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SW-based logistics system

Fleet-management for milk-collecting trucks

On a contract by Bartec, the software specialist Emlix has developed a fleet-management system optimizing the logistics of milk collection from large farms.

Bartec System 3003 (Source: Bartec)

The specialists from Bartec provide measurement and data acquisition systems for milk collection solutions. On a contract by Bartec, Emlix has developed essential parts of a Linux-based logistic system for liquid goods transport, which can be integrated into existing enterprise environments and adapted for various application fields. The Bartec System 3003 optimizes the logistics of milk collection from large farms. It consists of two hardware units: the in-cabin sub-system (ICS) for driver guidance and the metering and sampling sub-system (MSS). Additionally, the system includes a GPRS (general packet radio service) modem, a graphics card for control of a touch-screen display, various interfaces e.g. J1939, and a smart power management. It fulfils the required DIN standards and has an operating temperature range from -20 °C to +60 °C.

The scheduling and dispatch solution in the office automatically arranges tours for the individual tanker trucks, calculates optimal routes, wakes up the ICS units and transfers the route data to the trucks. The driver is shown a map of the precalculated route. The ICS unit automatically supervises the adherence to the planned route via a GPS (global positioning system) receiver and periodically communicates the truck position to the enterprise system. Via GPS, the tanker also recognizes when it has arrived at a planned collection point. When the tanker stops, the ICS unit displays the kind of product and the amount to be collected and reports this to the MSS unit.

Using CAN data, GPS navigation, and GPRS communication the fleet-management of tanker trucks is optimized (Source: H.D. Wöhrle)

A tanker activity monitoring system (TAMS) operates in the background. It is integrated into the ICS unit and has access to the J1939-based in-vehicle CAN networks. From there, it filters data about vehicle condition and the driving behavior of the driver, which is then processed and reported to the TAMS enterprise server. Maintenance of the vehicles can thus be planned in time. If the tanker is involved in an accident, a distress signal is transmitted, as well as a log of vital TAMS data in high-temporal resolution.

During the tour, the dispatcher in the office can transmit a modified route and altered data to the tanker. The driver is automatically notified of the changes. All the processes carried out are recorded and reported to the enterprise system. The ICS is equipped with a second communication channel, which is used for spoken communication and as an emergency data channel in case of insufficient GPRS coverage.

System’s software core is an embedded framework for cooperative multi-tasking. It dynamically loads the application software modules, which communicate with each other without restrictions. The framework allows multiple instances on different computers to be interconnected transparently via TCP/IP, thus creating the impression of a single large system. The software provides a remote software-version management, a human-machine interface with a screen layout specification via XML (extensible markup language), location awareness, map display, online updating of the route, vehicle’s progress report via GPRS as well as a fallback communication channel. It also includes RFID-based identification of the trailer and of the farm/factory connection points.


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