Advances in technology are helping machines become ever more intelligent and automated, but technology connected to the skills of people operating the machines remains as crucial as ever.

In Valtteri Bottas’ line of work, to perform at his best he needs to rely on technology connected to his skills as a driver. Connected technology allows Valtteri to focus on the most important tasks – because the fewer variables he needs to think about, the easier it is for him to stay ahead of the pack and achieve his goals.

It’s the same at Konecranes. Konecranes Port Solutions provides automation technology to assist operators in focusing even more clearly on the tasks at hand, leading to safer and more efficient port operations.

PART 1: Whether you’re Valtteri Bottas or running a modern port, focusing on what really matters is crucial to success

In Valtteri’s line of work focus is so important; the fewer variables he needs to think about, the easier it is to reach his goals. Konecranes automation technology assists port operators in similarly focusing on the most important tasks at hand – those that improve the efficiency and safety of their operations.

Even though advances in technology are helping port operations become ever more intelligent and automated, the role of people and their skills remains crucial.

Automation is a growing megatrend in container terminals all over the world, with more and more terminals adopting a range of automated solutions to meet the challenges of larger ships, taller cranes and bigger call sizes. Helping to lead this trend, Konecranes offers the widest and deepest offering in automated container handling.

In our two-part series on the Technology Connected theme, we will explore how advances in automation technology are assisting port operators to focus even more sharply on the tasks at hand: helping port operations become even safer and more efficient. The second part, which can now be found here, will focus on the specific benefits of port terminal automation for your operations.

Moving your container terminal to full automation is a safe move

When you choose Konecranes port automation solutions we help you build a winning strategy that moves your container terminal to full automation – step by step, block by block, and process by process – at your own pace.

You can start by retrofitting your cranes with driver assistance features, including electrification / power option retrofits, as well as complete control system upgrades, as appropriate.

At every step, Konecranes can guide and support you in choosing precisely the degree of automation that your business needs.

Konecranes provides complete automated systems for Rubber Tired Gantry (RTG), Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) and straddle carrier operations – as well as manual equipment with a built-in growth path to automation.

We offer a wide range of Konecranes Gottwald terminal vehicles for horizontal transport. These include Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), which are used for rapid and economical container transport between the quayside and the container yard. Konecranes AGVs and Lift AGVs are now available with lithium-ion battery technology, which deliver increased eco-efficiency as well.

You can also choose from the full Konecranes range of alternatives for automated horizontal transport: Automated Sprinter Carriers (ASCs) and Automated Terminal Tractors (ATTs). And Konecranes’ portfolio is made complete with automated elements in the terminal, including specialized software and our Equipment Control System (ECS), which interfaces with the Terminal Operating System (TOS).

Get to the finishing line faster with remote container handling

However, automation is only part of the bigger picture. Konecranes remote container handling offers the possibility of de-coupling the crane and operator. In this model, the operator works in a safe and ergonomic office environment and can operate different cranes at different times – which can deliver significant increases in efficiency.

Just as Valtteri can’t afford any delays on the track, Konecranes knows customers can’t afford delays at their ports and terminals.


PART 2: Taking the fast track to full automation delivers winning benefits

In the first of this two-article series we described the specific practical steps to move your container terminal operations to full automation, but what are the key benefits?

Here are just some of the ways that Konecranes can help you significantly increase your crane operators’ efficiency and boost overall container terminal performance through increased automation and remote operation.

Improving idle time on the track or in the port is a key factor in a more efficient performance

In a typical container terminal with Rubber Tired Gantry (RTG) or Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) yard cranes, the crane and the operator are in a one-to-one relationship, with each operator coupled to a specific crane. When the crane isn’t needed for a container handling task, then the operator is also idle – with idling time averaging at least 20% of overall working time. That amount of downtime certainly wouldn’t help Valtteri Bottas win races – or help a terminal achieve its efficiency targets and improve efficiency and safety.

De-coupling the crane and operator – and thus eliminating operator idling time – can produce significant productivity increases, with many more container moves per day with the same equipment, and improved employee safety and satisfaction. The cranes are operated using Konecranes’ field-proven Remote Operation Station (ROS) concept.

Konecranes’ ROS is a comfortable workstation for operators that allows them to remotely carry out such tasks as truck loading and unloading operations in the automated container stacks.

For safety reasons, truck loading and unloading must be carried out by human operators. In a container terminal, a number of ROSs can be located in a remote-control room that offers a comfortable – and highly efficient – office environment for personnel.

Putting your port operators in the driver’s seat

Intuitive, at-a-glance controls are just as crucial in terminal operations as they are for Valtteri when driving a race car. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of a Konecranes ROS gives highly intuitive and precise control over truck loading and unloading.

The GUI of the ROS is already field-proven in a number of Konecranes Automated RMG and Automated RTG systems working around the world. These ARMG and ARTG systems feature a number of improvements related to the advanced machine vision system that works closely with the Active Load Control (ALC) systems on the ARMG and ARTG cranes.

Embrace the future today – with Konecranes’ automated port solutions.

Valtteri Bottas believes that smart machines require even smarter and better-trained people to operate them. At Konecranes we agree; we think of automation as more of an assisting partner.  

Stated plainly, Technology Connected is a concept that recognizes the benefits of automation technology that assists port operations in ways that support your business’s success – now and in the future.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Advances in technology are helping machines become ever more intelligent and automated, but the role of people and their skills remains crucial. Learn what Valtteri Bottas thinks about how Connected Technology and automation is assisting equipment operators to focus on the key tasks at hand, to better reach their goals.  

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