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Swedish Wood Companies Join Trafikverket With RFID Rail Deployment

With UHF RFID tags on railcars and readers deployed on tracks, the companies are able to use LearningWell and EPCIS software to identify the locations of those railcars and, in some cases, the locations and status of products such as lumber or wood pulp.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 24, 2017

Since installing an EPC ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-based system to track wheel temperature and vibration sensor data of the trains on its tracks, Trafikverket (the Swedish Transport Administration) has now expanded the solution for use in logistics management. By tracking the identity of every car, the technology—provided by LearningWell, with consulting services supplied by GS1 Sweden—enables participants, such as port employees, to understand when trains are due to arrive, and in what order.

That system, according to the companies, is aimed at making loading and unloading processes easier and more efficient. LearningWell served as the technical architect, says Gunnar Ivansson, a LearningWell senior consultant, while GS1 provided standardization for tag content and structure, as well as information-sharing assistance with Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) software.

LearningWell's Gunnar Ivansson
In addition, Ivansson says, Swedish wood-based company SCA has begun using the same UHF RFID technology to track what lumber is loaded, as well as when this occurs.

Trafikverket has continued to roll out its RFID-enabled solution to detect potential wheel or rail damage in the event that a train wheel is detected to be too hot. The rail company has installed RFID detector stations at 160 locations to monitor the temperature of each wheel that passes over the tracks, and to trigger an alert if a specific tagged railcar has a wheel that is too hot (see Swedish Transport Gets on Track With RFID). In addition, 120 readers are installed to simply read tag IDs for logistics purposes (helping the company determine which wagons have passed a specific location, in which direction and when this occurs).

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