Case Study

Manufacturer Turns to Hirschmann Wireless to Improve Heavy Machinery Operations


The manufacturing supply chain is invisible to most consumers. When it comes to how products are shipped, it’s typical to picture shipping containers on trains or trailers. And while many people don’t think about this mode of material handling until they’re stuck behind them on the freeway or at a train crossing, these containers are a crucial component in the global supply chain.

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Containerized manufactured products – and to a lesser extent raw materials – can include everything from agricultural products to electronics. But, before the containers carrying this valuable cargo are ever seen by the public, they have often spent months crossing the sea.

With seven of the top ten largest shipping ports in the world, China plays a critical role in the smooth operation of global shipping and material transportation. Both before the containers can set out on their way and after arriving at the receiving port, they must be placed on and/or removed from the massive container ships that transport them between destinations across the globe.



To help maintain ZPMC’s reputation as a leader in RTG performance and safety, multiple obstacles must be overcome at each installation. To more easily meet the exacting requirements of their operations – as well as to limit potential downtime – ZPMC determined it was necessary to work with a partner who has a reputation for high-quality industrial networking components and approval from and experience in the Chinese market.


  • RTGs represent an important part of the global supply chain – any down-time or latency could cripple shipping timelines and lead to global shortages.
  • Every RTG, no matter its position, must have constant wireless coverage and access to the base station.
  • Signals must routinely travel in excess of 700 meters to 1 kilometer.
  • All components must comply with IEEE’s 802.11n wireless specifications.
  • ZPMC wants a partner to provide intensive support at the installation and testing of the real application on the crane.
  • RTGs must have an industrial-grade solution due to the intense outdoor, heavy machinery-based use.
  • Interference from metal inside the cranes, known as Electronic Signal Disturbance, cannot disturb transmission.
  • Speed and security are critical: the margins for error in moving massive 20- to 40-foot shipping containers are infinitesimally small.



“For us, downtime isn’t an option. Our customers rely on us to meet exacting specifications for equally exacting applications. We’re able to do this by working with partners that understand our business needs and those of our customers in China, and around the world. Belden had the technical approvals needed and delivers solutions we know they stand behind.”

Ms. Xiayuan Xu, Sales Manager, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries



To accommodate the difficulties brought on by the unique requirements of the port shipping environment, Belden teamed up with Shanghaí HiTe – an experienced, local partner for the project’s design and support phases. Together, they detailed a solution which would overcome a host of obstacles and meet the needs of this unique application.


While the problems facing such an installation were complex, the vast product options and immediate availability simplified the unique obstacle of monitoring and pinpointing massive moving equipment. Shanghai Hi-tech Control System Co., Ltd. (HITE), the system integration partners, handled the network design, product selection and installation to ensure seamless support throughout the project and continues to provide on-going post-installation support. The Hirschmann wireless solution ensures that every RTG crane, regardless of location, can be covered and access the base station. Furthermore, integrated Electronic Signal Disruption protection supports fail-safe and reliable signal transmission.