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Control Techniques technology has helped to improve the performance of a ship-to-shore crane at the Puerto Cortés container terminal — the main seaport in Honduras.

The terminal is capable of handling approximately 600,000 20ft-equivalent container units per annum. The port is equipped with two ship-to-shore cranes, five mobile harbour cranes and 12 straddle carriers. Puerto Cortés is state owned and is operated by Empresa Nacional Portuaria (ENP). 

ENP recently decided to refurbish one of Puerto Cortés’s two 20-year-old PACECO-manufactured cranes in order to improve container handling, provide more rapid and precise crane positioning and reduce downtime and maintenance time.

Control Techniques switched the electrical system from DC to AC and replaced the LV electrical equipment, the LV auxiliaries, the drives, the PLC and its devices and the crane control software. The following drives were installed: four Unidrive SPMD 1423s (943A); five Unidrive SPMD 1423s (1,200A); one Unidrive SPMD 1421 (180A); one Unidrive SPMD 1421 (180A); and two Unidrive SPMD 1421s (342A).

The company also replaced the crane’s DC motors with AC FLS motors from Leroy-Somer. The motors included a 560kW AC hoist motor, a 55kW AC trolley motor, a 75kW AC boom motor and 16 11kW DC gantry motors. All motors are controlled by Unidrive SP digital drives connected via a Profibus and fibre-optic network to a type S7-300 PLC.

Key benefits of product application

  • The SM-Application modules of the drives that operate the hoisting motors use a load-balancing function to control hoisting and to calculate the maximum lifting speed; with the spreader empty, the SM-Application modules enable movements at the maximum programmed speeds.
  • The efficiency of the ship-to-shore crane has been improved using Control Techniques’ Crane Management System (CMS) crane control software, which incorporates advanced digital technology and a distributed operations system based on Fieldbus.
  • The CMS is programmed on board the SM-Application modules that are fitted to the PACECO crane’s hoist drives; the software relieves the operator of delicate and repetitive tasks by optimising the crane’s movements and trajectories, as well as improving position location and reducing load swaying.
  • The CMS contains software packages for diagnostics and maintenance that automatically monitor the cranes to assist technicians with repair and preventative maintenance operations.

Control Techniques

Control Techniques, an Emerson Industrial Automation company, is a world leader in the design, production and marketing of electronic variable speed drives for the control of electric motors. Our strategy is to concentrate on delivering drives and servo products that enhance the productivity of our customers’ machines and processes.

We operate through a global network of drive and application centres that both distribute product and add value by building our drive products into custom designed systems and by offering the highest levels of customer service.

Our Control Techniques drive centres also provide us with invaluable feedback and market intelligence so that we can further improve our products and service. This customer focused strategy will enable us to continue to grow profitably.

Our competitive edge is based on our unique focus on drives, our strength in research and development, our investment low-cost manufacturing and an effective worldwide marketing strategy.

Emerson Industrial Automation, a business of Emerson, is a global technology provider that enables productivity, efficiency and quality gains for customers across a spectrum of industries. Our products include alternators, electric motors and drives, electrical distribution devices and mechanical power transmission, fluid automation and ultrasonic joining solutions. Visit our website for more details.

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