The largest subsystem in an Auto Parkit System is the Rack Storage. It consists of building steel to hold conveyors, pallets and shuttle-ways. The unique features of the Rack Storage is that it is large enough to hold vehicles and is un-lit because aside of maintenance personnel it is unoccupied and unconditioned space. These characteristics make it ideal for vehicle storage.
The Helms Bakery Project is deep into the electrical portion of the construction process. The electrical for this project consists of Infrastructure, Building and System. The Infrastructure was to upgrade services to part of the Helms Bakery Campus to allow for future requirements. The Building is dictated by municipal codes for safety, lighting, outlets, vehicle charging stations, security etc. The final piece is for the API System.
Belden offered me an opportunity to speak at their 2015 Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure Design Seminar which was held at the Schaumburg Convention Center outside of Chicago in early October.
I was able to share with about 175 attendees an overview of the API System and specifically cover the network infrastructure. As with most industrial application the API System shares several common traits that the audience was generally familiar with such as topology, throughput and media selection.
The two Vehicle Lifts are currently being installed and are an impressive site to see amongst the backdrop of painters, electricians and laborers. It marks a critical aspect of the project since the lifts are the last major subsystem to be installed. By interweaving mechanical engineers, iron-workers and site supervision the crew is steadfast at their purpose and diligent to the task at hand.
Most construction aspects follow a 2 step process: Rough and Finish. When it comes to a Fully Automated Parking Structure there is an additional step called commissioning. After all subsystems are finished with the structural, mechanical and electrical installation, normally following a rough/finish approach, the entire API System goes through a commissioning process.
The picture does not have anything to with Commissioning but highlights the creative architecture employed at Helms Bakery Project.
At long last we could disconnect from our trusty generator and connect to line power in August, 2016. For months, we had grown accustomed to the constant hum of our diesel generator that provided power for the entire system. The first few days were eerily quiet. Almost unnatural. But we quickly adjusted and enjoyed the AUTOParkit™ System being powered 24-7.
As with most project that last 10% seems to take a Herculean Effort to finish. Take for example the following picture. Notice anything missing? Look closely. I will give you a hint there are 4 antennas and only one Network Access Point (NAP). Yes, we did have to add a second NAP since we are picking up more Remote Retrieve Kiosks (RRK). The RRK are strategically placed along walking paths on campus to allow drivers to request their vehicle before arriving at the parking garage.
“Life isn’t fair.” I can still remember hearing those words from my Father. Sage advice.
An AUTOParkit™ System we trade fairness for optimization. Take for example on vehicle retrievals. We do start with a first-come-first-serve approach for retrieval requests but unlike other systems we can run in parallel since several vehicles can move simultaneously. This parallel processing of requests drives our efficiencies but it may not result in first-come-first-serve of retrieval deliveries.
I believe Sam Walton once advised, “If you are not sure of the answer, go talk to a customer.” At AUTOParkit™ we take this to heart. We have held a series of short training classes for the tenants of Helms Bakery to walk them through the AUTOParkit™ System. Our goal has always been to make the user interface to be ATM Simple. And while there are many solutions, what we strive for is to keep things simple.