Remote Piloting of Bridges and Sluices by the Modular Switches of Belden’s Hirschmann Brand Provides Improved Control for Road and Harbour Traffic in Le Havre



Belden Inc., a global leader in signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, has provided switches and network management software for a new remote monitoring and control system of bridges and sluices in the northern French port of Le Havre. The system, installed by Actemium, has streamlined the traffic flow and provides improved safety for users.


Remote Piloting of Bridges and Sluices by the Modular Switches of Belden’s Hirschmann Brand Provides Improved Control for Road and Harbour Traffic in Le Havre.
(Photo: Belden, PR283)

The “Grand Port Maritime du Havre” (GPMH) is France’s principal port for container traffic. Every year, it handles over two million TEUs (“20 foot equivalent units”). Le Havre is open all day, every day of the year, to all types of vessels. Traffic management in the sea port and the river port on the Tancarville canal, as well as local road traffic and rail movements, are all highly dependent on the sluices and drawbridges in the port.

A centralized control station has been operating in Le Havre since 1993. 12 bridges are controlled remotely from this station next to the Vétillart lock. The Hirschmann ASGE Ethernet network used there was still functioning, but GPMH wanted to upgrade it to a Full Ethernet network, and to centralize the maritime orders of three sluices and nine opening bridges.

GPMH wanted permanent data registration on traffic and environmental conditions. It also called for the design of a complete set of sensors, controllers, computers and a data transmission network with accountability for results, necessitated by the requirement for camera surveillance and intercom with users. The time between command from the super visor and reaction of the body of the structure was not to exceed 500 ms, in order to ensure maximum safety for users. Finally, the system needed to be continuously available, 24/7.

“With Actemium having a partnership with Hirschmann dating back for over two decades, it was logical for them to offer GPMH a new line of Hirschmann networking solutions,” says Laurent Appercelle, project manager at Actemium.

Using Hirschmann modular switches, Actemium renovated the entire network in just a few days. The port now has a new network, which not only is fully protected against failures, but also has added benefits in high availability and redundant network nodes and links. Actemium, using its CPI/GFA software, has contributed to improved passenger safety, and has streamlined road, rail and river traffic.

This project, with its large size, represented a double challenge, both human and technological. Actemium upgraded the local Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) to ensure local control and all the functions of control of the mobile works. It also implemented information sensors that allow, without direct visual on-site access, the operation of video cameras, detection cells monitoring intrusion, sound connections, measurements of the passage of road vehicles, and environmental measurements (basin heights, temperatures, wind speeds, etc).

All this was in addition to the Ethernet data transmission network that Actemium built. This comprises Hirschmann MS30 modular switches and MACH4000 backbone switches, providing a very high level of availability, all monitored with the use of Industrial HiVision management software. Plus, Actemium constructed and installed centralized control units offering six operator consoles.

The implemented star topology network manages the control between 37 programmable logic controllers and eight monitoring servers. All communications are on an Ethernet network of single-mode fiber. The heart of the network is the Vétillart station with 2 MACH4000 switches. The communications on each structure are made via 28 MS30 MICE devices. Management and network monitoring are performed by HiVision software and transmitted via SNMP monitoring servers.

The complete new system is now up and running. “After just a few months of operation, GPMH’s objectives in terms of productivity were achieved, the operatives on site were seen to have followed the development very well, and safety was improved in many areas,” says Laurent Appercelle, project manager at Actemium.

Hirschmann, a Belden Brand, manufactures Ethernet switches, wireless access points, firewall/VPN routers and network management software for harsh industrial environments. The Hirschmann brand stands for experience and expertise in the automation, power transmission and distribution, transportation and energy industries, having pioneered the development of Ethernet as a common standard for industrial control systems. Hirschmann products ensure hassle-free and secure data communication under the harshest conditions due to their ruggedized design and construction. For more information about Hirschmann, please visit www.hirschmann.com or e-mail for product inquiries.

About Belden

St. Louis-based Belden Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets cable, connectivity, and networking products in markets including industrial automation, enterprise, transportation, infrastructure, and consumer electronics. It has approximately 6,800 employees, and provides value for industrial automation, enterprise, education, healthcare, entertainment and broadcast, sound and security, transportation, infrastructure, consumer electronics and other industries. Belden has manufacturing capabilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and a market presence in nearly every region of the world. Belden was founded in 1902, and today is a leader with some of the strongest brands in the signal transmission industry. For more information, visit www.belden.com. Follow Belden on Twitter: @BeldenInc

For more information, contact:

Nancy van Heesewijk
Tel: +31 164 317 018

Berry Medendorp
Tel: +31 77 387 8555

Belden, Belden Sending All The Right Signals, Hirschmann and the Belden logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Belden Inc. or its affiliated companies in the United States and other jurisdictions. Belden and other parties may also have trademark rights in other terms used herein.

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