CSX Coal Loading System

The Port of Toledo is one of the world's leading coal and iron ore facilities and the largest seaport by area on the Great Lakes. Originally built in 1957, the CSX Coal Loading System at the Port of Toledo needed updated controls and electrical feeds -- a complicated project which was completed in just 14 weeks.

The CSX coal loader project involved the total replacement of the 1957 power and control systems with new power distribution, motor control centers, solid state DC drives, programmable logic controllers and programming. The aging existing system consisted of exposed contactors and resistors on slate board. JDRM provided electrical engineering and served as the project manager with Designer’s Edge designing the controls and doing the programming. Laibe Electric served as the design assist contractor.

The team had five months to design, build and test the systems with a window for construction from January 2 through March 17 – a very tight timeframe for an extensive amount of work. The main portions of the project were constructed in Northwest Ohio’s coldest and windiest months, January and February, 65-feet in the air on a dock jutting out into Lake Erie. The entire system had to be tested and functional by March 17 with ships arriving soon after. Designer’s Edge professionals were then onsite during the loading of the first several ships to optimize the systems and assist the operators adjusting the new system.

CSX resumed operations on schedule with significant improvements to system efficiency. U.S. Trade Numbers as reported by WorldCity, Inc. reported the Port of Toledo, Ohio’s export of coal rose 54.83% from 2016 – through August of 2017.

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