LXE VX9 Förj Selected by MSC Home Terminal

Posted March 5, 2010

LXE VX9MSC Home Terminal, the largest container terminal in the port of Antwerp, is a 50/50 joint venture between PSA (Port of Singapore Authorities) and MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company). Located at the Delwaide dock in Antwerp, it is the most important North European hub for MSC. The terminal’s vital statistics are impressive: a total surface area of 1.6 million m², a quay length extending to almost 3 km, and a total capacity of around 4.3 million TEU. It operates 24/7.

Not surprisingly, MSC Home Terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art handling equipment and controlled by high-performance IT applications. A wireless network was recently implemented. MSC Home Terminal decided to replace the aging narrow band system with a modern Wi-Fi 2.4 and 5 GHz network. At the same time the technical department wanted to launch a proactive maintenance system which would enable maintenance messages to be monitored and eventually sent to the straddle carriers. The messages would inform the drivers to bring their straddle carrier in for a service check. Various selection criteria were drawn up for the vehicle-mounted computers. At the top of the list was undoubtedly the ruggedness of the devices, closely followed by the readability and ergonomics of the screens. All teams of MSC Home Terminal were involved in the selection process, from management to dock workers.

A short list of three suppliers was drawn up and their devices were thoroughly tested by users for ruggedness in a tough industrial environment, ergonomics and screen readability. In addition, the technical department and the IT department looked closely at the technical specifications to ensure the selected device had all the necessary features for end-to-end monitoring of the straddle carriers. Finally, the decision was made for LXE’s VX9 Förj vehicle-mount computers. These are rugged, Windows XP-based mobile PCs with 12.1” touch screen display. Around 120 LXE VX9 Förj computers will be installed on straddle carriers at MSC Home Terminal. The Förj is implemented as a FAT client allowing it to communicate with an independent PLC and the TOS.

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