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Remaining Relevant With Automation

PTI spoke to Uno Bryfors, Senior Vice President, ABB Ports about automation in the ports and terminals industry.

“Between issue one and 100 of the Port Technology International Journal, container terminals have gone from manual operations with papers and handheld radios as means of communication to fully integrated and automated operation where information exchange is digitalised pretty much everywhere in the terminal. We have also seen how everything has increased in size, speed and functionality. ABB has been the source of several innovations enabling these technological advancements.

“Automation of container handling equipment actually started with ship-to-shore (STS) cranes. In 1987 we introduced sway and path control, and the functionality has since then been refined and expanded with skew control, ship profiling, crane OCR, vehicle alignment/identification, automatic landing on vehicles and fully automated portal trollies.”

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“Yard automation took some major steps forward in Singapore and Hamburg between 1997 and 2001. From 2005 stacking crane automation really took off and has since then been spreading to all parts of the world with accelerating speed. Today well over 1,000 automated yard cranes equipped with ABB’s automation systems are in operation or under delivery.

“Remote operation is undoubtedly one of the biggest changes in terminal operations over the past 25 years. It has brought the human aspect of terminal operations into focus by providing safer and more ergonomic working environment for the crane operators. Since 2014 we even have completely cabinless STS cranes are in operation in a number of terminals.

“The remote operation of STS cranes rapidly became a standard feature in large, highspeed STS cranes since it was first introduced by ABB in 2010. Remote operation has also brought quay, yard and on-dock rail operations together and connected them to TOS and vehicle management systems, creating the fully integrated container terminal.”

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Interview with Uno Bryfors, Senior Vice President, ABB Ports