Terex Port Solutions has received orders for automated container-handling systems from APM Terminals and Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) to equip the new container terminals on the Maasvlakte II site in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The units to be provided to both customers include active battery-driven Lift AGVs (Battery Lift AGVs), for the first time including the associated racks and automated battery-changing stations. “Active” in this context means that the AGVs are able to pick up containers fully automatically from the racks or deposit them there for the stacking cranes. These battery-powered cargo handling machines provide an environmentally compatible horizontal container transport solution in the new terminals – a key requirement of both customers. RWG has also placed orders with Terex Port Solutions for the type of ASC Automated Stacking Cranes already in use in Antwerp Gateway and the newly developed Cantilever ASCs, which will be used for housekeeping in the container stackyard.
Thanks to these two orders, Terex Port Solutions is now involved in six automated container terminals – more than any other manufacturer worldwide. For Terex Port Solutions, these two new orders are a continuation of other projects already implemented in two terminals at the Maasvlakte site, where approximately 350 Terex® Gottwald AGVs have been in use for many years in horizontal container transport. Klaus Peter Hoffmann, Leader of the recently created Terex Port Solutions business group, explains: “These two orders represent milestones for us along the road to greater interest from the market and a steady increase in the implementation of automated terminals. They also underline the fact that world-leader terminal operators, such as APM Terminals and RWG, are confidently implementing our innovative technologies, including Green Range drives, which have been proven through reliable reference projects.”
Horizontal container transport using active Battery Lift AGVs
Battery Lift AGVs blend two new developments made by Terex Port Solutions in recent years. By adding twin lifting platforms to the existing AGV and a series of racks in the quayside interchange zone for the stacking cranes, the container transport and stacking processes are decoupled from each other. The active Battery Lift AGVs no longer have to wait between jobs, thereby reducing the number of AGVs required and increasing the productivity of the entire system.
Using the battery-powered drive trains that Terex Port Solutions has been testing for 12 months under “live” terminal operation conditions, eliminates local exhaust gases including CO2, NOx and particle emissions from these machines in terminals. It also reduces noise levels significantly and enables much more economical operation, since the vehicles consume only a fraction of the energy that diesel-powered vehicles would consume during idle time. In addition, if the terminal draws its electricity from regenerative energy sources, the owners benefit from an improved life cycle assessment. Hoffmann explains, “The Battery Lift AGV automatically brings with it both operational and environmental advantages, which means it meets the market requirements for sustainable operation in terminals close to towns and residential areas.”
The scope of delivery for the first expansion stage of the APM Terminals project includes 37 Battery Lift AGVs, equipped with recyclable lead-acid batteries that are designed for long operation periods, and two fully-automated battery-changing stations to provide excellent availability of the entire transport system. Both the battery-powered drive train and a prototype battery-changing station have been successfully trialled under tough day-to-day terminal operation. The Battery Lift AGVs for APM Terminals will, for the first time, also be servicing the new rail terminal, which extends the degree of automation of this customer's handling operations.
RWG has ordered 59 Battery Lift AGVs and two automated battery-changing stations for the first stage of its new terminal on the Maasvlakte II site. APM Terminals and RWG are both to be equipped with wireless LAN communication systems including the full transmission network, transponders for the AGV apron surface, a fence control system, a fault monitoring & diagnosis system (FMDS) and the TEAMS automated equipment management system, which, for the first time, incorporates the transport job scheduling activities for the stacking cranes and Battery Lift AGVs. This enables Terex Port Solutions to coordinate the individual moves for horizontal transport ideally with those in the stacking area, which results in additional improvements in terminal performance.
Further enhancements to ASC Automated Stacking Cranes and the new Cantilever ASCs
Deploying ASC Automated Stacking Cranes in container stackyards in large terminals provides increased stacking density and, as a consequence, reduced land use, high-speed access and rapid container storage & retrieval. Automated Terex® Gottwald stacking cranes are engineered to be robust and are equipped with a rigid load guidance system, consisting of fixed portal legs on both sides and a vertical beam. This concept provides very high positioning accuracy even in severe conditions, such as winds of up to force 10 Bft, without the need for visual positioning facilities.
The total of 50 ASCs for RWG are designed as 1-over-5 cranes with an external power supply (terminal mains) and will be deployed in 25 stacks as Twin ASCs, which only require one set of rails for two cranes. Sixteen of the 25 container stacks, each of which is ten containers wide, will be fitted with two conventional ASCs which will work hand-in-hand with the Battery Lift AGVs in the quayside interchange zones. On the landside, the ASCs are equipped with an improved version of the Fully Automated Truck Loading System (FATS) which allows road trucks to be loaded and unloaded fully automatically, a system that has been in successful operation in Antwerp Gateway for several years.
The remaining nine stacks are each equipped with two of the new Cantilever ASCs which span 12 container rows. Since these modules are intended to boost quayside handling rates, the Cantilever ASCs service both the waterside interchange zone between the crane legs and a Battery Lift AGV loading bay running parallel to the container stack. The Lift AGVs that travel to the Cantilever ASCs are serviced by the crane using its Cantilever, significantly reducing the average handling time per container move.
In addition to the ASCs and Cantilever ASCs, Terex Port Solutions is supplying the entire electrical installation on the ground for the quayside and landside interchange zones and for the safety relevant access control systems for the reefer stack. “For the orders placed by APM Terminals and RWG, we are once again blending proven automation technologies with new, customer-specific developments. In this way, we are reaffirming our status as the technological pacesetter in terminal automation”, concludes Klaus Peter Hoffmann.