IGMA is a bulk terminal in Amsterdam harbor. IGMA commenced operations in 1960, starting with deliveries from relatively small (up to 35,000 tons) ships. IGMA over the years has constantly upgraded and grown into a modern company with highly trained personnel and state of the art shipping equipment including cranes, grabbers, conveyor belt systems etc. Today IGMA is capable of annually transshipping 8 to 9 million tons of goods.
Seamless network connectivity
From an operations aspect, IGMA/Cargill is a bulk port terminal specializing in handling dry products such as agricultural bulk, coal, ores and big bags. Products arrive via large sea vessels and are transferred by mobile floating cranes into floating weighing towers from where the grains are then transferred to smaller bulk transport boats. All the real-time logistical and weighing statistics are aggregated via a network from the quay to a main terminal operating center.
The primary requirement for the port management was to ensure seamless network connectivity across all its shipping assets such as floating cranes and weighing towers even when shifted from one location to another in the port. The biggest deployment challenge faced was the unloading of the shipment. The unloading of shipment causes the vessels to rise higher in the water, often blocking Wi-Fi signals from the quay to the operation monitoring center.
Hoge Performantie Point to Multipoint
On learning the challenges, Dimension Data, a global leader in ICT solutions and services, took on the challenge together with their preferred partner for professional WLAN RF designs, Skyline Networks. This project needed a high performance Point to Multipoint solution with the ability for seamless mobility. Multicap a leading equipment distributor of Wi-Fi, PtP & PtMP, 3G/4G mobile data networks and satellite connections recommended the Proxim Tsunami® 8200 PtMP products for this project.
On surveying the location, the Skyline Networks team decided to assign the central weighing tower (CWT) as the base network site. The CWT (as shown in the deployment below) stands about 50 meters tall and is centrally located at a distance of about 600-800 meters with clear line of sight from each of the two docks, thereby mitigating any Near Line of Sight issues.
To cover the distance from the central weighing tower to both docks, two Tsunami® 8200 Base station units with 16.5dBi, 60 degree sector antennas were installed. This ensured coverage on the two docks (green area below), however an additional base station unit with an omni directional antenna was installed to cover the turning point area (orange area below) of both docks. At the other end of the connection, Tsunami® subscriber units on top of towers and cranes were installed.
Seamless connectivity is now provided between mobile weighing towers, cranes and operating center in the port. The IGMA management is able to communicate and monitor logistic details without any loss of information. Experiencing the Proxim performance, the IGMA management plans to extend the wireless network to isolated storage areas along the quay and also for Wi-Fi in the harbor.