Their software called Intermodal Logistic System (ILS) and developed internally by their System’s Engineers has evolved throughout 20 years to adapt to the latest technologies and include more rugged capabilities. All the information of daily yard operations and accesses to the terminal goes through this system, fed by the team in each of the phases through which a container goes through starting from its access on board a truck or a train.
“Ferrovalle’s technological ecosystem is supported by three components: The super Wi-Fi network, SLI software, and Getac tablets. If one fails, it is not possible to succeed, therefore, these three components have to be excellent. SLI will continue to evolve in the future with the incorporation of new features that will strengthen security issues. Getac’s technology is part of these plans and is present in the Program of Zero Distance to our customers,” says Francisco Fabila, General Manager of Ferrovalle.
The value of the railway logistics infrastructure —with unique dimensions— lies largely in the accurate and timely delivery of all containers that go through Ferrovalle’s facilities every day, in addition to the full real-time traceability of all the goods as part of its Service and Quality Policy called “Zero Distance”, which the company offers its customers.
Located strategically in a downtown area of Mexico City, Ferrovalle Intermodal is the railway connecting point linking the capital city with the main ports in the sea and borders. Annually, over 500 thousand containers go through their yards. Every day, eight to ten double-stack trains connect in their yards with over a thousand trucks to ensure the exchange of products for hundreds of commercial operations made by their clients.
Digital Partnership: Rugged Technology to Run Management and Traceability Systems
The greatest challenge faced by Ferrovalle’s collaborative team to ensure the interaction of all SLI actors, from the access control guard to the crane operator, was to select the right hardware, given the rough conditions outdoors, with multiple users moving through the yards. In addition, it had to be a rugged device to support the software and have efficient wireless connection to use the super Wi-Fi network from anywhere in the terminal.
Ferrovalle found in Getac a technological partner that understands the nature of their operations, the importance of absolute traceability, its focus on performance, and the strength required for daily operation. Their rugged tablets were a great addition to this technological partnership and allowed the effective digitalization of the yard operations of this railroad leader. This decision was key for the innovation process lead by Ruben Castillo, IT Director, along with his team, to ensure the Zero Distance success.
“We first used handheld technology, but the keyboards did not last being exposed to rain, dust, and sun. We replaced them with regular tablets, but being exposed to the sun for too long, they would overheat and turn off. Also, their resolution was not good under direct sunlight and broke at the slightest bump or fall,” says Héctor López, Information Technology Infrastructure Manager.
The positive aspects are the screen contrast under full sunlight and at night, resistance to shocks, scratches, vibrations and its performance in rainy conditions. Another advantage is the guarantee and fast aftersales service,” emphasizes Ismael Rodríguez, Network Leader at Ferrovalle.
“We needed a rugged device that would allow real-time logging and tracking of all container events; that would allow us to easily capture information. The system has APPs, reports, data exchange, a website with profiles for customers, warehouse management with goods consolidation and deconsolidation, business intelligence system, and executive reports. Getac devices were 100% compatible with SLI: no burdens or delays in the operation and use of the system. This means that we have good operational and financial control of any movement, increasing productivity and compliance with the company’s business policies,” adds Edgar Hernandez, Intermodal Development Manager at Ferrovalle.
Data capturing while on the crane or on foot allowed for increased security since photographs can be taken of trucks license plates and operators accessing the terminal, standardizing and reducing times in the logistics process without sacrificing accuracy.
The robust technology from Getac is not limited to just tablets, but includes a range of accessories, mounting kits, device charging, and portability solutions, as well as security and connectivity software. Havis, a leading manufacturer of specialized products and docks for mobile or remote workers, also joined this synergy to provide fully integrated solutions designed for reliable and straightforward equipment management in the field. Their custom-designed docks or support stations for tablets took into consideration important attributes for everyday use, such as the need for a secure and ergonomic one-handed docking, optional triple antenna pass-thru connections, integrated cable management system, and support for USB accessories.
This attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of workdays ensures the use of robust technology in real-world daily operations. Havis docks offer a strategic location to support, charge, and connect not only Getac tablets but also essential peripherals for each task. After all, the seamless integration of technology into Ferrovalle’s daily operations enhances practical efficiency without sacrificing quality, safety, or the longevity of the new devices.
Getac tablets were chosen for being intrinsically rugged devices, designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, impacts, high vibrations, high and low temperatures, humidity, dust and drops from up to 1.8 meters. Their devices are MIL-STD 810H certified, capable of withstanding drops and impacts, extreme changes in temperature and humidity, as well as IP67 certified, indicating dust-tight sealing and contact protection.
Access to core data and systems is guaranteed with better connectivity, providing full visibility of the rail network. Therefore, the tablets helped with the need to track assets and have access to this data in real time, as timely information provides Ferrovalle with decision making power and productivity, as well as key data for the task.
The company continues to lead the forefront of the Mexican Railroad System thanks to its commitment to excellence and the use of the latest generation technology, offering reliable and efficient cargo transportation that drives the country’s economic growth. With the support of Getac’s rugged technology and SLI software, Ferrovalle is marking the path to a more advanced and connected logistic future.
Sara Meyer, Havis, 2159570720, [email protected], havis.com