• Hytera XPT digital radio system transforms communications at Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa

    Transportation | Case Study

When the Fincantieri Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa, Italy, needed to upgrade and expand its two-way radio system, Hytera and Italian partners Advantec and BPG Radiocomunicazioni installed an XPT multi-site digital trunking solution, which more than doubled capacity, extended coverage, and enhanced reliability.

The Background

Fincantieri is an Italian shipbuilding company who's headquarters is in Trieste, Italy with over 230 years of history behind it and more than 7,000 ships built. It is the largest shipbuilder in Europe and one of largest in the world. Fincantieri designs and builds merchant vessels, passenger ships, offshore support vessels, and naval vessels, and is also active in the conversion and ship repair sectors.

The company employs approximately 10,000 workers in its shipyards and a further 10,000 in its supply chain around the world. It has eight shipyards, including the Sestri Ponente yard in Genoa in the north west of Italy. Fincantieri Sestri Ponente is one of the most important shipyards in the world, as it is the world leader in the design and construction of cruise ships, and is a reference operator in all sectors of high-tech shipbuilding.

The Challenge

It is essential that a plant with the size and characteristics of the Fincantieri Sestri Ponente shipyard has a safe, reliable and instant communications system in place to enable it to carry out its daily operational activities efficiently and to quickly coordinate a response to any emergency situation.

Sestri Ponente originally relied on a professional trunked analogue MPT1327 radio communication system. However, after further investment in production capacity and infrastructure, the plant needed to increase radio capacity to handle a greater number of simultaneous communications, as well as extend radio coverage and reliability. It was important that radio downtime was minimised when migrating to the new radio system to ensure operations and safety were not compromised.

The Solution

BPG Radiocomunicazioni, a partner of Hytera distributor Advantec, designed the new digital radio system to meet the requirements of the customer. It proposed a solution using Hytera's XPT (Extended Pseudo Trunking) multi-access technology, which is based on the ETSI Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) standard.

DMR is specifically designed to make it easy for existing analogue radio systems to be migrated over to digital ones. A major benefit of this migration is that radio capacity is immediately doubled. This is because the two-slot TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) digital technology used by DMR enables every existing analogue 12.5 kHz channel to be split into two equivalent 6.25 kHz channels, providing two digital talk slots for each new DMR 12.5 kHz channel.

XPT has the additional benefit of providing the Sestri Ponente shipyard with a multi-site digital trunking solution. XPT provides customers with a cost-effective way of increasing radio capacity without the need to invest in a fully-fledged DMR Tier 3 trunked infrastructure solution. Instead, XPT combines the advantages of DMR Tier 2 conventional systems with the properties of advanced DMR Tier 3 trunked radio systems.

Another advantage of the XPT solution is that it does not require a channel controller, unlike traditional trunked radio systems, as all the available radio channels are managed by the radio infrastructure. The radio user does not need to select a channel manually, as channels are automatically allocated for call requests and assigned dynamically.

The new system consists of six RD985S DMR repeaters, 280 PD705 and PD785 DMR hand portable terminals, 20 MD785 DMR fixed radio stations, and a complete Hytera XPT Network Management System (XNMS) for supervision and control of the network.

The Benefits

The Hytera DMR XPT solution has increased the range and reliability of the radio system at the Sestri Ponente shipyard. The choice of a Hytera XPT system has also cost-effectively fulfilled the requirement for increased capacity by more than doubling the number of simultaneous communication channels available on the network from five to 12.

This means that Fincantieri is now able to create many more talk groups including site operators and the safety and maintenance team, for example. The Hytera solution has the added benefit of being designed to easily accommodate future expansion of the radio network in terms of both numbers of radio terminals and additional system resources.

The Hytera XPT solution also allows network supervisors and fleet managers to manage the radios remotely, so that any reconfigurations can take place via over-the-air programming (OTAP) without the radio equipment having to be physically collected and reprogrammed centrally.

Fincantieri Sestri Ponente now has a larger capacity, highly reliable, highly available radio network providing instant push-to-talk communications to enable the workforce to collaborate more effectively, productively and safely.

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