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Smoother container logistics

The demand for automated technology at container terminals has been increasing steadily in recent years. Automated solutions enable port operators to reduce their overall operating costs and increase their capacity utilisation rates. Kalmar’s Automatic Stacking Crane (ASC) systems are gaining increasing popularity, as they offer high stacking densities with low labour input.

Automatic Stacking Cranes, or ASCs, are rail-mounted units used for stacking containers in storage areas at ports and terminals – and deposit and pick up containers from dedicated transfer areas at both ends of a stack.

ASC operations are very space-efficient and cost-effective, as they are virtually unmanned. Low emissions and very low noise levels per handled container also make the system environmentally friendly, as Kalmar’s ASCs are completely electrically powered and even feed back electricity into the local supply network, thanks to their modern drive systems.

System expertise

Kalmar supplies complete ASC solutions, including cranes and all related automation, control, and monitoring systems. The company’s central ASC control systems guarantee highly accurate automated crane movements through the use of advanced sensors and software to optimise and coordinate the speed and routes of cranes and avoid collisions between units or with containers or a terminal’s infrastructure.

Kalmar can deliver not only the equipment, but also the design expertise and automation software required for projects and ensure that they are commissioned successfully.
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Kalmar is now in the process of supplying 24 of its fourth-generation ASCs, together with related control and safety systems, for the first-phase conversion of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik’s Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) in Hamburg.

CTB is working with Kalmar to convert its straddle carrier operations to an ASC-based system on a phased basis. When finalised in 2012, the terminal will operate 87 ASCs and have almost double its current container-handling capacity by 2015 – 5.2 million container moves a year – compared to 2.7 million container moves a year today.

Burchardkai is the first terminal anywhere to be automated by a single supplier providing both cranes and automation, and the project highlights Kalmar’s industry-leading expertise in turnkey project management, from initial design to final implementation, delivery, and aftersales support.

These ASCs are the first stage in a project that will eventually double the caapcity of the Burchardkai terminal in Hamburg. Units like these typically have a railspan of between six and 10 containers wide and can manage stacks up to six containers high, although stacks five high are the norm.
> Elisa Nuutinen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)