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Container terminal automation needs standardisation and open interfaces

Across the globe, container terminal automation is advancing rapidly. Automation, including the insights learned from the data it produces, is recognised as the future of improved container handling safety and business performance.

However, when compared with other fields such as automotive manufacturing or the process industries, the standardisation of automation in the container handling business is still in its early stages.

Until recently, most terminal automation systems have been based on extensive integration of various subsystems and solutions, rather than conceived as complete end-to-end automation systems such as those in other industries.

In order to reap the full potential benefits of container terminal automation, a systemic, standardised approach is required.

A key element is the availability of open application interfaces that enable terminal operators to customise their automation deployments, allowing third-party developers to provide offerings that are interoperable with the automation system. These additional software interfaces supplement the application-independent core software components of the terminal automation system and significantly extend its capabilities.

Hannes Myllärniemi, Product Manager, and Jari Hämäläinen (Dr Tech.), Director, Automation, Kalmar

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