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BASF focuses on Employee Safety with Position Detection System from Essensium

BASF announces successful deployment of a Safety Assistance System to help in the protection of employees operating Container Handling Equipment (CHE) at their Antwerp facility.

"’Never Compromise On Safety’ is one of the core values at BASF," explained Joost Naessens, Manager Logistic Site Services, "so when we expanded our container handling facility at Antwerp, we knew we needed to implement a system to reduce the risk of collision between the vehicles."

The project in Antwerp extended the quay area to increase the number of container barges which could dock simultaneously. Additional CHE in the form of Reach Stackers and Barge Handlers were deployed to increase the handling capacity. The higher capacity and greater number of vehicles operating simultaneously increased the risks of a collision, so BASF appointed a team to select a Position Detection System (PDS) able to operate reliably in the difficult environment of a container handling facility.

After investigating multiple PDS options, BASF selected the Essensium solution due to its unique capabilities. "Various PDS solutions were offered", said Maarten Misschaert of BASF, "but no other provided the reliability and accuracy we required for a system which should be used to help ensure the safe working conditions of our operators."

Essensium’s LOSTTM (LOcation for Sensor Tracking) solution uses a Wide-over-Narrowband RF implementation providing both high accuracy and long range, and operating both indoors and outdoors. Integrated GPS capabilities ensure location tracking across the wider area of the facility, while the higher performance LOSTTM tracking and ranging capabilities are used for inter-vehicle ranging and for areas where there is no adequate GPS coverage.

With a reaction time of less than one-quarter second, a red strobe light and audio signal warn the equipment operator when the system detects that the safety distance with adjacent handling equipment is being violated. "Visibility can be limited when carrying a 40 foot container and maneuvering between container stacks" said Lauris Van Hove, Head of Safety at BASF, "we have evaluated this system together with the drivers, and it is a great reassurance to have this safety assistance feature implemented on site".

Safety is productivity. The reduction of collision or near-miss incidents between handling equipment increases the safety of the work environment. And a safe workplace avoids downtime due to incidents and thus increases productivity." "With the extension project and this system in place," said Dirk Vanreusel, Head of BASF Rail & Terminal Services, "we have been able to increase our operational capacity by 30%, without sacrificing our key priority of employee safety."

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