Ports of Auckland Invests in Simulation for New Cranes


Ports of Auckland (POAL) in New Zealand will be the first facility to test new simulation-based training technology from by CM Labs Simulations, which has designed the system for operators who remotely use ZPMC ship-to-shore (STS) cranes.

POAL’s new teaching tool will be put to the test later in 2018 when its terminal operators receive the ZPMC cranes.

The move is part of POAL’s 30-year ‘Master Plan’ towards automating its Fergusson North Wharf container terminal with three new cranes.

CM Labs, a port crane simulation-based training solution provider, worked with ZPMC, a Chinese engineering company, to develop the new training for the remote desk-controlled machines.

To expose trainees to a realistic crane operator and control room, CM Labs’ Vortex simulator will integrate ZPMC’s actual remote control system.

This will allow simulations for all crane functions, camera displays, automated safety functions, as well as the terminal’s container management system.

Zhao Bin, Vice General Manager of ZPMC Smart Solutions Group, said: “Remote crane operations are gaining popularity in container terminals as an alternative that improves safety, operating ergonomics, and operator productivity. We see enormous growth in remote desk STS operations, as well as demand for training.

“ZPMC is the industrial leader in crane remote operation control, with a professional team and many years of experience. CM Labs is highly qualified in terms of being able to offer the experience and expertise required to deliver this training simulator to one of ZPMC’s customers.”



Learn about retrofit terminal automation by reading a Port Technology technical paper by Neil Davidson of Drewry

Vortex simulators objectively track and capture operating metrics such as moves per hour and collisions.

From the Instructor Operating Station, trainers can launch exercises to train on both manual and semi-automated controls, and inject faults such as snags, corner cast failures, inclement weather or disabled cameras.

The simulator will give ZPMC clients the opportunity to prepare for operations well ahead of crane handover.

Arnold Free, CM Labs’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are very excited to be working with ZPMC.

“By bringing together CM Labs, the leader in crane simulation-based training and ZPMC, the market leader in STS cranes, we will deliver training technology that will allow ZPMC’s clients to produce more efficient and safer operators.”

Read more: A Chinese partnership has led to the creation of the world’s first artificially intelligent unmanned straddle carrier

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