Düsseldorf, Germany – Terex Port Solutions (TPS), the pioneer and technological pacesetter in terminal automation, starts a new chapter for operators of container terminals with Terex® diesel-electric straddle carriers. For the first time, TPS is automating a straddle carrier fleet for Ports of Auckland Ltd. (POAL) from New Zealand. By mid-2019, TPS will supply a total of 27 new, fully automated N SC 644 E (1-over-3) machines to work in the container stackyard and to serve trucks. At the same time, 21 existing manual straddle carriers are being upgraded so that they can work hand in hand with the 27 fully automated machines. In addition to the supply and upgrade of the vehicles, the order also includes all sub-systems and software systems required for operation. Before POAL placed the order, TPS verified the feasibility and safety of the concept in a detailed study. POAL is pursuing a double strategy: improved stacking capacity and high productivity
POAL currently operates a fleet of Terex N SC 634 E (1-over-2) diesel-electric straddle carriers and is pursuing a two-part strategy that includes the automation initiative and a step towards higher stacking capability which will deliver a medium-term increase in capacity from today’s 900,000 TEU to 1.6 to 1.7 million TEU. Tony Gibson, CEO Ports of Auckland Ltd.: “Due to community concerns, we cannot increase capacity at our container terminal through reclamation, so the only way is up. In future, we will use 1-over-3 straddle carriers in the container stackyard to
increase capacity. Automated straddle carriers also offer a number of other benefits: They are inherently safer, as there is no human on board; they deliver a positive environmental impact as they will consume up to 10% less fuel and produce lower emissions; they will be quieter and need less light on the terminal, reducing both noise and light pollution. Overall, automation offers us safety, environmental, community and capacity benefits.” In future, POAL will only use the existing 1-over-2 machines for horizontal container transport between ship-to-shore cranes and the storage area, which will help POAL maintain its currently high levels of productivity.
Comprehensive: all sub-systems and software systems also from TPS
Steve Filipov, President Terex Cranes and Material Handling & Port Solutions, is delighted to achieve another milestone in automation: “Automation will enable increased capacity and safe, efficient operations for terminals that organize container transport and storage with straddle carriers. We are pleased that this comprehensive project gives us the opportunity to help an ambitious terminal operator such as POAL with its long-term development objectives.” As a supplier of integrated systems, TPS is also responsible for all sub-systems required to operate the partly modified, partly newly assembled fleet. In addition to the TEAMS fleet management system, these sub-systems include the Navimatic® navigation system based on a terrestrial system and its corresponding antennae to determine the position of the vehicles. TEAMS and Navimatic, successfully implemented on several occasions by TPS in major terminals for automated operations in the past, have now been adapted to the specific requirements of straddle carriers to control the automated operations in Auckland. TPS will supply the interchange and fence control system, safety-relevant vehicle control systems and various sensor systems that will enable smooth interplay between the automated vehicles and manual straddle carriers, as well as other functions operated by staff in the terminal.
TPS well-equipped thanks to extensive test program
With its latest innovation, TPS is fulfilling the wish of many terminal operators to automate straddle carrier terminals. In addition, many terminals that currently use manual 1-over-1 sprinter carriers between ship-to-shore cranes and container stackyards would like to convert to automated machines in the future. Klaus Peter Hoffmann, Vice President & Managing Director TPS: “Against the backdrop of increasing demand, several years ago we started a comprehensive research and development program, in the course of which we created automation technology for both Terex straddle carriers and Terex sprinter carriers. We tested this over many months on prototypes at our testing grounds near the TPS competence center for straddle carriers in Würzburg, Germany, where we looked at design and operating principles, the control system, and the features of the positioning system. Our technology is now ready for market and has impressed POAL.”
Pioneer in automation: cutting edge with an integrated approach
TPS has been at the cutting edge of automation technology for port handling for a quarter of a century, and gradually expanded its range of products and services after the introduction of the first Terex® Gottwald automated guided vehicles (AGV), which were ready for series production in 1992. Initially the software required for operating AGV’s was supplied by the terminal operator or by third parties. Thanks to its growing experience in this area, TPS was able to take over development of navigation and management software. In addition to several AGV product lines, today’s TPS portfolio includes automated stacking cranes (ASC) for the container stackyard including the required software.
Thanks to the simultaneous delivery of the sub-systems required for automated transport and automated storage of containers, TPS is now a supplier of complete systems who can draw on a wealth of experience. And long before the first cut of the spade, TPS also provides support for its customers with the consultation services of its software brands, which include the simulation and emulation of terminal processes. Hoffmann: “Our wealth of experience, in addition to our unique range of automation products, makes us the natural partner for innovative solutions, as has now been demonstrated by the first order for fully automated straddle carriers from New Zealand. With this reference installation, we believe that we are perfectly positioned to convert more existing manual terminals into semi or fully automated terminals and to equip green field port facilities.”