In anticipation of the arrival of five of the world’s largest cranes at the Port of Liverpool in the autumn of 2015, Peel Ports has introduced a ‘virtual’ crane training simulator on site, designed to ensure all operators are ready to manoeuvre the giant structures from day one of installation.
Peel Ports has been working closely with ABB, a global leader in automation, to produce a customised, high-tech training simulator tailored to interactively test the abilities and skills of drivers by presenting them with realistic, operating scenarios.
The company has invested over US$775,000 in developing the simulator and the associated software.
The crane simulator reproduces the equipment layouts and behavioural movements of the STS cranes and semi-automated cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMG) which have been manufactured by Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) and are the tallest cranes built by the Chinese manufacturer to date.
Khalid Mahdy, Training Officer at Liverpool2, said: “Our crane operators will receive unrivalled training opportunities in how to manoeuvre and control these giant pieces of equipment and become familiar with the controls well before they are actually installed.
“They will also be able to practice problem-solving in a safe and controlled environment, as scenarios cover incidents, equipment failures and extreme weather conditions. At Peel Ports, we are committed to a comprehensive health and safety programme which ensures our employees are able to develop their skillsets to the highest level of expertise.”
The fleet of STS and CRMG cranes are part of the more than US$465 million investment programme by Peel Ports to expand and develop the existing Port of Liverpool which will see Liverpool2, as it is called, become the UK’s largest transatlantic deep-sea port and container terminal.
Once completed in late 2015, it will be able to accommodate most of the world’s current fleet of container vessel types and will offer shipping lines an opportunity to connect ships of up to 13,500 TEU directly to the heart of the UK.
The cranes will be capable of handling two 380-metre vessels simultaneously and ultimately will have a capacity of over one million TEU. With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from ship to road or rail.