There are a lot of changes going on at Pier 25 at the Port of Hamilton.
The site is home to Plant 19, which is leased to CareGo Innovative Solutions Inc.
As profiled by MM&D in December 2006, CareGo originally developed the 50,000-sqf facility as a single-purpose, fully automated steel coil handling facility. Filled with state-of-the-art equipment, the building could be run by a single operator. And thanks to its recycled construction materials, energy conservation processes and waste management processes, it received the Leadership in Environmental and Engineering Design (LEED) Gold Seal from the Green Building Council of Canada.
That was nearly four years ago. Since then, the steel industry in Hamilton has been hit hard.
So CareGo is taking the building in a new direction. The company is undergoing a major refit of the facility to incorporate its Careport division’s burgeoning container business into the facility.
The project includes $200,000 in hardware upgrades. Automation
The revamped facility will use CareGo’s Tyche cargo handling system, which combines precise automated overhead cranes with specialized software. The computer-managed cranes load and unload from railcars and trucks. Automated guided vehicles transport the freight into the distribution centre.
Inside the DC, containers are positioned for de-stuffing, transferred to storage or shuttled to adjacent facilities without human intervention.
“This handling system is very flexible, as it is designed to handle bulk, breakbulk and containerized freight,” explains Demetrius Tsafaridis, president and CEO of CareGo.
Port of Hamilton officials say the change bodes well for the port. “To see Steelcare remodel its operations at Plant 19 is a very positive sign of economic growth and strengthens the strategic relationship with one of our valued partners,” says Bruce Wood, president and CEO of the Hamilton Port Authority.
In addition to adding containerized cargo to Plant 19, the company is upping the environmental sustainability of another of its facilities. It is currently working on another refit, this one of a 170,000 SteelCare storage facility.
CareGo plans for the building to be a net producer of energy.
The first step of the change involves the installation of a 500kV solar array on the building’s rooftop and windmills to assist with electricity generation. This will give the company enough power to remove the facility from the traditional power grid.
Second, the company aims to capture and store enough continual rainwater runoff to power its turbines.
Finally, CareGo wants to capture and use the kinetic energy (in the form of heat) generated by its overhead cranes during operation.
The project is expected to wrap up in Spring 2011.
The company tapped into local brainpower to develop the green plan. “We reached out to a number of researchers at McMaster University and Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario to study and evaluate our initiatives,” Tsafaridis explains. “We did this in conjunction with our in-house engineers to ensure maximum success.”
So what about the cost of installing the technology to do all this?
“We believe the system we are putting in place will have a multiplying effect that will result in an accelerated return on investment,” says Walter Krancevic, CareGo’s vice-president of sales and marketing.