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CAS: Connectivity from day one

Published 19.9.2022

It no longer matters how remote a project location is, now that there’s good connectivity. CAS is here, an autonomous systems management container which provides an innovative sustainable solution for teams on the worksite by combining three technologies into a single system.

In Techint Engineering and Construction we are increasingly seeing demands for fast-track projects where timing is of the essence where a quick and efficient launch phase for a project is the key to getting things under way in an orderly and structured manner so fully-functioning IT and communication systems at the site are vital to ensure adequate project management and execution. It’s also crucial for the purposes of achieving efficiency during the early stages of a project.

Mauricio Mare (Systems Manager of Techint E&C), Fabián Pelaye (Logistics and General Services Manager), Giovanni Lillo (Chile Systems Manager) and Marcos Bordon (Andina Systems Manager) brainstormed to come up with the idea of incorporating a customized CAS in the company projects, as it’s known in Spanish. This is an independent container or unit combining solar panels with a satellite internet connection and computer systems to provide much-needed connectivity for project worksites, however remote they may be.

This is version 3.0 of the CAS, and it offers three solutions rolled into one: two Starlink antennas, connected to the Starlink satellite constellation which uses a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet services with low latency and global coverage at low cost, complemented by a network load balancer. This technology adds expanded Internet connection capacity enabling different types of connections, such as satellite, radio link or 4G.

“We have been implemented the CAS in Peru when we launched the Quellaveco project, where the crew camp site was at 4,700 m above sea level and had no form of coverage at all. So we used the same office to set up a server with solar panels and the satellite internet system. We designed and built the first one at the Peru Logistics Center (CLP). Now, we’re putting this together with the systems department, so the whole thing fits into a 6-meter long Legho module. This means we can have it ready at the Chile Logistics Center for early deployment to cover us until the rest of the project facilities be ready,” explains Fabian Pelaye.

“The CAS is a real revolution in terms of connectivity because it can be transported to whichever worksite that needs it, and you can start using our corporate network services (SAP, email, internet, etc.) straight away,” explains Marcos.

“Additionally, it’s a sustainable solution because it’s powered by solar panels set on the container roof. These are integrated systems that you simply plug in, they’re very easy to install and maintain. Today, the local market in Chile offers solutions including compact solar generators measuring just 0.8x0.85x0.5 meters and eight panels. They produce up to 20 kWh/day, enough to power a standard house of 240 m2 (without taking into account heating).

This initiative is a clear example of a high-impact innovative solution for projects, which is both efficient and intelligently conceived. It solves a key problem using renewable energy and offers portability for real use in the project environment, highlights Alejandro Aguirre, Manager of Innovation and Knowledge Management of Techint E&C.

More recently, a CAS module has begun to be used at the Collahuasi project, in Chile, in its 2.0 version, meaning with its own power system internet connection via radio link. “The objective is to implement this technology throughout the Collahuasi project worksites, taking advantage of the experience we gained at the Quellaveco project in Peru. Currently, the container is functioning at the Victoria logistics center with very good results, thanks to the Starlink connection and radio link. We’re ready to transport the second CAS module 2.0 to the PS1 station and another three are being prepared for PS2, PS3 and PS5, also at the Victoria logistics center. Looking ahead, the idea is to document and replicate this solution at other projects, as it’s a sustainable solution, with an affordable cost structure that will allow us to optimize lead times and make communications easier,” explains Edwin Melgar, Head of Collahuasi Systems.

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