GE Transportation sets RailConnect 360, ShipperConnect

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Erie, Pa.-based GE Transportation on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, unveiled its RailConnect 360 Monitoring and Diagnostics (M&D) and ShipperConnect software at the second annual Minds + Machines Conference in Chicago.

The unveiling was a portion of parent General Electric Co.’s announcement of 14 new Industrial Internet Predictivity technologies that GE says “will enable global industries to achieve outcomes such as minimal unplanned downtime, increased productivity, preventive maintenance, lower fuel costs, and reduced emissions.”

Fairfield, Conn.-based GE says the technologies will be powered by Predix, a “first-of-its-kind industrial strength platform that provides a standard and secure way to connect machines, industrial big data and people.” GE is also expanding its ecosystem to include AT&T, Cisco, and Intel, which will boost wired and wireless machine connectivity.

Concerning railroad technologies, “Our focus remains on developing solutions to address the rail industry’s most pressing issues,” said GE Transportation CEO Russell Stokes. “The debut of our RailConnect 360 Monitoring and Diagnostics (M&D) and ShipperConnect software technologies further illustrate our unwavering commitment to leveraging intelligent machines to deliver breakthrough levels of efficiency and productivity for our customers.”

By collecting and analyzing performance data during locomotive operations, GE Transportation’s RailConnect 360 M&D software solution automates diagnostics and root cause analysis to enable optimal and proactive maintenance. The result is improved reliability and availability, ultimately delivering critical time and cost-savings. M&D solutions enable advanced planning of resources and materials, informed decision making for building train consists, and running and routing locomotives en route.

GE Transportation’s cloud-based ShipperConnect software suite is designed to allow rail shippers and terminal operators to automate operations, manage inventory, and control transportation costs. The system includes business intelligence reporting tools that help customers make better decisions and respond faster to dynamic market conditions, the company said.

Chesterland, Ohio-based Fairmount Minerals, a producer of industrial sand, is implementing ShipperConnect software at 49 locations to improve inventory management, increase railcar utilization, and meet customer commitments to deliver a continuous supply of sand to the shale basins for crude oil drilling operations, GE said.

At Railway Interchange 2013 in Indianapolis last month, GE Transportation introduced new technologies in the areas of EPA Tier 4 emissions compliance, LNG fuel, and web-based asset management.

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