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Ship-to-shore cranes to be automated

APM Terminals and Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) are to install automation systems from ABB for their new ship-to-shore cranes, which will allow the cranes to be operated remotely, without a driver on board.

The two new terminals that will open in 2014 in Rotterdam at Maasvlakte 2 will be the first in Europe to use remote control of ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, with the APM Terminals terminal to be the first in the world where STS cranes have no driver’s cabin installed.

“These projects underscore the need for fast and cost-effective container handling, and how the latest automation technologies can be applied to dramatically increase efficiency as a response to higher productivity requirements,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s process automation division.

ABB’s system has the crane operators working in a control room located in the terminal building, where they supervise the cranes’ motion via onboard cameras.

Combined with access to control information provided by the automation system, the company says that this should help to improve overall operator performance.

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