At any given time millions of containers of raw materials and consumer products are being transported all around the world. Cargo handling solutions provider Kalmar, one of Cargotec’s top brands, relies on on-board computers in their container handling equipment to keep track of the relentless traffic flow in harbours.
Computers inside container handling equipment in the harbour face challenges that office computers rarely need to withstand, such as severe weather conditions. Since the use of ups-device is not always possible, they rely on the machine’s battery for power, which makes them vulnerable. Unexpected power cuts and spikes can cause damage to the computer’s operating system, corrupt critical files and important application data and prevent the computers from operating properly. This is highly problematic for a company that has computer systems all around the world and in operation 24/7. Cargotec asked Ixonos, a dependable partner for over five years, to come up with a solution that could withstand these demanding conditions.
Ixonos’ experts, already familiar with Kalmar’s cargo handling systems, were able to design an embedded Linux setup that is durable and incorruptible. The team selected the most capable SW components and configurations to ensure the system would tolerate sudden power surges and outages. The team used a configurable and automated test bench setup to push the system to its limits.
“Our team configured a set up that could tolerate power outages and recover and reboot itself without corrupting file data. With carefully chosen components and thorough testing we ensured that no unforeseen surprises could rise.” Jukka Hornborg from Ixonos
Ixonos’ experts carried out all the required configuration work on the file system, partitioning scheme, kernel, boot loader, and database systems for the embedded Linux setup. The final configuration is suitable for all of Kalmar’s applications and works on 32- and 64-bit systems, on embedded Linux devices as well as PC-based server/desktop environments.
The new system has brought improvements to the way Kalmar’s cargo handling equipment tolerates power outages and recovers after faults. Cargotec expects the number of critical control system faults to decrease, as reliability of the control system is now better in shut down and start up situations. Now Kalmar’s and its customers’ crucial machine control system data is safe and accessible as required in terminal operation.
In the harbour terminal solutions, high reliability is needed. Thanks to Ixonos our control systems run more reliably helping our own and our customers service business.
PEKKA YLI-PAUNU, Kalmar at Cargotec