Alberta Start-Up Forging Tracks in the Trans Loading Industry
If you haven’t yet heard about TransRail Innovation Group (TRIG), you soon will.
A successful Alberta start-up is forging tracks in the railroad trans loading industry by developing a product called the TRIG XLOAD. The TRIG XLOAD is an industrial internet of things (IIoT) platform that increases the visibility of product inside of a tanker rail car. With operations commencing in 2012, TRIG has been working towards their goal of developing and commercializing modern technology to solve fundamental rail trans loading logistics, operations, along with the health, safety, and environmental issues that are prevalent in the railroad trans loading industry. The TRIG XLOAD sensor is nearing completion of its intrinsically-safe certification and is positioned to be the first electronic sensor sanctioned by the American Association of Railroads to travel on moving cars.
How does the product work? TRIG’s patented sensor uses RF technology to automatically monitor volumes, levels, and ambient temperatures of the products inside of closed rail cars. Relevant product data is transmitted to operators working at the loading and unloading terminals, to schedulers and logistics personnel at regional offices, and to managers and directors working at head offices. “The TRIG XLOAD helps companies maximize their shipped product (revenue), minimize shipping costs (expense), increase the number of rail car trips per year (return of capital), and reduce health, safety, and environment risks that come with dealing with hazardous products,” reports Peter Stunden, VP Sales & Marketing at TRIG.
What kind of customer is TRIG focusing on? According to Peter, “Our focus is on all customers who load, ship, and unload primarily liquid products using the 380,000 tanker rail cars in North America.” As an example, a TRIG prospect uses 1500 tanker cars to ship 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day from their trans loading terminal in North Dakota. Concerned with the residual amount of crude oil (i.e. 20 barrels) in each of their rail cars before they start loading, they will load their rail cars only to a maximum level of 95%. The prospect leaves a significant margin of error in filling their rail cars, in this case 5%. The TRIG XLOAD sensor is mounted on and travels with each rail car, allowing for the monitoring of the amount of residual heel left inside the rail car and levels of the car being filled to a higher level, such as 98%. By reducing the impact of the residual heel and maximizing the fill levels, this company will reduce their shipping costs by $3.5 million dollars annually.
What can TRIG attribute its success to? TRIG is a union of three companies: PGA M2M, an M2M technology systems integrator providing solutions in the Western Canadian energy industry; Simba, a company that designs, builds, and operates rail trans loading facilities in North America; and TRTech a company specializing in wireless and sensing technology. TRTech has incubated TRIG’s start-up by providing access to critical resources, test equipment, infrastructure and valuable networking opportunities. The collaboration of these three companies has provided immeasurable resources and knowledge to TRIG, thus allowing them to introduce their high quality product to market in a timely fashion.
Where does TRIG expect to be in the near future? TRIG expects to grow to $40 million in revenue selling its technology and online subscription services by 2020.
For inquiries please contact Peter Stunden, VP Sales & Marketing. Phone: (403) 612-6395 Email: [email protected]