ArcelorMittal uses RFID for Automatic Weighing and Identification of Railway Wagons and Units
ArcelorMittal has implemented a fully automated weighing system to weigh and identify railway wagons and units using the RFID technology. The wagon weighing and identification system is thus fully automatic and unattended. The system is the result of the joint effort of Tamtron, manufacturer of railway weighing systems, and Barco, RFID and barcode integrator.
Uh. Hradiste, Czech Republic - 10.6.2008
Initial Customer Situation
ArcelorMittal Ostrava a.s. is the largest metallurgical company in the Czech Republic. The manufacturing portfolio of the company includes crude iron and steel production and processing as well as secondary metallurgical operations. A major part of the products are transported by railway. For that purpose, ArcelorMittal uses standard wagon weighing systems requiring additional attendance. The objective of the project was to implement a fully automated digital system independent of the human factor to automate the process of wagon weighing and data transfer to the information system without the need for any additional attendance, manual recording, information entry and preparation of any further documents.
Solution Development and Proposal
Tamtron teamed up with Barco to develop a comprehensive automatic weighing system featuring automatic identification of the individual wagons. Tamtron developed the TRAPPER dynamic railway weighing system, used to determine the weight for commercial purposes which, combined with a sophisticated control system, ensures high weighing accuracy and guarantees long-term system reliability. Weighing on the TRAPPER system is an automatic and unattended process. As the train unit passes the weighbridge, the device automatically recognises the individual wagon types and weighs them. Information about the wagon weight, type, sequence number in the unit and its speed at the moment of weighing is stored in the control system for further processing. The only yet critical detail, which had to be added to the information obtained in this manner, was the unique identification number of the wagon being weighed. This was why Tamtron looked for a suitable technology to automatically identify the individual wagons and transfer the information to the weighing system. The supplier of choice of the technology meeting the parameters required for the automatic weighing system was Barco, a company specialising in RFID solutions operating in the UHF band. The product resulting from the co-operation is the fully automatic TRAPPER DRS ID system installed in December 2007 on the company railway of ArcelorMittal Ostrava a.s.
The system consists of the TRAPPER DRS wagon weighing system and the ALIEN ALR-8800 industrial radio frequency identification system. It is a dual weighbridge system used to measure the weight of six- and eight-axle wagons with the maximum total weight of 200T. The individual wagons are provided with enclosed UHF RFID tags. The reading antennas and the ALIEN ALR-8800 control unit are situated in the weighbridge area in the external control panel for weighbridge electronics. As the train unit is passing the weighbridge, the wagons being weighed are automatically matched with their number obtained using the RFID system. As soon as the train unit passes the weighbridge, a full set of information about the train unit and about the individual wagons is available and is automatically transferred to the company’s weighing server using the company’s optic fibre network and it is then distributed to the end users.
The user of the applications of the weighing system in the above-mentioned configuration has obtained a high-quality, efficient source of the required manufacturing, quality and sales information. The main quality-related benefits of the system are the elimination of any human factor from the weighing process and the resulting savings of human resources as compared to the conventional weighing system solutions. Combined with other advantages such as low construction intensity, short period of installation and high reliability, the TRAPPER DRS ID provides the investor with the best value on the market.
tel.: +420 572 520 038
email: tkubicek (at) barco.cz
Ing. Jiri Toula
tel.: +420 315 733 205
email: toula (at) tamtron.cz
Barco is a significant solution provider and system integrator in the field of barcode applications, RFID systems and wireless technologies. We specialize on solutions for online warehouse management along with utilization of mobile terminals and wireless infrastructure. Our leading product is online Warehouse Management System SmartStock.WMS. The corporation was established in 1993. Its stock capital is 2 000 000 CZK. Barco is a holder of certificate ISO 9001:2001.
About ArcelorMittal Ostrava
ArcelorMittal Ostrava a.s. is the largest metallurgical company in the Czech Republic and a member of the largest steelwork group ArcelorMittal. The manufacturing portfolio of the company includes crude iron and steel production and processing as well as secondary metallurgical operations. In 2006 the company manufactured 3.06 million tonnes of steel to export 59% of its production to 88 countries around the globe. It employs 7,450 people, reaching 10,300 in combination with its subsidiaries. The largest shareholders of the company are: MITTAL STEEL HOLDINGS A. G. (71.579 % of shares), Czech Ministry of Finance (13.881 % of shares), and ČKA (Czech Consolidation Agency – 10.969 % of shares). In the financial year 2006 /01/03/2006 – 28/02/2007/ the company created a profit (after tax) of CZK 9.6bn. The total earnings were CZK 58.7bn.
Tamtron, s.r.o. is a leading European manufacturer and supplier of digital weighing solutions for industrial application, dynamic and on-board weighing devices and related information systems for data collection and transfer, positioning, navigation and RFID systems. Tamtron, s.r.o. is part of the international Tamtron Group, which has its own development and manufacturing capabilities. Tamtron has branches in the Czech Republic, France, Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden and Estonia. Tamtron Group exports its products to over 50 countries and 20,000 destinations. Tamtron s.r.o. is a member of the Czech Union of Weighing Equipment Producers and is a holder of the ISO 9001:2000 quality management certificate.