Digitalisation, Engineering, Products & Technology, Research & Development, Signalling & Communications

At the far edge of rail

Captis enables simple digitisation of traditional monitoring and measurement processes, operating where others cannot – at the far edge.  

With a plug-and-play design, Captis easily connects to a variety of in-field sensors and utilises IoT cellular networks (Cat-M1 and NB-IoT) to log, store, and send sensor data to a device management cloud platform where users can gain real-time visibility of your devices and data. 

Rail Express (REX) spoke to mIoT chief executive officer John Naughton about the updates made to the Captis range and the emerging reliance of IoT in rail network digitization. 

REX: Rail operators are increasingly adopting IoT systems into their network – how do you see IoT transforming the rail industry? 

Naughton: “IoT is no longer an emerging technology, these days it’s a critical component of the digitisation of industrial operations.  

“The rail industry has so many moving parts, both literally and figuratively, so it only makes sense as the industry moves forward that it embraces digitisation, and therefore automation and remote monitoring capability which IoT can provide. 

“With Captis, it’s that environmental monitoring piece that is so valuable for rail operators concerned with both environmental risk mitigation and the safety of their passengers and the community.” 

REX: You’ve mentioned environmental monitoring – what else can Captis provide? 

Naughton: “Our customers work in remote, difficult to reach, and often harsh environments where power and connectivity is scarce.  

“We help them overcome this challenge by providing a solution that operates at the far edge, where others cannot.  

“By pairing the physical and digital worlds through our hardware and software, we provide a way to responsibly manage resources and equipment and, as I mentioned before, monitor the environment, all remotely.” 

REX: Can you share any rail customer success stories that illustrate this? 

Naughton: “In 2021 we assisted one of Australia’s largest freight rail operators in optimising its service through the application of localised ambient air temperature monitoring.  

“Speed restrictions come into play during extreme weather events such as high temperatures, so the rail operator was seeking a solution that could not only capture localised weather data, but one that could operate in very remote sections of the network. 

“This is exactly the kind of application that Captis is made for.  

“Its rugged design meant that it could withstand those same extreme weather events that it was monitoring, and the NB-IoT cellular technology meant that it could read, log, and send even in the most remote parts of Australia. 

“The application was environmental monitoring, but the outcome was so much more – localised zone speed restrictions in high temperature affected areas only in place of blanket speed restrictions, and therefore a significant reduction in delayed minutes across the network.” 

REX: How is Captis Version 1.2. different to Captis Gen 1.0? 

Naughton: “We unveiled Captis Version 1.2 in February with the devices set for release next month.  

“This version boasts a series of refinements across the board, but our main focus has been to deliver a device with a more plug-and-play design.  

“Customers can also expect a more rugged and secure device, increased flexibility with sensors, and most notably, Captis Version 1.2 will support Microsoft Azure IoT native integration, which means devices will be able to communicate seamlessly with Microsoft Azure cloud environments out-of-the-box.  

REX: What’s next? 

Naughton: “In addition to product development and some very exciting product launches on the horizon, we have a genuine commitment to addressing interoperability challenges for businesses adopting or seeking to adopt, IoT technology.  

“Through strategic partnerships we hope to provide a seamless flow of data from edge to enterprise and help evolve the industrial IoT landscape.”