Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

ISTU — Result In Brief

Project ID: 506243
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Germany

Optimising freight container transport

Advances in transport technologies have enabled improvements in a number of related sectors. Now, an EU-funded study has extended these to include harbour operations, and promises to drastically reduce pollution in these areas, too.
Optimising freight container transport
In 2003, the Innovative Trade and Product Strategies (ITAPS) company developed a new automatic guided vehicle (AGV) concept for road and rail applications, which also has potential for use at container terminals. Called the 'integrated standard transportation unit' (ISTU), the vehicle offers an alternative to current locomotive-pulled freight for rail applications and container transport between cargo distribution centres and port container yards. ITAPS also developed an integrated motor concept (IPMOT) similar to that used in hybrid cars, but with high overloading capabilities.

The 'Integrated standard transportation unit for self-guided freight container transportation systems on rail' (ISTU) project built on such advances to develop and demonstrate a cost-effective integrated propulsion unit and an individual self-driven two-container, cost-improved rail platform wagon. The new motor concepts, targeting freight container transport, integrate all major propulsion features for a key technology especially suited to the ISTU.

A major project goal was realised with the design and gradual optimisation of a complete vehicle system whereby all electro-mechanical components work to provide an autonomous integrated electrical propulsion system. The IPMOT prototype was used to confirm the integrated drive's technical features; it also highlighted areas in need of improvement regarding the motor's overloading characteristics. This approach resulted in a final design of the full vehicle, selection of a proper diesel-electric power supply unit and integration of all components in the vehicle structure.

ISTU project members analysed the drive for road operation and validated the engineering for a rail vehicle on a test belt. The simulated results were positive, already demonstrating the targeted values in terms of efficiency, cost and production.

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