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GPS (Global Positioning System) asset tracking has become a vital tool for the Maintenance of Way (MOW) rail operations, and it many operators are beginning to see the advantages of this emerging technology. Unlike traditional RFID monitoring, GPS tracking greatly reduces gaps in equipment visibility by providing location and utilization reporting at a much higher frequency. MOW encompasses the infrastructure, vehicles, and equipment necessary to ensure the safety and efficiency of railway systems. The seamless and reliable functioning of this infrastructure is essential to rail transportation, making the role of equipment tracking paramount in this context.
We will explore the fundamental reasons why GPS asset tracking is critical to MOW equipment maintenance. This technology has revolutionized the way rail maintenance is managed and provides critical benefits that extend across various aspects of the rail industry. From enhancing safety to optimizing asset utilization and minimizing operational costs, GPS asset tracking has transformed the landscape. This article will delve into these aspects and shed light on the way GPS tracking systems have become an indispensable component of modern rail maintenance.
1. Interval-Based Tracking
GPS asset tracking provides more accurate information about the location of MOW rail assets, such as maintenance vehicles, equipment, and materials. This helps rail maintenance teams know the location of their assets at regular intervals, which is crucial for effective asset management and deployment.
2. Improved Asset Utilization
With GPS tracking, rail maintenance teams can optimize the utilization of their assets. They can identify idle or underutilized equipment and redistribute it as needed to ensure maximum efficiency in maintenance operations.
3. Route Planning and Optimization
GPS tracking systems can help plan and optimize maintenance routes, ensuring that assets are deployed to the areas that require immediate attention. This can reduce idle personnel, travel time, fuel consumption, and wear and tear on equipment and vehicles.
4. Enhanced Safety
Knowing the precise location of MOW rail assets can improve safety for maintenance personnel. In the event of an emergency or when an asset needs immediate attention, dispatchers can quickly locate and send assistance to the correct location.
5. Loss, Theft Prevention and Recovery
GPS asset tracking can help field personnel avoid misplacement of equipment, whether it be owned or leased. This reduces idle time, improves productivity and ensure appropriate accounting for all equipment. This type of tracking can also act as a deterrent to theft and unauthorized use of rail maintenance assets. If an asset is stolen, the GPS system can help in its quick recovery by providing the exact location to law enforcement.
6. Maintenance Scheduling
GPS data can be used to create predictive maintenance schedules based on asset age, condition, usage and location. Maintenance tasks can also be created and tracked within a GPS tracker’s connected software platform. This allows rail maintenance teams to proactively service and maintain equipment, reducing the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs.
7. Compliance and Reporting
GPS tracking systems can record and report on the movement and usage of MOW rail assets. This data is invaluable for compliance with regulations and standards, as well as for generating reports for stakeholders and management.
8. Data Analysis
Over time, the data collected through GPS tracking can be analyzed to identify trends and patterns in asset usage and performance. This information can help in making data-driven decisions to streamline ongoing maintenance operations.
9. Cost Reduction
By optimizing asset utilization, preventing loss or theft, and improving maintenance scheduling, GPS asset tracking can lead to significant cost savings for rail maintenance operations.
GPS tracking is invaluable because it provides accurate location information, enhances safety, improves asset utilization, prevents theft, and contributes to cost savings and efficient operations. It plays a crucial role in the overall management and maintenance of rail infrastructure.
Geoforce was founded in 2007 with the simple belief that the inefficiencies of field operations could be alleviated with technology. Since then, our mission has been to help ensure that nothing of yours is lost – whether it’s your equipment, time, opportunity, productivity or revenue.
Combining a cloud-based software platform with rugged GPS tracking devices on both global satellite and cellular networks, Geoforce’s solutions provide:
- Efficient asset location and retrieval
- Rental invoice auditing
- Service delivery verification
- Inspection compliance
- Equipment maintenance alerts
- And much more…
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