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Case Study: Unique Railway Solution
One of the largest railway companies in North America was losing accountability of fuel between trucks being loaded at various fuel terminals and eventually unloaded at their rail yards where their locomotives are refueled. The railway buys fuel from a number of terminal operators who are also Toptech terminal automation system customers, including Suncor and ExxonMobil, but the company had little ability to track individual truck loads of fuel between their load points and their unloading in their rail yard. Invoices for those loads arrived days later with minimal association and accountability between the loaded invoiced amounts and what was actually unloaded. The railway company wasn’t sure what inventory it should have at any moment, and there was little accounting for discrepancies. The disparity over fuel loads was further aggravated by their need to often divert loaded, inbound fuel trucks to remote locations to meet locomotives in need of immediate refueling. They needed more detailed information about those transferred loads, including how much fuel was unloaded from the trucks, and they needed the information immediately.
Enter Toptech Systems. We seemed like a natural fit since our hardware and software were in many cases responsible for loading the railway company’s trucks. So we visited their offices to learn more about their needs, and designed a customized solution that both delivered fuel accountability, as well tracked spur-of-the-moment remote locomotive refueling.
One of Toptech Systems’ many strengths in terminal automation is our depth of knowledge in high value fuel transfer. Using our knowledgeable Professional Services consultants, we successfully constructed the railway company’s challenge into a Toptech-guided solution that tracked fuel between the trucks being loaded and the eventual refueling of locomotives. Using our flexible software, the company was able to receive near-real time invoices, allowing them to optimize and intelligently schedule payables and accurately reconcile what arrived at their rail yards with what was initially loaded in the trucks. By installing Toptech’s mobile version of MultiLoad, we provisioned their fuel trucks with the power of our load rack automation system, wirelessly connected to the company’s Toptech servers, to track and report remote fueling of locomotives.
The Toptech solution gave the company an accurate accountability of their fuel inventory, and captured the necessary data to quickly and accurately reconcile their fuel by using Toptech’s standard products including BPA and MultiLoad, and new, innovative products such as MultiLoad Mobile and Toptech’s Unified Automation Platform for cloud-based data management. Toptech Engagement Manager James Imhoff summed up the project, “This project is a great example of partnership and teamwork between our customer and Toptech Systems.
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