the RMG. Or terminal tractors may pre-position containers on chassis or cassette. It can also be the case that terminal tractors await container lift by RMG until heading for their next assignment.

Independent from whatever the process may be, containers will be automatically recognized during loading operations by means of the RMG OCR system and relevant job order can be promoted to the RMG operator. The positioning system will confirm rail car position and optionally, an OCR portal at the end of the rail track may provide for a double check once the train has left.

Solution benefits

Primary benefits include:

  • Improve productivity through the elimination of data input and/or task confirmations thereby increasing the accuracy and velocity of the transactions resulting in higher throughput and improved container inventory accuracy. Operators can introduce error and are potentially prone to data entry errors.
  • Centralized control over exceptions that occur from automatic inspection. Trouble desks can be combined and are equipped with all necessary tools to solve any irregularities in the process as efficient as possible.

Secondary benefits include:

  • Safer operations since no clerks are required below heavy equipment to check transactions because all data capture of transactions is automatic. Next to that will the crane operator have a better view on what is happening below.

Please also refer to our references section for a better impression on earlier deployed Rail automation solutions.

Products part of this solution

The solution compromises of the following. More information on the products part of this integrated solution can be found in the products section.

  • Crane OCR
  • Position Detection System
  • Global Control System (GCS)