Tuesday, May 07, 2013

GE, Australia’s Aurizon sign agreement

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
GE Transportation’s Optimization Solutions division has signed an agreement to implement an integrated rail network planning and optimization system with Aurizon (formerly Queensland Rail National), Australia’s largest freight rail company.
GE will be supplying its Movement Planner system, which will be integrated with planning and scheduling applications from SolveIT Software, an Australian firm.

GE Transportation describes its Movement Planner system as “a breakthrough software solution that improves railroad operations and overall utilization of existing infrastructure and resources. Integrating real-time planning with traffic management, and visibility to the entire network, the system produces an optimized plan that helps to move trains faster and more efficiently.”

SolveIT Software’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling and Supply Chain Network Optimization systems “will generate optimized long- and medium-term plans, and short term schedules, including Day-of-Operations output in an integrated enterprise decision support application,” GE says. “Our Movement Planner system will execute SolveIT’s schedule and ensure that any deviations or disruptions are handled effectively, recovering the enterprise train schedule back to maximum throughput.”

In addition to GE and SolveIT, Aitch, a business improvement and change management consultancy, has been brought in “to help ensure successful process innovation and user adoption,” GE says.

The objectives of this project, GE says are:

• Embed Aurizon’s business rules into the software’s programming.

• Deliver real-time train optimization through interactive graphs.

• Automate dispatching with conflict detection and resolution.

• Provide immediate visibility of plan vs. actual performance, through up-to-the-minute performance dashboards.

• Access real-time performance feedback, offering immediate ability for correction.

• Offer predictive modeling and supply and demand optimization.

“The Movement Planner system is a powerful tool that gives Aurizon the ability to maximize its rail network capacity and supports complex routing decisions in the Day of Operations that focus on returning to plan,” says GE General Manager, Optimization Solutions Peter Thomas. “The success of the Movement Planner system in the U.S. freight rail market revealed that our solution is both scalable and effective at optimizing network operations. Combined with SolveIT and Aitch’s excellent tools and expertise, the team will deliver a complete planning solution to help Aurizon meet its future market demand”.

Aurizon is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2011 and 2012, Aurizon transported more than 250 million tons of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products, and general freight. The company also operates and manages the 1,655-mile Central Queensland Coal Network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay, and Gladstone. Including QR National, Aurizon has more than 147 years of rail freight industry experience.

SolveIT Software Pty Ltd is an Australian company acquired by Schneider Electric in August 2012. It specializes in supply and demand optimization and predictive modeling. Founded upon the research of several well-known computer scientists and research organizations, the company offers enterprise software for advanced planning and scheduling, supply chain network optimization, demand planning and forecasting, and predictive modeling. Its software applications are based on proprietary platforms for advanced optimization, prediction, and what-if analysis, and can optimize production and supply chain activities on both a local (plant) and global (network) level.

GE’s Optimization Solutions is a provider of transportation management software and analytics to the railroad industry. The division’s Software as a Service (SaaS) and licensed solutions are used to manage rail and intermodal operations, signal and communication assets, railcar repair billing and inventory, and multimodal visibility, planning, and execution for industrial shippers and logistics service providers.