South African Firm Equips Rail Fleet With RFID (1/25)
Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Comments
Spoornet, the rail transport division of Transnet, a diversified organization for the South African government, will equip its general freight rail fleet of 80,000 wagons with TransCore's radio frequency identification (RFID)-based Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) technology in a multimillion-dollar contract to improve asset maintenance and use. TransCore is teaming with ANSYS Integrated Systems to deliver an initial order of 160,000 tags. The project is scheduled for completion in 2008. Spoornet will use passive RFID for tracking rolling stock to enhance equipment location information so operators know the contents and location of each wagon throughout its 14,400-route-mile and 18,800-track-mile rail network. With passive RFID, the signals being reflected from the tag mounted on the wagon to the reader are both directionalized and precise so that wagons are read in the order in which they pass, allowing the system to effectively "build the train." Passive tags typically have no battery; as a result, passive's more concise read range results in a targeted signal creating a highly accurate tracking system.

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