Ship to Shore Communication
Ship to shore fibre optic applications are designed to provide phone, data and other services to ships while docked through umbilical cable to landline connection. The connection allow high speed, high bandwidth communications to and from the ship without using the shipboard wireless transmit systems when in berth.
Fibre optics offer some distinct advantages with size, weight, performance, and durability for this application. The cables are characteristically small, light, and flexible, making it an easy product to work with while providing the performance to support present and future communications requirements.
The increasing demand for greater and faster data transmission in container ports is driving an increase in the use of fibre optic cables. There is arise in the amount of data needing to be transmitted in terminal automation where in fully or semi-automated facilities where constant information is necessary to track the movement of containers or management of equipment.
In order to ensure that increased instantaneous data is accessible throughout the management process, cable manufacturers are shifting from traditional twisted copper cables, still essential for power transmission, to fibre optics, where signals are transmitted by light.
The management process pointed out above includes the box either entering or leaving the terminal through the gate, in addition to its position in the stack or during the quayside loading/discharge process.
For some time, fiber optic cables have been used in container stack cranes and in ship to shore cranes that are supporting technology such as OCR, RFID and GPS. These cables can handle greater volumes of data faster and safer. By virtual of the information being transmitted by light it is unaffected by any magnetic fields within the crane.
While many STS cranes continue to use festoon or reel systems for trolley travel, cables, both twisted copper and fibre optics, can be predisposed to to failure simply because of the forces applied by the rate of recurrence of movement. This pushing around can cause breaks within the cable, especially when it comes to the bending radius, resulting in greater downtime to replace damaged cables.
Speed is of essence when it comes to productivity.
Ports had many problems with festoon systems in the past which caused the damaging of the corkscrew effect on cables. Moreover, festoons tend to use thick rubber jackets to protect the cables within. This increases the size and weight, requiring crane manufacturers to provide more space along with increased power to move the system. Over the past 25 years a complete cable program specifically for e-chain crane application has been adopted to overcome these problems.
In the present day, there are e-chain and chainflex cable solutions available for all STS, RTG, and RMG cranes, benefiting from much shorter moving cable length compared to festoon systems. There is also reduced weight because of the length, in addition to smarter, thinner, lighter cable constructions.
In addition to a cost reduction of the whole system, the benefits are easier connections of each fibre, reducing the cost of harnessing by more than 70%, that around 85% of new RTGs already have the new cable, which can either be supplied directly to crane manufactures or retro-fitted as a cable replacement.
While the properties of fibre optic cables allow for faster data transmission, the cables themselves are also unique in the fact they are capable of continuous and faster movement when it comes to the trolley.