The challenge of operating a vast network of rail lines covering 36,000 miles and 22 states, is overseeing a large inventory of rolling stock and coordinating the activity of crews who make sure the tracks and other equipment are in optimal shape. A major rail operator approached us for help overhauling their network of 300 communication consoles which enable their dispatchers to reach crews along the tracks and on the trains via radios.
Clear Lines of Communication
Communication is critical for coordinating and verifying train schedules, locating rolling stock, and ensuring prompt response to any incidents. Using the communications system, dispatchers can get in touch quickly with crews along the tracks and on the trains. Federal law bans the use of smart phones and watches while operators are on or near the tracks, making radio the preferred method of instant communication.
While out on the tracks, a crew member radios in to a field base. That base then sends the information to a console located in the dispatch station. On the station console, a little pad that represents the field base starts flashing to indicate a call. The station dispatcher reaches presses a button on the touchscreen interface to answer the incoming call.
Operating in a no-fail environment, the customer needed a reliable industrial panel PC option that they could count on. Technicians in the field need the ability to instantly contact the dispatch station to report an issue, or coordinate efforts in the field.
Reliability for No-fail Environments
Although the statement “keeping the trains running on time” is cliché, there are serious issues around track usage and the production schedules faced by our customer. There are countless demands on all the components that come together for the rail line’s successful operation.
To ensure critical communications were not interrupted, our customer wanted to outfit each dispatch console with industrial-grade touchscreen panel PCs with fanless cooling systems, ample memory, and powerful Intel core I processors. The dispatch team relies on their computers for nonstop 24/7 operation. Dispatch station environments can vary greatly. Some dispatch stations are large multi-story office buildings, but others are little more than a small hut nestled atop a metal tower. This leads to a wide range of difficult conditions such as dust and dirt.
After 4 years of nonstop operation, our customer recently contacted us to discuss upgrading their entire network to a more recent chipset and processor configuration, despite the fact that their previous units continue running reliably.
Customer’s Panel PC Requirements
- Rugged housing for dusty environments.
- Touchscreen capabilities to meet the needs of the application.
- Reliability to prevent down time and a break in the communications.
- No moving parts.
- Protection of components from dust.
- Processing power to coordinate communications functions.
Solutions for Logistics Operations
Teguar industrial-grade panel PCs are a solid addition to any facility. Designed to handle the rigors of daily operations in difficult conditions, each unit is manufactured to exacting standards to ensure reliability. Teguar uses a fanless cooling system, lack of moving parts, and industrial-grade components to provide customers with consistent reliable performance day-in and day-out.