Experience, the key to the development of a comprehensive ASC standard



Uno Bryfors, Vice President, ABB Crane Systems, Sweden


The ABB experience
Commissioning ABB’s first automated stacking crane (ASC) system for the Port of Singapore, back in 1997, was the result of a strategic decision taken by ABB in 1992 to concentrate on developing automated systems for all types of container cranes and handling equipment.

ABB has followed this strategy since the nineties and continuously expanded the functionality and the level of standardization of the electrical and automation package for ASCs. By early 2010, ABB had already commissioned over 270 automatic stacking cranes, with another 70+ scheduled for delivery in 2010/11 – representing a very large share of all ASCs in the world.

The 11 ASC projects include:

  • Deliveries in seven different countries
  • End-loaded ASCs (4 projects); cantilever-style ASCs (6) and overhead bridge cranes (1)
  • End-loaded ASCs blocks with the cranes on the same, as well as on independent tracks
  • Interfacing with all types of terminal vehicles like AGVs (2 projects); shuttle carriers (2) and terminal tractors with chassis (7)
  • Interfacing with terminal operating systems (TOS) from seven different suppliers
  • Cooperation with five different crane builders
  • Stacking areas with concrete beams, asphalt and gravel.
  • Rails supported by concrete beams as well as rails on sleepers in gravel.

In most of the projects the cranes have been delivered in sequence and under one contract, but in some cases the deliveries have been made in stages, from two up to six separate contracts. The 11 projects cover all present variations of automatic stacking cranes, as well as all aspects of interfaces and working environments for the cranes. This experience has enabled the development of a comprehensive standard electrical and control package for covering all types of ASC projects and fulfilling the requirements of electrical and safety standards worldwide.

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