Axiomtek’s IPC could be the answer to the supply chain bottleneck
As the port backlog paralyzes the global supply chain, it’s an opportunity to look into the future of unmanned ports. With Axiomtek’s latest expandable industrial system, function-rich embedded system and AI-powered edge computer, the realization of smart and automated ports will be right around the corner.
Ports around the world will continuously be overwhelmed and it has already caused severe financial loss. According to McKinsey & Co., port inefficiency costs the industry 17 billion a year. And according to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), global container handling in ports could rise to four times the current levels by 2030 and five to six times by 2050.
However, in the era of 5G, IoT and AI, the much more efficient unmanned ports will be the resolution. With ships, cranes, containers, and trucks all connected, every move in the port will be smoothly coordinated as a whole. Take Europe’s biggest port, Amsterdam as an example, it already made headway. With tens of sensors around the port, the IoT could analyze and arrange the most appropriate time for ships to come in and depart, enhancing the efficiency of loading, unloading, and transportation to avoid jams and long waits. In addition, Amsterdam aims to fulfill the goal of “connected shipping”. In the future, ships will sail through the water lane in the port automatically without assistance from the pilot.
The port of Valencia installed “black boxes” on 200 cranes, trucks, and forklifts for collecting the location and status of operation data. Then the information will be analyzed and shared with staff to identify congestion and take appropriate actions. The port of Singapore receives GPS signals from vehicles to determine routes to key facilities and maintain the smooth traffic flow in the port. All in all, IoT makes ports work faster and safer and lowers the labor cost.
To process massive amounts of data from countless devices and vehicles, computing performance will be very much needed. Now, the industrial computers from Axiomtek is capable of tackling the challenge.
Computer Solutions for Smart Port Management
Axiomtek provides a variety of products for automation in different scenarios, proving applicable and trustworthy solutions.
Unmanned Gantry Cranes
By the port, on the unmanned gantry cranes, the IPC970 incorporates the AX92325 4-port GigE PoE card to connect with industrial cameras that manage guidance and capture images. AX92325 adopts M12 connectors with a locking design that are more shock resistant and improve safety. More than that, IPC 970 can be expanded with the AX92322 4-port Ethernet card to connect laser radars to measure distances and detect obstacles. The system is capable of identifying and precisely grabbing containers then moving them to designated positions.
The IPC970 is powered by the Intel® Xeon® or 10th generation Intel® Core™ processors and compatible with mainstream graphics cards such as GeForce RTX™ from Nvidia. RTX™ 3090 is already verified to be compatible and be able to booster the computing performance when necessary. In addition, it has one M.2 Key B 3042/3050 socket for the 5G module to deliver high-speed and low-latency connectivity to ensure precise crane control. Therefore, the numerous cranes could operate in a timely manner. In addition to cranes fixed by ports, the strong computing performance of IPC 970 is also able to coordinate the operation of moving rubber-tired gantries.
The IPC970 is durable even in a harsh working environment and able to ensure non-stop efficient work with anti-vibration up to 3 Grms and wide operating temperature ranges from -10°C to +70°C. In addition, it has a power input of 24V DC with power-on delay function to ensure reliable operation.
When all the containers are unloaded from the ships, it’s autonomous trucks or so-called AMRs to move them to the yard. Controlled by the AIE900-XNX, in which supercomputer-on-module NVIDIA® Jetson Xavier™ NX is suitable for running modern AI workloads, the unmanned AMRs could shortly reach the yard in order. The AIE900-XNX has four PoE ports for 3D LiDAR and optional four FPD Link-III ports for SerDes camera which empowers the ADAS for collision avoidance and pedestrian protection. In addition, the system supports the CAN bus vehicle communication protocol and optional 12/24V DC power input with ignition power control, all making it an ideal solution for autonomous trucks. It comes with an M.2 Key B 3050/3042 slot along with a SIM slot for 5G connections to enable real-time data transmissions. A PCI Express Mini Card slot is ready for the GNSS module to position coordination.
Designed for use in challenging yard environments, the AIE900-XNX has a wide operating temperature range from -30°C to +60°C and vibration tolerance of up to 3 Grms.
By the port, the automated identification system can speed up the car flow to make sure the cargo goes into the hands of customers as soon as possible and double-check the right trucks load up the right containers. As the cargo trucks go in and out through the E-Gates to ports to pick up or drop off the containers, the eBOX671-521-FL could be the key controller for identifying plate numbers and container identification numbers.
The eBOX671-521-FL offers scalable Intel® CPU choices and an option of enhancing performance with the MXM 3.1 Type A slot for interconnecting a GPU module for AI inference and image processing. Its 4-CH PoE ports could assist with multiple cameras installed on both sides of the entrance. It also supports RFID module to ensure each vehicle has been registered and approved with a specific RFID tag. More I/O ports such as HDMI port, serial ports and USB 3.1 ports are available for LED display, barrier gate control and more. It has a wide operating temperature range of -20°C to 60°C and vibration endurance for up to 3G with its strong construction to meet the requirement for 24/7 non-stop operation.