Laser technology was initially deployed in the early 1990s, coinciding with the first major automation initiatives in the container terminal industry. Since then, the drive towards more automated and safer container handling has engendered a productive collaboration between terminal operators and laser technology suppliers, spurring rapid performance improvements and an expanding range of applications.
The workflow in an automated terminal is potentially higher, more consistent and safer than for manned operations – hence the growing industry interest. But in automated facilities, robotic or remotelycontrolled handling equipment has to ‘see’ and position itself to a high degree of accuracy. Also, as unmanned operations do not mean there are no people on the terminal, there is a need for safety devices that can recognise and respond to potentially dangerous situations.
Both of these areas depend heavily on automated recognition. Laser, along with other location and identification technologies like RFID, GPS, OCR and radar, is therefore a key component in today’s automated terminals. Manual terminals are also implementing laser systems to improve safety, such as in collision prevention.
Key applications for laser systems today include:
• Verifying the position of trucks, …
To read full articles, download PDF.