Lat-Lon, a leading provider of industrial tracking and monitoring solutions, has announced that it is now in full production of the Automatic Engine Start / Stop (AESS) System. The AESS is an interactive, real-time locomotive system for operators to control, monitor, and remotely set start/stop rules for their engines or auxiliary power units (APU). The new feature is part of Lat-Lon’s existing locomotive monitoring unit (LMU) and offers a solution to maintain ideal temperatures and eliminate wasted fuel from idling.

During winter months, the Lat-Lon AESS monitors the locomotive’s coolant temperature, commanding it to start if it reaches the low threshold. Upon reaching a warm coolant threshold, the engine stops to conserve fuel. The process is fully automated and visible on-line real-time, so an operator can view or modify the parameters quickly and easily. In cold conditions, the Lat-Lon AESS averages four hours total idling run time in a 24 hour period versus the common practice of idling 24 hours a day, reducing fuel consumption and wear significantly.

The AESS is flexible and can be as simple or complex as an operator chooses. It can sense nothing and simply cycle the engine every few hours, or it can consider multiple criteria including coolant temperature, battery voltage, brake reservoir pressure and reverser setting. All AESS criteria is remotely managed through a secure website hosted and designed by Lat-Lon for 24/7 seamless customer access. Text message alerts can also be configured to allow managers immediate knowledge of their locomotive’s performance, at or away from their office.

Standard industry reports or custom reports are available, and data extractions can be performed. The AESS can be combined with other critical data measured by the LMU including location, speed, impact, run status, temperature, fuel level, oil level, and more.

“The Lat-Lon AESS is so logical, any locomotive electrician can understand it, and it’s also easy to change the settings based on my task without leaving my desk,” stated Kean Burenga of Black River & Western RR.

Typical locomotive management tools yield approximately 60% fuel savings through the elimination of unnecessary idling. As the Lat-Lon AESS allows real-time customization for a customer’s task specific needs, it can return even higher gains in fuel savings. One short-line railroad’s testing quantified this number as an additional 15% above the typical fuel savings, due to real-time changes eliminating unnecessary start/stops caused by altered events. This enables the Lat-Lon AESS to quickly pay for itself as its economical up-front price is a fraction of other manufacturers, and installation only takes one engineer one day.