Achieving maximum productivity with older cranes



Steven R. Blomquist, TMEIC GE, Salem, VA, USA


As ports face the continued push to reduce port of call moor ing time, an overall productivity improvement may be necessary to remain competitive in the container shipping industry. Improvements in productivity may involve container crane performance upgrades, yard management integration, and many other add-on enhancements that improve crane operator productivity, and flow of product through the terminal. Container crane availability is also a key factor to terminal operators. This factor affects the vessel turn around time and the terminal operator’s ability to maintain existing customers and compete for new customer business. Upgrading to the latest technologies minimises downtime associated with spare parts availability.

Crane modernisation basics

Crane modernisation for enhanced productivity is a key component in improving throughput at today’s ever busier ports.The first phase in any modernisation is to update existing drives and controls to the latest electronics technology. TMEIC GE has had great success in enabling system productivity enhancements through the upgrading of older hardwired relay logic systems or obsolete PLC-based systems with a state-of-the-art PLC based master controller system. Optionally, remote I/O stations may be added to enhance local troubleshooting and monitoring, e.g. waterside and landside gantry I/O stations, boom operator stations, operator’s cabin/trolley I/O stations, etc. This type of modernisation has many advantages, all of which ultimately improve the overall productivity of the port.

In addition to upgrading the control system to the latest ….

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