Spotting the weak links in the chain

Fitting diagnostic tools in gate kiosks can take the guesswork out of pinpointing problems Fitting diagnostic tools in gate kiosks can take the guesswork out of pinpointing problems
Industry Database

As more and more gate automation systems become an integral part of the terminal’s production, so any problem with one individual process can quickly have an impact on the entire terminal operation, says Anton Bernaerd, business development manager at CAMCO Technologies in Belgium.

“Gate systems are no longer just an OCR system that will do the identification of trucks and containers entering and leaving the terminal,” he says. “They are now a much more comprehensive solution that might include or interface with handheld processes, interfaces with customs, cost control systems, TOS, exception handling, inspections and seal checks.

“If just one of those processes are not working correctly because there is a defect of equipment, this very soon has some influence on the rest of the terminal’s production. Very soon the whole terminal can have problems because something didn’t work accurately or correctly at the gates.”

In response to this, CAMCO’s second generation camera system, which was launched earlier this year, features complex diagnostic tools. “If something is going wrong, we can remotely and almost immediately check what is going wrong and in 90% of cases solve problems remotely,” says Mr Bernaerd. “If something has to be replaced because of a physical defect, it can be done almost in a matter of minutes by someone at the terminal itself, who doesn’t need any technical skills. That is important – allowing the system to be up and running quickly without the need to have specialist CAMCO engineers on site, which enables us to be very competitive on support costs.”

CAMCO also installs diagnostic tools in gate kiosks. “If we get a call that a barrier isn’t working, we don’t have to start a game of questions and answers to find out what is wrong, but can check ourselves remotely.”

Often it’s something as silly as someone inadvertently switching off the barrier, he says

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