30Mhz was the first resident of Prodock since its opening earlier this year and contributes to Port innovation by making the port faster, but most of all, smarter! This is done by the smart use of wireless sensors in the port area in order to improve the port’s infrastructure. 30MHz has placed wireless sensors on two giant lighter poles in the Port of IJmuiden, with which the tech company measures the impact of the berthing of bulk carriers. 30MHz is foreseeing a significant increase in the use of wireless sensors in ports.
The lighter posts:
Bulk carriers which are too deep to enter the sea locks and the ‘Noordzeekanaal’ transship their cargo into smaller ships before entering the port area. This process is called lighting and during this process the carriers are moored at lighter posts. 30MHz has placed wireless motion capture sensors on these lighting posts to record all movements which can be translated into a graph. At any time a 3d-image of the lighter pole can be shown in the graph. With the gathered data a real-time visual is created on a dashboard. Out of the ordinary movements will be sent to the management and maintenance department of Port of Amsterdam immediately.
Challenges in the process:
30MHz has faced several challenges during the preparations which have been solved with the help of the innovation experts at Port of Amsterdam. One of the issues that had to be solved was the absence of power supplies. The solution to this problem was the use of batteries which only have to be changed once a year. This was of great importance, due to the rough open water where the posts are located. Another challenge was to ensure optimal availability of the gathered data. This was solved by using extra receivers on buoys that were near the posts. This way, an optimal signal can be received/sent even when a bulk carrier is lying between the post and the control panel in IJmuiden. Furthermore, a special material was used that is capable to perform under rough circumstances (wind, salt, bird feces, dust and sun).
Contribution to port innovation:
According to Joost Zuidema, project manager sensors of the Port of Amsterdam, the use of sensors contributes to the sustainability of the port of Amsterdam: "The port wants to be faster, cleaner and smarter and sensors contribute to this ambition. With the deployment of sensors the management and maintenance of the lighting posts takes less time than it used to. This technique also improves the business, since carriers can be moored closer to the posts diminishing the change of disruptions.” Port of Amsterdam is exploring a wider use of sensors.
The future of sensors:
Jurg van Vliet, CEO of 30MHz is optimistic about the opportunities for sensor technology for either the maritime sector as well as other sectors: “Sensors can also be used in realizing the so-called quay monitoring. With the help of that technology, navigators can find and reserve a mooring place before they arrive in the port area. Sensor technology gives companies the possibility to identify and interpret data in an efficient and sustainable way from the physical environment and therefor improve business.”