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The Anybus Communicator CAN is used to enable communication between the CAN-bus in straddle carriers and a Modbus TCP-based monitoring system. Also, a programmable Communicator is used to connect GPS trackers (NMEA-based) to the CAN-bus of the straddle carriers.
The port of Zeebrugge handles a whopping 50 million tons of cargo each year and employs 11,000 people. In a port of this size, there is a lot of machinery catering for the transportation of goods and cargo. One type of machinery is so called “straddle carriers” which are used to transport cargo containers around the terminal.
As the straddle carriers move around the terminal, it can be hard for the central administration to know the status of each unit. What is the fuel consumption, the oil level, the battery voltage, how many containers is it carrying, and maybe most importantly, where is it in the terminal? To enable the office to keep track of these things, APM wanted to install a wireless system which would enable communication between the straddle carriers and the central office. The problem was that the carriers use a CAN-based bus internally which could not communicate with the Modbus-TCP-based monitoring system that was to send the data to the office.
APM Terminals got in contact with PICS, a Belgian system integrator focused on communication between different PLC-systems and industrial devices. These communication experts have long been working with Anybus products to solve tricky communication issues at different industrial sites around Belgium. They quickly deemed that the Anybus Communicator CAN would be a perfect fit to handle the conversion between the CAN-based network in the 22 straddle carriers and the Modbus-TCP network. The Anybus Communicator CAN works as a translator between the CAN-bus in the straddle carrier and the Modbus TCP of the communication system, converting each telegram through built-in hardware and software.