The first fully-automatic system for monitoring reefer containers has been introduced at the C. Steinweg (Süd-West Terminal) multi-purpose cargo handling facility in Hamburg, a press release said Tuesday. The system has been developed and launched by the Austrian technology group Identec Solutions, who specialise in wireless sensor and localization applications. Reefer are normally checked manually by staff at cargo handling terminals every four to eight hours for normal functioning, temperature, humidity and other parameters. The CTAS Reefer System does away with these checks as it records, notifies and processes all data automatically.
“Tag” notifies data by radio signal
Since late 2016, a monitoring device tag has been attached magnetically to every incoming reefer container at C. Steinweg as an automatic link with the container’s controller. Stephan Piworus, Global Vice President, Sales Ports & Terminals for Identec Solutions in Hamburg, stressed: “CTAS Reefer is compatible with all current models from reefer container manufacturers such as Daikin, Carrier, Starcool or Thermoking. Unlike the usual power-line modem solutions, this is completely independent.” Once connected, the tag notifies relevant reefer data every 15 minutes by radio signal. Should any discrepancies occur, these generate an automatic alarm signal facilitating an immediate response.
Direct link between reefer container and terminal system
CTAS Reefer is linked with C. Steinweg’s terminal operating system (TOS) and the reefer container processes are fully integrated in terminal operation. When the box leaves the terminal again, the tag is simply removed and used for the next arriving container. All data handled remain archived in the system and can be retrieved in the event of enquiries or insurance cases. Piworus pointed out: “Multiple data input is unnecessary, virtually eliminating any risk of errors in data recording. C. Steinweg not only has an uninterrupted record of the state of a reefer for the duration of its stay at the terminal, but with the box being checked every 15 minutes, also boosts both safety and customer satisfaction.”
Digitalisation improves service
Last year, C. Steinweg attracted three new customers for its multi-purpose terminal in Hamburg. In addition to conventional general cargoes, these are shipping more export reefer containers. Rainer Fabian, Managing Director of C. Steinweg, said: “We therefore gave special attention to how to organize an optimal service for reefer containers. Automated high-frequency data collection enables us to guarantee maximum safety and security for sensitive reefer cargoes. Instead of going unnoticed, defective reefer aggregates or discontinuation of power supply are quickly reported and can be rectified immediately. Our trained, expert staff look after handling, connection and settings of reefer containers.”
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