Given their long term experience in crane drive systems and crane automation solutions, ABB is now taking the next step in quay crane automation – remote control. Remote control improves the working environment for drivers and provides the opportunity for increased productivity.
The developmental stages of the remote driven quay crane were done in succession. One of the major items undertaken was testing a fixed cabin concept.
Instead of a dr iver’s cabin attached to the trolley, ABB implemented the Fixed Cabin concept. With this concept, the driver’s cabin can be mounted anywhere on the crane structure. To aid the driver, cameras are installed on various points on the crane, and automation features such as Electronic Load Control (ELC) and Ship Profiling System (SPS) are implemented.
Taking the dr iver off the trolley improves the working environment from a number of aspects. Traditionally, drivers sit in a bent over position to monitor the load. As they are subject to a high amount of physical force during heavy acceleration and deceleration, the strain on back, neck and shoulders can be substantial. With the new, upright position that this concept provides, there is no more jerking trolley, relieving not only the muscles but also preventing dizziness.
The moderate sound level in the fixed cabin decreases the risk of impaired hearing and is less tiring, making it easier for the driver to concentrate on his task.
In a traditional quay crane, the driver’s cabin is installed behind the trolley. This means that over the ship, the driver has a limited visibility over the cells. With the new ABB Fixed Cabin concept, controllable cameras can give the driver a better view than in a traditional crane. ‘Seeing the front side of the spreader really makes it easier to operate in the ship cell’ was one of the first comments made by operators after initial trials. Not only does this facilitate quick operation but it also improves the safety for people on board the ship.
Possibility of increased production
The fixed cabin concept opens up the option to operate the trolley with shorter ramp times and at higher speed. Until now, the limiting factor has often been what the driver can take. No driver’s cabin reduces the weight on the trolley which in turn leads to reduced motor and drive sizes, thus reducing energy consumption and running costs.
With ABB’s automation solutions, an optimum travel path to and from the ship are used. Through proven technology, the crane control system performs automatic cycles including landings over the quay. The driver supervises the operation and performs all landings on the ship.
Once ABB proved the concept of the Fixed Cabin, the remote operation was a natural follower. For Automated RMG cranes, remote operation has been a fact for a long time and with today’s quay cranes with full automation over the quay, there are many similarities between the two.