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Crisptech supplies industrial video encoders to Australia’s largest shipping dock

Crisptech has supplied a range of high resolution, wireless industrial video encoders to achieve real-time visual management and automate Patrick’s AutoStrad Terminal for remote shipping container transport between cranes and road trucks.

Patrick is Australia’s largest operator of container terminals, and the largest bulk and general stevedore. Patrick provides port-related services to importers, exporters and shipping lines.

The company has been actively engaged in commercialisation of the robotic AutoStrad Terminal, through its development company Patrick Technology & Systems. The AutoStrad terminal is the world’s first free-roaming stevedoring terminal, in which 110-tonne AutoStrads remotely transport shipping containers between ship to shore cranes and road trucks.

The AutoStrad Terminal, located at the Port of Brisbane, is the largest heavy industry robotic site globally. The AutoStrad Terminal operates in a 24 hour, seven-days-a-week maritime environment which places high environmental and reliability demands on equipment and systems.

Product requirements and goals

Patrick’s focus on improving terminal productivity has brought about its latest innovation, the Remote Control Operator Station (RCOS).

The RCOS involves the relocation of existing operators at terminal truck grids over 500m away into one control centre. Operators will remotely control an AutoStrad to pick or place containers with an accuracy of 25mm. This is not a small feat, given that this accuracy is required over a site more than 1km x 0.5km.

To meet the demanding operational requirements of the RCOS project, the data networking equipment had to guarantee: high temperature operation; long operating hours; high bandwidth; high reliability; and low latency.

These requirements pushed at the limits of current technical knowledge and equipment capabilities. Crisptech’s range of industrial communication products delivered the necessary technical expertise and product performance to meet the exacting project demands.

CrispTech solutions

CrispTech’s Industrial Video encoders are installed on every single AutoStrad, to achieve real-time visual management. The device features high video resolution, wireless tolerant, low latency(less than 200ms from photon capture to visual user display across a wired network), and real-time video for events, making the VPort 354 the best choice for Patrick’s application.

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; and operation in extreme environmental conditions, for example, high humidity and high temperature operation (-40 – 70°C).

In addition to this, extra ruggedised features were also required in this application. Two Ethernet ports and dual power inputs were offered for redundancy as well as an IP-30 metal casing, promised the highest reliability in a mission-critical automation environment.

Customer feedback

CrispTech is proud to have the opportunity to assist with the world’s biggest robotic AutoStrad project with Patrick. The trial stage consisted of 12 months of working hand in hand with the Patrick Technology Systems engineers, testing and refining product software to address all technical challenges as they arose.

Crisptech’s experienced sales and technical team had the expertise and passion to make this challenging project a reality.

Patrick’s automation manager Robert Davie said: “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.”

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