In 2016, ABP Ipswich was redeveloping a number of areas within the port including Haven Marina and the Ipswich Flood defences. During this time, Clarkson Port Services, who had been on the ABP site for 20 years, decided to investigate the upgrade of their original unmanned computerised weighbridge system.
STC Solutions, the local weighbridge specialists, had been keen to secure business with Clarksons for some years but hadn’t tied in any long term agreements with an appropriate software supplier.
In 2016, STC engaged with Infotec Ltd from the Midlands to provide a solution for Muntons and a modified version of this was offered to Clarksons at Ipswich.
After a number of months of trial and discussion, Julian Scott, General Manager of Clarksons, agreed to progress forward and STC installed 4 x Cardinal satellite unmanned cabinets with network link back to the Clarkson’s Main Office on site and a modified and enhanced Infotec package; this design enabled certain key customers to import and export data and information on contract reference numbers and weighbridge tonnages directly from the Clarkson computer package.
The operation at the unmanned terminal was simplified; large tally rolls were used so that there was less frequent need to change the paper and a simple ID number was put in so that shuntings to and from the stores and ships could be facilitated with ease.
At the same time, Julian Scott wanted to upgrade some of the existing CCTV and STC installed some HD cameras both to capture number plates and to look into the rear of the lorries and also to give general surveillance on the site.
These are now an integral part of the site security and recently an enhanced high-definition infra-red camera has been installed along the dock side to monitor ship discharge and filling.
The project was completed in 2017 and is now being fully maintained and serviced by the local team at STC headquarters at Claydon.
At the same time, STC installed a new weighbridge facility for APB to be used by the Ipswich Grain Terminal and the investment in a new road vehicle weighbridge meant that most of the weighbridges on the docks at Ipswich are now looked after by STC.