Home > CrispTech supplied free-roaming stevedoring terminal for Patrick

CrispTech supplied free-roaming stevedoring terminal for Patrick

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article image CrispTech industrial full Gigabit Ethernet switches are installed inside every electrical cabinet near the loading grids at the Patrick AutoStrad terminal

Leading provider of port-related services, Patrick, are opeators of the AutoStrad terminal, the world's first free-roaming stevedoring terminal, which runs several 110t AutoStrads, each featuring CrispTech industrial communication products to meet exacting demands.

Patrick is Australia’s largest operator of container terminals, and the largest bulk and general stevedore. Their AutoStrads remotely transport shipping containers between ship to shore cranes and road trucks within 24 hour a day 7 days a week  maritime environment located at the Port of Brisbane. The AutoStrad Terminal is the largest heavy industry robotic site globally, which, due to the nature of its application, is under high environmental and reliability demands.

The Remote Control Operator Station (RCOS) is Patrick's latest innovation, brought about by the companies continued focus on improving terminal productivity. The RCOS involves the relocation of existing operators at terminal truck grids over 500m away into one control centre. Operators are able to remotely control an AutoStrad to pick or place containers with an accuracy of 25mm.

The accuracy required by this task is no small feat on a site which is more than 1km x 0.5km. In order to meet these demanding operational requirements the data networking equipment had to guarantee:

  • high temperature operation
  • long operating hours 
  • high bandwidth
  • high reliability
  • low latency
These requirements pushed the limits of current technical knowledge and equipment capabilities, a challenge CrispTech took on providing a solution in their extensive range of Industrial Communication products. These produts delivered the necessary technical expertise and product performance to meet the exacting project demands.

CrispTech's VPort 354 industrial video encoders were installed on every single AutoStrad, to achieve real-time visual management. These industrial video encoders feature:

  • high video resolution
  • wireless tolerancy,
  • low latency (less than 200ms from photon capture to visual user display across a wired network); and
  • real-time video for events.
CrispTech’s industrial full Gigabit Ethernet switches are installed inside every electrical cabinet near the loading grids, to ensure maximum network availability and redundancy. The main features are:
  • remote management 
  • redundant fibre links 
  • multiple UTP ports with VLAN functions 
  • din rail mount and various voltage inputs. 
  • operation in extreme environmental conditions, including high humidity; and
  • operating temperature range of -40 - +70˚C
Extra rugged features were also required in this application, so CrispTech offered two Ethernet ports and dual power inputs for redundancy as well as an IP-30 metal casing, to promise the highest reliability in a mission-critical automation environment.

The trial stage of the CrispTech industrial communication products consisted of 12 months of working hand in hand with the Patricks Technology Systems Engineers, testing and refining product software to address all technical challenges as they arose.

"Service was always at hand, and solutions to problems were resolved quickly and with certainty. CrispTech showed an understanding for the demands of this project, by recommending the correct products from the start," says Robert Davie, Patrick's Automation Manager.

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