Monitoring Railcar Wheels Wirelessly

Monitoring Railcars Wirelessly Image

Application: Monitoring wheels on a railcar and triggering a pushing arm

Challenges: Cables cannot be used in this environment

Solution: SureCross FlexPower Node

Benefits: Rugged wireless sensor resistant to vibration, dirty and high-temperature environments

In grain stations and ports, railcar axle movers push railway cars so that train engines are not needed. A railcar wheel monitoring system detects the railcar wheels and triggers an axle pushing arm to activate, pushing the railcar to the next loading or unloading station. Train stations create very harsh conditions and a rugged solution is needed that can accurately detect the large railcars.


Because train car distribution centers are harsh, subject to high traffic volumes, extreme temperatures, dirty environments, and high vibration, running cables is not possible. Previous solutions involved long-range photoelectric sensors installed in locations where power was available. Because this was often a long distance from the rail car, sensor accuracy was affected by weather and other environmental conditions.

A SureCross FlexPower Node connected to a limit switch makes operating this system more reliable. The railcar wheel triggers a trip arm, activating the limit switch connected to the FlexPower Node. The pusher arm rises and pushes the railcar to the next loading or unloading station.

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