The chemicals company has installed an anti-collision system called LOST from Essenium to ensure safety levels at its terminal in Antwerp
BASF has installed a position detection system (PDS) from Essensium NV on reach stackers and fork lift trucks at its facility in the north of Antwerp Harbour. BASF operates a trimodal barge facility and recently extended the quay area and brought in additional reach stackers. “The higher capacity and bigger number of vehicles operating simultaneously increased the risks of collision,” said BASF
PDS is commonly used to automate yard inventory and, less commonly, to track equipment in real-time for route optimisation. BASF, however, wanted a PDS system as a “safety assistance feature” to reduce collisions and near-miss incidents between equipment.
Essensium offers a real-time location system (RTLS) called LOST (location for sensor tracking) that measures the time of flight of radio signals to determine the distance of a mobile node on equipment from fixed receivers. The data are sent to a dedicated server to convert distance measurements into a position reference. Essensium claims that LOST “is capable of offering sub-metre accuracy in indoor and outdoor environments and can maintain this accuracy over hundreds of metres.”
At BASF, LOST is integrated with GPS to “ensure location tracking across the wider area of the facility, while the higher performance LOST tracking and ranging capabilities are used for inter-vehicle ranging and for areas where there is no adequate GPS coverage.”
Each vehicle is configured with its own specific “safety zone” and an alarm is sounded in both vehicles within 0.25 secs of one entering the zone of another. The alarm is a red strobe light and audio signal that warns the driver when a safety zone is violated.
“Visibility can be limited when carrying a 40ft container and maneuvering between container stacks,” said Lauris Van Hove, head of safety at BASF. “We have evaluated this system together with the drivers, and it is a great reassurance to have this safety assistance feature implemented on site.”