RFID Rail Project

Train SeriesRFID Rail Project

A major rail fleet maintenance customer in the UK required a solution for automated vehicle identification (AVI) system. The solution was needed to support critical remote condition monitoring and needed operate in harsh exterior environments with a near 100% availability.

In order to best understand the operational environments, Coriel performed a site survey and evaluation of the assets to be identified. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) was identified as the ideal solution for this application with RFID transponders, or tags were fitted to the underside of the trains. Coriel guided the client through a process of asset identification using the global standards of GS1 as this ensured that the identification of assets would be globally unique.

The device needed, to read the RFID tags, had to be very robust in both environmental and operational aspects and Coriel opted to build a bespoke device to meet the customer requirements. The final product incorporated the following features:

  • ·         High power RFID reader.
  • ·         Incorporated sensors to activate device when needed thus increasing product life.
  • ·         On board processor with web interface for diagnostics and configuration.
  • ·         32GB Solid state non-volatile memory to hold operational system and data
  • ·         IP67 Industrial grade aluminium casing and connectors.

The device needed to be mounted between the rails on the track and to facilitate installation and maintenance, Coriel designed a bespoke enclosure which housed the reader device, 4 heavy duty antennas and an internal heating system to reduce the risk of build-up of snow and ice on the enclosure. The innovative design ensured that the system required only power and data, (it is possible to use wireless data but this was not required for this project) and could be installed in less than one hour.

The system was delivered on time and within budget and is now being installed and extensively tested. Additional devices are expected to be rolled out to other locations throughout the UK and Europe.

If you are interested in learning more about RFID technology please visit our dedicated pages.