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Swedish Steelmaker Using Active RFID to Monitors Railcars
The company expects that the system will help it manage the flow of materials transported by rail and plan production more efficiently.
Aug 20, 2007—In an effort to improve oversight of its production process Swedish Steel is using a radio frequency identification system to monitor the shipment of steel slabs. In April, the steelmaker began mounting active RFID tags to some 400 railcars used to transport steel slabs from its facility in the city of Luleå to one in Borlänge, about 900 kilometers away, and also from a facility in Oxelösund. The system is helping the company make sure that the right cars are being loaded with the correct materials, as well as identify the cars' locations.
Swedish Steel is using custom-designed active RFID tags and readers from Swedish systems integrator and technology provider Adage Solutions. Sometime this month, the tagging of the 400 freight cars will be complete. Integration of the system's software will begin in September.
The system features seven different points where the tags are interrogated—two in Luleå, two in Oxelösund and three in Borlänge. When a car is loaded in Luleå or Oxelösund, a reader mounted on a pole at the station interrogates its tag, and the tag ID number and wagon are recorded in a database and linked to a description of the slabs being shipped. When the train leaves the site, a pole-mounted reader in the rail yard records the car's departure. At the facility in Borlänge, two readers along two separate train tracks log the freight car's arrival. A third reader, mounted at the receiving station, notes when the car is unloaded.
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