Asset management for multi-modal goods transport

The Asset Management Platform (A.M.P.) Product Suite from RFTrax is set to deliver "unparalleled" supply chain visibility and management for manufacturers, the railroad industry and others who own and manage a fleet of railcars. A.M.P. an end-to-end global asset management system designed to support multi-modal transportation—rail, truck, barge, ship, and container—for delivering spare parts and finished goods across North America.

By Control Engineering Staff June 15, 2006

The Asset Management Platform (A.M.P.) Product Suite from RFTrax is set to deliver “unparalleled” supply chain visibility and management for manufacturers, the railroad industry and others who own and manage a fleet of railcars. A.M.P. an end-to-end global asset management system designed to support multi-modal transportation—rail, truck, barge, ship, and container—for delivering spare parts and finished goods across North America.

“RFTrax is tackling the rolling asset management problem with a unique hardware and software solution that promises to dramatically change the ability of railroad operators, shippers, and their customers to eliminate waste and drive greater efficiency,” said Joshua Greenbaum, principal, Enterprise Applications Consulting, Berkeley, CA.

“The company’s A.M.P. solution arrives at a critical juncture in the rail freight industry, which is currently experiencing a renaissance, and it could have the same impact on railroad shipping that improved manufacturing shop-floor systems had on overall manufacturing efficiency and competitiveness.”

The RFTrax A.M.P. product suite combines sensing equipment with monitoring software to deliver visibility into the whereabouts and conditions surrounding assets as they move across the supply chain. It includes an Asset Command Unit (ACU) that accommodates multiple sensors for conditions such as shock, radiation, temperature, intrusion, and fuel monitoring; companies can choose which conditions to monitor and add additional sensors depending on their business needs.

The RFTrax A.M.P. is engineered to blend with industry-standard enterprise platforms such as ERP and MES. Drag-and-drop configuration reportedly can be completed in hours, not months, as is often the case with custom programming. Components are also said to have the lowest power requirements in the industry, by a factor of 10, eliminating the need for expensive redundancy units.

“A number of industries, from automotive and heavy equipment manufacturing to chemical and petroleum products, are increasingly relying on rail freight to transport their goods,” said Hal Haygood, president, RFTrax. “We’ve designed a solution that addresses the rail industry’s need to increase efficiencies in fuel and railcar utilization, meet targeted speed and delivery times, and prevent loss and damage—all of which impact both the bottom line and customer satisfaction.”

—Renee Robbins, editorial director, Control Engineering,
renee.robbins@reedbusiness.com