Vehicle Tracking and Optimization in Maneuvering Yards
Route. Schedule. Plan. Assign. Pack. Solve.
One of the most intriguing areas of operations research is routing, in which the goal is to find efficient paths for transporting items through a complex network.
Using a variety of technologies the application optimizes the use of transport resources within maneuvering yards. The goal is to find a schedule that minimizes the total amount of time (or cost) required to complete all the tasks, saving thousands of dollars with internal logistics.
Based on location of the vehicles an operational center calculates the best route for the transport assets taking into account restrictions such as:
- Constraints on their maximum loads.
- The vehicles must start or finish tasks by a certain time.
- Depot has vehicle limitation, or vehicles need refuel.
- The vehicles must pickup some commodities before delivering them to another point.
Global Positioning System (GPS) is a mature technology that works in nearly any outdoor location with a network connection. GPS devices receive ping messages from several Earth-orbiting satellites maintained by the US Air Force. A GPS device uses these ping messages to calculate the device’s precise location, often within feet. GPS’s ability to track a precise location from nearly anywhere outside is optimal for tracking medium to large assets on the move.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically-stored information. Passive tags collect energy from a nearby RFID reader's interrogating radio waves. Active tags have a local power source (such as a battery) and may operate hundreds of meters from the RFID reader. Unlike a barcode, the tag need not be within the line of sight of the reader, so it may be embedded in the tracked object.
The General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a technology that increases the data transfer rates in existing GSM networks. This enables packet data transport (packet switching). As such, GPRS offers a much higher data transfer rate than the transfer rates of previous technologies, which used circuit-switched.
LoRa Technology offers compelling features for IoT applications including long range, low power consumption and secure data transmission. The technology can be utilized by public, private or hybrid networks and provides greater range than cellular networks. LoRa Technology can easily plug into existing infrastructure and enables low-cost battery-operated IoT applications.