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iRRCv2 ip11 railroad car AEX12083 blog post image 02

Railroad Car Port Seal Inspection

Why is railroad car port seal inspection important?

Railroad cars are used to ship food grade products such as grain. The integrity of a railroad car’s contents is paramount for health and safety. Strict compliance guidelines are in place to insure the contents of the railroad car are not tampered in transit. Railroad car seal inspection is critical for safe transport of food grade products. This solution has been in use by a major wheat grower since 2013.

What is Inspect Railroad Car (iRRC)

Inspect RRC (iRRC) is iOS app for iPad and iPhone designed for your company’s inspections and compliance. iRRC assures your railroad car’s ports are not tampered with between source and destination. iRRC outputs reports in XLS format that can be archived for your company’s compliance.

How Single-Use Seals Prevent Tampering

A key part to insure railroad car content integrity, relies on single-use seals used on each railroad car port. Seals are uniquely encoded, and placed on each railroad car port at the shipping source. At the destination, the seals are removed. Since removal is destructive, seals can only be applied once. This, and the unique seal number, prevents the same seal from being removed and replaced.

iRRC Inspection Uses Wireless Barcode & RFID Readers

Railroad car inspection with iRRC involves you or your team using the app with a barcode or RFID reader. In this example the Scanfob® PX20 wireless 2D+1D barcode scanner is used. Each single-use seal has a unique barcode on it. It works identically when using a scanner like the Scanfob® Ultra BB2 UHF RFID reader is used for RFID seals. If you want to use iRRC with the built-in NFC reader on iOS, contact serialio.com.

Barcode/RFID Tags On Railroad Car Ends

iRRC expects a unique barcode or RFID tag to be present on each end your railroad cars to be inspected. One tag on each end of the top of the railroad car. For this example an iPhone 11 is used to connect the wireless Scanfob PX20 barcode scanner. The PX20 is used to scan the location barcodes and secure port seals during your railroad car inspection.

Using iRRC for Railroad Car Grain Port Seal Inspection

First, open the app and enter the iRRC account information for the Cloud-In-Hand.com account used by Inspect Railroad Car (iRRC) iOS app.

iRRC inspection app settings for inspector name, cloud account, and railroad car inspection databases to be used
iRRC inspection app settings for inspector name, cloud account, and railroad car inspection databases to be used

The railroad car inspection databases will be downloaded from your account specified on Cloud-In-Hand.com.

Railroad car inspection databases downloaded from cloud
Railroad car inspection databases downloaded from cloud

Next, tap the SDM (Serial Device Manager) icon to connect your wireless barcode or RFID scanner, in this case the Scanfob® brand PX20 is used.

SDM to connect wireless Scanfob® brand PX20 barcode scanner
SDM to connect wireless Scanfob® brand PX20 barcode scanner
Scanfob brand PX20 scanner connected to iPhone as shown in the Serial Device Manager (SDM)
Scanfob® brand PX20 scanner connected to iPhone as shown in the Serial Device Manager (SDM
Start Scanning Railcar Seal Tags

You start the railroad car seal inspection by tapping “New” on iRRC app. Then you scan the side or top of the railroad car where you want to start inspecting. There are two designators for the railroad car location tags: “Brake” end of car, and “Other” end of car. Here a barcode on side A of the railroad car was scanned. iRRC shows seal locations of the grain ports on the bottom of the railroad car to be scanned. The RED color shows the current grain port seal location you need to scan next. The YELLOW color shows the locations you have yet to scan.

Railroad car type AEX12083, model view of side A, 0 of 6 scans
Railroad car type AEX12083, model view of side A, start scanning

Next note the view below showing the 3rd grain port seal was scanned on railroad car side A.

3rd grain port seal scanned on railroad car side A
3rd grain port seal scanned on railroad car side A

Now see the view below shows inspection step after all seals scanned on your railroad car side A.

View of railroad car inspection using iRRC after all six grain port seals scanned on side A
View of railroad car inspection using iRRC after all six grain port seals scanned on sid e A

Next you complete inspection on railroad car side A. This happens when you scan the next location barcode (or RFID tag). This location tag is place at the end of the car nearest the last seal scanned.

After scanning railroad car other end location tag to complete inspection of seals on side A
After scanning railroad car other end location tag to complete side A inspection
Scan Port Seals on Next Side of Railroad Car

To continue the inspection, you now scan the location tag on railroad car side B. For maximum efficiency, you scan the location tag on the same end of the railroad car that you scanned the end location for side A, but opposite side of the car. For example if you finished side A at the “Brake” end, you start inspection on side B from the “Brake” end. As you see below the inspection app shows the 4th tag scanned. Also note the direction of scanning port seal tags is opposite of side A.

Railroad car B side, 4 of 6 grain port seal tags scanned
Railroad car B side, 4 of 6 grain port seal tags scanned

For the next step, see below where iRRC shows all port seal tags have been scanned on side B of the railroad car

All six port seals scanned on side B
All six port seals scanned on side B

Now see the example error. This happens when you scan another seal without scanning the location tag at the end of the railroad car.

iRRCv2 ip11 11 railroad car AEX12083 failed to scan end location tag sideB
Inspector failed iRRCv2 ip11 11 railroad car AEX12083 failed to scan end location tag sideB

After you scan the location tag on “Other” end of railroad car side B, seal inspection is done for that side.

Port seal inspection done for side B of railroad car
Port seal inspection done for side B
Inspect Railroad Car Top Seals

Next, inspection proceeds to the port seals on the top of the railroad car. Below shows after you’ve scanned the 3rd grain port seal tag on Railcar top.

3rd grain port seal scanned seal port on top of railroad car
3rd grain port seal scanned seal port on top of railroad car

Once you have scanned all 6 port seals on the top of the railcar, you’ll see a view similar the following.

Scans completed for six of six seals on railroad car top
Scans completed for 6 of 6 seals on railroad car top

Then the location tag at the end of the car is scanned to complete the scanning for the railroad car port seal tags.

All seals for railroad car top side complete
All seals for railroad car top side done
Complete Railroad Car Inspection

Once all seals are scanned on top and both sides, you tap “Inspection info”, complete the information on this view, then tap Save.

Railroad car Inspection info view not filled out
Railroad car Inspection info view

After inspection info form is filled out and saved, then you tap on the railroad car name.

Railroad car model AEX12083 tap name to continue inspection
Railroad car model AEX12083 tap name to continue inspection
Railroad car inspection car details view
Railroad car inspection car details view

Next for the inspection, on the Details view, you tap the Report Info, then complete that information, and tap Save

Railcar Info before entering Vendor, Customer, Created By
Railcar Info before entering Vendor, Customer, Created By

After you enter Vendor, Customer, Created By and all the other appropriate inspection information for the railcar, tap Save. You will then see “Report Info” is completed.

Railcar AEX12083 Inspection Report Info done
Railcar AEX12083 Inspection Report Info complete

Finally the railroad car inspection is done, you can tap “Railcars”, then tap “Send reports”

Railroad car inspection complete, send reports to cloud
Railroad car inspection complete, send reports to cloud

The inspection report is forwarded from the Cloud-In-Hand.com server per the account settings. The report is typically emailed in Excel format. Reports can then be archived for reference and compliance.

If you would like this railroad car inspection solution for your business, contact serialio.com. Also contact us if you have a different inspection need, we can provide a solution for you.

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