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Q:  Scalability and expandability

A:  Promo-Teus is a modular system and offers full flexibility to scale the required mass transport system. It is applicable in either small or large size operations. The modularity allows almost any individual layout and can be expanded at any time.

Q: Scale at which the system gets worthwhile to consider

A: The trade point is that 13.500 manned container moves per annum justify 500 meters of installed conveyor belt. At this ratio, less moves or longer conveyor tracks do not economically justify this conveyor belt system. However, applications may require a conveyor belt system because of criteria and therefore the trade-off is by approximation.

Q:  Integration in existing processes

A: The conveyor belt allows easy integration in existing operations. There are no specific requirements for installing and almost any lay-out can be realized to fit existing operations. From the logistics point of view however, it urges for integral process optimisation and is subject for reconsideration of any existing lay-out.

Q:  Impact on accessibility of the premises

A: The conveyorsystem requires safety-measurements. Because the conveyorsystem automates the internal transport, most trafic will be eliminated.  The interference with other trafic on the terminal depends on the layout of the process. If crossing of trafics is needed, several solutions can be offered. However, the substantial cost-reduction the conveyorsystem offers, justifies changes in the process lay-out in many cases.

Q:  Space saving aspects 

A: Because of the space-efficiency of the conveyorsystem, the terminal efficiency as a whole is optimized as well. Automated stacking will contribute to this efficiency as well.

 Q: Capacity and transport speed

A: The system transports containers with 1 meter per second. This means a throughput capacity of 600 TEU per minute for a single transportlane. More lanes will enhance throughput and redundancy. Since every segment has its control, a whole lane can be filled-up with containers moving simultaneously. The system offers real continuous transport.

Q. Building level

A:  If required, the conveyorsystem can be installed on supportbrackets high in the air, or completely down on groundfloor-level.

Q: Transportslope

A: A limited slope can be introduced. A slope requires active handling though on the slope-transfers.

Q: Routing, flexibility and last minute changes

A: Every module is intelligent and handshakes with its adjacent modules. This allows simple instruction sets from the central control system which is connected to all modules via a simple TCP/IP network. During transport the sequence of containers can easily be changed at any time. The system offers a sorting facility

Q: Re-allocation ability and the impact on system control

A:  Changing a conveyorbelt lay-out is not complicated nor expensive. This is due to the modular components used. After changing the lay-out, modifications only need to be made on the central managementsystem and are easy to accomplish.
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Q: Defects and redundancy

A: Promo-Teus is just another conveyorbelt system and is extremely simple compared to existing containerhandling equipment such as Reach-Stackers, VAN-carriers, FLT’s or AGV’s. It needs no highly qualified staff to operate and programming knowledge is not required to run the system. The modules in the field are ‘Plug and Play’ and need no software adaptations when a module is swapped for maintenance or repair. The MTBF and MTTR figures require a  little maintenance crew and can be handled bij most existing crew-members. When organized properly, a module-swap for off-line repair only requires 15 - 30 minutes. The system can continue to operate in the meanwhile, excluding the sections which are down for repair.

Q:  Rotating or changing the direction of transport

A: The system has two sorts of modules. One allows a swiffle and the other allows a change of transport direction. Modules can move in two directions. Traverse transport can be laid-out for any containersize such as 20, 30, 40 and 45 foot. When a container need to change direction, the crossingpoint only takes 12 seconds for a container weighing 34 tons.

Q:  Minimum scale of economy

A: The conveying-system is fully scalable due to its modularity. Any small till large scale application can be built with as much efficiency. Also operations which until today were not feasible e.g. because of accessibility problems, can often be solved because the system requires very little space to be implemented. Applications can vary between Terminal-transport , Inter Terminal Traffic and many value added services linked to this such as stripping, cleaning, repair, stuffing, acceptance control, X-ray control etc.

Q:  Noise level

A: The noise level is extremely low, due to the fact that nylon chain links run on a nylon cladded surface, which acts as a slide bearing.

Q:  Life cycle predictions

A: The lifecycle of the conveyor system is set to be approximately 20 years. In this respect, Promo-Teus can be compared with crane technology.

Q:  Soil stability conditions

A: Leveling is established by pre-installing small concrete pours, which are laser trimmed and fixed by anchors in the existing surface. This way of leveling anticipates easy maintenance by swapping modules for off-line repair.

Q:  Maintenance aspects

A: Preventive maintenance will be signaled by the system. The maintenance costs are relatively low. Overall maintenance costs will average at approx. 50% of conventional equipment.
 
Q:  Interfacing with straddle carriers

A: Straddle carriers can drive over-above the conveyor belt system to pick-up from- or place containers onto the system
 
Q:  Power consumption

A: Considering the system is modular, and addressing modules sequentially, only the modules moving a container are activated at that moment. All other modules along its route are in-active and do not consume energy. In this way, the system needs a minimum of energy.

Q:  Ice, snow and pollution of the system

A: The conveyor system can cope with ice and snow by integrated tracing. This keeps the bearing surface just above zero degrees to remain defrosted. The conveyor belt has a rubber top to prevent pollution.

Q:  Maintenance during operation

A:  The modules in the field are ‘Plug and Play’, just like in a PC and they need no specific software- or hardware settings when a module is swapped for off-line repair. The systems’ MTBF and MTTR figures require only a minimum staffed maintenance crew. When organized properly, a swap requires only 15 - 30 minutes.

Q:  Operating knowledge

A:  To operate the system, there is no high-qualified staff required and to control the management system, no special programming knowledge is required.

Q:  Wear of conveying belt

A:  See maintenance and/or lifecycle predictions.

Q:  Process control

A: In operation, the transshipments are less time-critical because there is no need for fast return of any transport means. This makes planning and control of the operation far less complicated. Changing of a delivery sequence, however, is extremely simple because it only requires a rerouting command. This can even be done at last minute. The modules are individually equipped with single microcontroller (rabbit) technology and are linked up to a TCP/IP network. This network interacts with a central routing management system. The local software is universal and independent of the overall system the lay-out.

Q:  Reliability

A:  Millions of conveyor belt systems are implemented around the world. Promo-Teus is just as simple. This means that the system is no more complex than other conveyor belt systems and simple compared to actual container handling equipment such as Reach-stackers, VAN-carriers or AGV’s. The simple technique enables a high operational availability.


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12-3-04


 
 
 
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