TecPlata S.A., the Argentinian subsidiary of international container terminal group ICTSI, has selected the RAMS Reefer Asset Management System from Identec Solutions to wirelessly automate refrigerated container monitoring and control at its greenfield terminal in Port La Plata, near Buenos Aires.
Designed to serve the new generation of large container vessels calling at the River Plate, TecPlata terminal is being developed by ICTSI under a 30-year concession secured in late 2008. The first phase of the terminal is due to open at the end of 2013, featuring a high degree of process automation technology to drive operational efficiency, reliability and safety.
As part of this, the RFID-based ‘plug and play’ RAMS system will provide TecPlata with remote real-time reefer monitoring and control capabilities, allowing the company to safeguard the condition of chilled and frozen container cargoes transiting the terminal. Monitoring refrigerated containers automatically from a central location, rather than staff having to manually check equipment in the yard stacks, will also contribute to terminal safety, the company said.
Identec Solutions will initially supply 500 RFID tags, out of 1020 reefer points deployed at TecPlata, plus associated RFID readers, to plug into the serial ports of reefer containers stored at the terminal, predominantly in rack locations. The tags will provide real-time temperature reports and alerts, interfacing via the readers with the terminal’s Navis ECN4 terminal operating system (TOS) to allow for continuous monitoring and rapid response to any incidents. As well as monitoring the condition of reefer containers, the RAMS system allows users to remotely adjust temperature settings and conduct pre-trip inspections either singly or in batch mode.
Argentina is the second largest exporter of perishable produce from the East Coast of South America and refrigerated container traffic is expected to make up a significant percentage of TecPlata’s throughput. “As part of our comprehensive process automation strategy, implementing RAMS will allow us to efficiently and safely serve our reefer cargo customers,” commented Javier Ramirez, operations manager at TecPlata.