Rail car optimization with use of wearable technology
For rail freight companies, optimizing space within containers is a paramount challenge with significant business implications. Efficient space utilization directly impacts operations and service profitability, resulting in tangible economic benefits over time. Fortunately, the advent of "Mixed Reality" offers transformative opportunities to revamp and reimagine operational processes for improved results.
The use of mixed reality tools in logistics is witnessing substantial growth. Organizations increasingly rely on AR/VR/MR for various tasks, including providing instructions, real-time updates, and data exchange.
As a business tool, wearable technology enhances worker efficiency, connectivity, and communication. Digital eyewear, data gloves, beacons, and sensors represent the next step in optimising supply chains and value chains. Embracing these innovations can significantly improve operational efficiency and overall business performance.
This project aims to optimise container space using wearable technology effectively. Apart from space constraints, factors like product characteristics and logistic considerations play a vital role. Leveraging wearable technology has efficiently addressed and overcome these constraints. In this scenario, multiple methods and supportive tools have been utilised to tackle the problem effectively. Each solution pursue different aims, such as reducing handling costs, maximising storage capacity, increasing item value, or minimising loading time.
Moreover, using the wearable computer with solution for field services, Rail Cargo Group technicians perform inspection of rail cars by controlling the HMT with just voice commands, freeing both hands for the procedure.
An inspection workflow is uploaded, where the technician can see on a micro-display, rather than using a touch-screen tablet or bulky paper or clipboard. The rail cargo technician uses his or her voice to annotate completed tasks and navigate throughout the checklist.
Steps in the inspection also allow for photo image annotation/tagging, in which the technician can take pictures and embed into their inspection document, completely hands-free.
For further assistance, the inspector can use the wearable technology to call a supervisor and provide him or her with a first-person video feed of the safety inspection. The supervisor has the ability to send documents and files to the technician for further assistance as well. The wearable technology is equipped with a voice-controlled flashlight that can free the inspector’s hands for night time work or low-visibility environments.
By combining the space optimization algorithm with wearable technology and a KPI-tracking dashboard, valuable improvements have been identified and monitored. Real-time tracking of space usage, loading efficiency, fleet status, and other essential metrics became more feasible, even via the wearable device.