Lase has launched the Lase Unremoved Cone Detection (UCD) system, which detects whether twistlocks are still connected to the container while being from terminal chassis by yard cranes.
Following a successful trial, PNC Busan Port has ordered 69 units of the system, which also detects open doors of containers.
The laser specialist highly recommends the system, which is retrofittable for existing equipment, for automated yards where crane drivers do not need to observe the process anymore.
Jason Hwang, engineering team leader at PNC Terminal, said: “It’s well engineered system and we’re looking forward in preventing the safety risk in our terminal.”
The LaseUCD is being implemented on the terminal’s complete fleet of automatic rail-mounted gantry (RTG) cranes.
Lars Ambrosy, CEO of Lase, added: “Due to the previous success of our system for truck lifting prevention [PNC Terminal] asked us to develop such a system in order prevent double container lifts and to have a safe operation.”
Container terminals often find that twistlocks are not completely taken out and hence, they stay attached to the container after being unloaded from the vessel.
In total, more than 2bn twistlocks are removed manually worldwide each year, noted Lase, therefore creating a potential risk.
When a container with twistlocks is transported to the yard and lowered onto another box, it will be locked with the latter container by the self-locking function of the twistlock (interbox connector).
Later when picking up this container, both boxes are lifted up at the same time. Consequently, during crane travel over the yard other containers can be hit and fall into the yard or truck lanes.
This can cause material damage to the container, the material inside the container and in the worst case it can lead to deadly accidents when containers fall into the truck lane.
The LaseUCD, built to prevent lifts with connected containers, consists of two 2D laser scanners which are mounted at the sill beam of a yard crane at a height of around 5 m above the truck lane.
Both 2D laser scanners build a horizontal scan plane in direction to the truck lane. When a container is hoisted from the truck chassis by the yard crane it passes the scan plane where the profile of the container is scanned.
The scan data is processed in the LaseUCD application software, generating a 3D point cloud of the container in the first step.
If any obstacle underneath the container protrudes from the container, it is an indicator that one or more twistlocks are still connected to the container.
In both cases the application software sends an alarm signal to the PLC in order to stop the crane hoist move and to undertake a visual inspection of the detected container issue.
Hoist moves with skew, tilt or trim angles of the container under the spreader do not have any influence on reliability, noted Lase. Neither do container type (20, 40 or 45ft) nor different twistlock designs.