ABB wins remote control crane contracts

Crane operators can supervise the STS cranes via monitors. Photo: ABB Crane operators can supervise the STS cranes via monitors. Photo: ABB

Automation technology group, ABB, has won contracts from container terminal operators, APM Terminals and Rotterdam World Gateway, to provide automation systems for their new ship-to-shore cranes.

ABB’s automation system will enable the new STS cranes to be operated remotely, without the need for a driver on board. Crane operators will work in a control room in the terminal building where the cranes can be overseen via onboard cameras, reducing stress on the operator’s neck and back. The cranes will also be able to run faster, significantly reducing cargo unloading times. The system will also automate corrective movement to ensure accuracy and speed, improving overall efficiency.

Clara Holmgren, product manager, ABB Crane System, told Port Strategy: “Efficient terminals depend on the reliable and safe handling of containers. ABB’s integrated automation system makes container terminal equipment intelligent, allowing it to deliver higher productivity and also save energy.”

She added: “There is a clear market trend towards larger vessels and, therefore, higher cranes with longer outreach are needed. This trend increases demands made on terminals and the significance of overall performance.”

The two new terminals which are due to open at Maasvlakte 2 in Rotterdam in 2014 will be the first in Europe to use remote control of STS cranes and APMT’s terminal will be the first in the world where STS cranes have no driver’s cabin installed.

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