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mitted X-rays generated from same month to another “critical
high-energy sources (usually of infrastructure facility” within the
4MeV or greater) - already proven Middle East.
All empties to be
to be able to penetrate a steel 2010 has similarly started well
thickness of up to 14in. This is for AS&E, as a further US$6M
sufficient to see through the con- worth of cargo inspection equip-
scanned in Davao
tents of the most densely packed ment went to the Middle East in
container. early January, together with almost
The Philippines Bureau of Cus- specting their empty containers.
More recent developments US$40M worth destined for an
toms (BoC) is due to start in- This latter decision runs
have been directed at speeding up unspecified government agency.
spection of all empty containers slightly contrary to one made
the generation and processing of One new customer is the Ven-
passing through Sasa Wharf at in 2007, when the BoC took
imaging, and enhancing clarity, to ice Port Authority (APV), whose
the port of Davao before the end its original decision to buy and
allow a more detailed “reading” of affiliate, Nethun SpA, took deliv-
of this month. install container scanning ma-
tightly-stowed cargo. ery of an OmniView Gantry in
The decision to scan all emp- chines at eight of the country’s
Similarly, advances are being November 2009. This is now be-
ties entering or leaving the port main ports, including Davao. At
made in the development of port- ing deployed by Italian Customs
was the consequence of the dis- that time, it said it would fund
able radiation and chemical/ex- and operating in conjunction with
covery at Sasa Wharf during De- the purchase by way of charges
plosive detection devices suited for
Venice Port Authority affiliate Nethun SpA recently took delivery of an
the port’s existing Z-Backscatter
cember 2009 of 16kg of refined levied on port users with the
port application.
OmniView Gantry, capable of scanning up to 30 containers/hour from, AS&E
Van, which undertakes mobile
cocaine concealed within the tariff initially set at US$20 per
scanning. The OmniView gantry
Concentrated market
reefer machinery of three empty 20ft container inspection and
rapid and safe scanning of contain- US$50M in total. Two of the com- is currently handling up to 30
reefer containers. US$50 per 40ft unit.
Equipment manufacture remains ers/trucks. The multi-view device pany’s Z-Portal and one Omni- containers per hour and its use will
A mobile X-ray container However, this cost was applied
concentrated in the hands of a claims a capability to screen up to View Gantry machine were de- assist APV to obtain CSI (Con-
scanner will shortly be available principally to laden export or
relatively small number of suppli- 150 containers per hour and is livered during April/May, followed tainer Security Initiative) status
within the wharf area, close to import boxes entering/leaving
ers. Amongst the best-known being targeted at the high by a Z-Portal (R) in July, which from the US CBP.
the adjacent passenger terminal, the terminal areas. The BoC has
manufacturers of X-ray scanning throughput applications common was received by the Abu Dhabi
systems are Smiths Detection (of- to large container ports. Customs Administration for instal- Diverse spread
to carry out the inspection work since acquired eight mobile con-
with minimal disruption. The tainer scanners from Nuctech in
fering its Heimann Cargo Vision- By utilising an enhanced de- lation at a border checkpoint. Rapiscan, a division of OSI Sys-
BoC has decided not to charge China using a grant from the
HCV range), American Science tection capacity, which operates in Several OmniView Gantries tems, also offers a diverse spread of
shipping lines for the cost of in- Chinese government. ❏
and Engineering (AS&E), OSI conjunction with the company’s were also supplied to the Al Zamil container scanners as part of its es-
Systems/Rapiscan, Science Appli- established Z-Portal screening sys- Group of Saudi Arabia for use by tablished “Eagle” product range. models currently available. The ferred option of many customers.
cations International Corp (SAIC) tem, AS&E claims that image Saudi Customs at border check- This comprises several versions of majority utilise a high-energy X- Rapiscan came down heavily
and Nuctech (of China). quality and out-turn has been fur- points, with yet another Z-Por- mobile, gantry, portal, and fixed-site ray source, and the company indi- in favour of X-ray transmission (as
Some of these also offer cheaper ther improved. tal unit being delivered in the machine, with up to 15 separate cates that this system is now the pre- opposed to backscatter and other
gamma-ray based systems, although The MS-HE model was intro-
these are generally proving less duced in September 2009. This
popular with end-users due to their features a high energy (4.5MeV)
lower penetration capability. X-ray transmission built into the
Cargotec Port Security, mean- machinery boom, as well as the
while, has specialised in the devel- proprietary Z-Backscatter tech-
opment of spreader-mounted ra- nology. To provide maximum flex-
diation detectors, while Astrium, ibility, it offers multiple scan
part of European Aeronautic De- modes to accommodate the high-
fence and Space Co (EADS) has speed throughput of containers/
developed its own design of “black trucks and checking of out-of-
box” container security device, gauge cargo loads.
known as SeCure System, which,
if adopted, might circumvent the Dual system
need for ports to carry out volume MS-HE is actually a dual system,
container scanning altogether. in that it can carry out a “drive-
This GPS-based system has by” scan of stationary objects - in
recently been tested on 20 con- the same way as the company’s Z-
tainers, in conjunction with Ger- Backscatter Van model - or a static
man freight forwarder, Hellmann portal operation whereby vehicles/
Worldwide Logistics, which has containers are screened as they
already hinted that its proven op- drive past. The system also has a
eration may accelerate the switch large integrated cab that enables the
of some high-value air freight traf- driver and machinery operator to
fic to maritime container carriage. work alongside for improved com-
Astrium claims that the elec- munications and comfort. Moreo-
tronic sensors built into the ver, in order to accommodate over-
SeCure System enable the status size cargoes, the dimensions of the
and internal condition of the MS-HE scan tunnel are amongst
transiting container to be moni- the largest available.
tored continually by way of satel- The high energy beam is
lite link and therefore its integ- claimed to be able to penetrate
rity can be guaranteed without steel to a depth of 12in, with the
any need for cargo inspection on low Z-Backscatter transmission
arrival at port. suited to more delicate searches for
drugs, explosives or contraband.
Reduced demand Both systems can be operated to-
Although the delayed implemen- gether, when the boom is ex-
tation of the HR1 bill may have tended, or switched to Z-
dented the prospect for a surge Backscatter only (with the boom
in the sale of scanner machinery, stowed) for screening smaller
demand had already been cut by items such as passenger vehicles.
last year’s financial crisis and the AS&E has already sold over 400
subsequent downturn in world of its basic Z-Backscatter Van
trade, which has drastically cut the (ZBV) model - originally launched
investment funding available to in 2003 - to 85 customers in 46
port operators. countries, thereby making it one
However, suppliers are now of the most popular vehicle inspec-
generally more upbeat about fu- tion systems in use today.
ture business as many now expect Prior to these launches, AS&E
the enforcement of HR1 to go received its first order for another
ahead in 2014 as planned. By con- newly introduced design, the Z-
trast, few had expected the earlier Gantry multi-view Z-Backscatter
deadline to be met, given the port cargo screening system, which was
industry’s strong resistance and placed earlier in 2009 by the US
depth of the recession. Department of Defense. This de-
Meanwhile, research and de- vice features a bi-directional scan-
velopment has been continuing ning platform, which operates in
apace. AS&E has long been known a gantry configuration and is rail-
for its low/medium energy X-ray mounted to screen stationary con-
scanner design, utilising the com- tainers. It is able to generate Z-
pany’s own unique Z-Backscatter Backscatter images in three planes:
imaging technique, but moved left, right and top-downwards. The
further into the higher-energy model’s low-energy source ena-
field sector during 2009 with the bles it to be used to check con-
launch of two new models - the tainers/vehicles for illegal stowa-
Sentry Portal (SPS) and Mobile- ways, as well as for contraband,
Search High-Energy (MS-HE) drugs or weapons.
cargo inspection systems. AS&E was also to benefit in
SPS was unveiled last August 2009 from a number of follow-
as a high-throughout, high-pen- up contracts placed by clients in
etration drive-through system of the Middle East (one of its big-
cargo inspection suited for the gest markets), valued at more than
February 2010 45
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