Trimble Introduces Handheld AEI Reader for Rail Car and Cargo Inventory Tracking
Trimble has introduced a rugged, handheld computer designed to read the rail-industry specific automatic equipment identification (AEI) tags and the electronic product code (EPC) tags used worldwide.
The device, dubbed the Trimble Juno T41 R-AEI, is equipped with an integrated ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio-frequency identification (RFID) capability.
North American and some specific international railroads use a UHF RFID tag system. The Juno T41 R-AEI can read both rail AEI and the standard EPC RFID tags simultaneously, so tagged rail cars and cargo such as exposed shipping pallets can be tracked across the transportation spectrum.
“Trimble’s focus for the rail industry is to provide solutions that drive agility, improve efficiency and provide better visibility into operations to maximize productivity,” said Jim Sheldon, general manager of Trimble’s mobile computer solutions division. “With the introduction of the Juno T41 R-AEI, we are now expanding our range of solutions to include a powerful field computer that can provide flexibility, connectivity and real-time business intelligence to the rail industry RFID tracking and asset management.”
Mobile workers can stand as far away as eight feet to read an AEI tag and 12 feet to read EPC tags. This range allows safety requirements to be met while still providing the flexibility for workers on foot walking near rail cars. The Juno T41 R-AEI includes GSM/CDMA, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technology, which allows for instant connectivity between the worker in the field and back-office management.
The Juno T41 R-AEI is also a handheld computer designed to provide the field computing power necessary to manage a wide variety of work requirements. With either a Microsoft Windows or Android operating system, the handheld computer can be used with rail business applications already in place.
Mobile workers in the rail yard can fill out forms, read, and write documents and instructions, make notes, and take pictures and videos and send them in real-time. Users can share and retrieve data from anywhere in the rail yard with wireless connectivity.
Trimble provides a software development kit and application programming interfaces (APIs) to assist with integration of the handheld computer into company software applications. Secure business applications can run on the Juno T41 R-AEI and the Android version can run third-party applications designed for Android 4+ level products.
The Juno T41 R-AEI also meets requirements for dust and water protection as well as military-grade standards of ruggedness for drops, temperature, altitude, humidity extremes, vibration, chemical exposure, and shock. The device can operate in environments ranging from -22°F to 140°F.