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Port of Rotterdam launches smart bollard pilot

Port of Rotterdam launches smart bollard trial
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The Port of Rotterdam Authority has launched a smart bollard trial at the Hutchison Ports ECT Delta, as part of efforts to make operations more efficient through digitalisation.

The smart bollard was developed in collaboration with Straatman BV, Zwijndrecht. By measuring the strain on the mooring lines in real time, the bollard will allow the real-time monitoring of safety and provide a clearer picture of which vessels can moor at which quays.

Until now, it has not been possible to measure the strain on mooring lines, the Port said. The lack of exact data measured on moored vessels meant we had to assume maximum mooring loads exerted on the lines by the vessels and quay walls.

Credit: Port of Rotterdam Authority

These forces vary due to differences in local conditions. The smart bollard can help give us a better understanding of the forces involved.

When force is applied to a bollard, it moves very slightly. A sensor measures the force and sends the results directly to the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Before the smart bollard was installed, it was successfully put through its paces on a test bench in Zwijndrecht.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority specialises in the construction and maintenance of quay walls. It manages 80 kilometres of quay wall and 200 kilometres of bank shoring, monitoring the structures using collected data.

For example, sensors are installed in many quays and the results have shown that quay walls last much longer than had previously been assumed. 

The smart bollard trial is part of a series of measures aimed at using digital technology to manage highly capital-intensive assets such as quay walls more efficiently.

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