Industrial Networks launches rail automation drone

In late 2015, Industrial Networks (INet), which provides railyard automation and data acquisition systems for manufacturing and shipping operations in North America, applied for exemption to Section 333 of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reform Act in the railcar inspection and inventory market space and began testing a new drone Automated Equipment Identification (AEI) reader, the INet Rail Automation Drone (IRAD1), which will be capable of fully autonomous scanning of the railyard for inventory and inspection of a railcar.

Since 2005, INet has provided tools to automate rail and truck shipping. INet's stationary and mobile AEI readers provide rail and truck shipment management for control over in-plant operations. This automation reduces the occurrence of errors and improves overall productivity for shippers across North America.

Built into the IRAD1 is a collision detection and avoidance system to help avoid objects in the flight pResearch shows these sophisticated systems are highly effective. This system gives the IRAD1 the ability to be a completely autonomous AEI scanner, which enables faster data collection and helps reduce workforce requirements.

INet's current collection of AEI-scanning tools includes stationary and handheld readers and automates data collection in the field. This is critical in alleviating manual data entry errors and expediting the turnaround of railcars within a facility. The addition of the IRAD1 to INet's arsenal of AEI-scanning tools helps the customer create a work environment that is specific for their business.

"Advancement in drone technology has allowed Industrial Networks to explore what we feel is the future of rail automation," said Jimmy Finster, president of Industrial Networks. "We are continuously researching new and innovative ways to help our customers improve their operations and streamline their daily processes."

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