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Ports of Auckland goes live with Konecranes automation project

Ports of Auckland goes live with Konecranes automation project
The manual to automated equipment transfer area

The first phase of the Ports of Auckland’s (POAL) straddle carrier (SC) automation project has gone live, featuring a mixed fleet of manual and automated machines and boosting terminal capacity from 900,000 teu per year to 1.4m teu.

Having gone live in June, the blended fleet of 24 enhanced manual SCs and 27 new automated Konecranes Noell Straddle Carriers (A-STRADs) had successfully service 26 container ships by September.

Cooperation between the terminal and Konecranes ensured container handling efficiency while reliability was not compromised throughout the ramp-up at New Zealand’s busiest import port.

The fleet of manned SCs were equipped with additional safety control systems that work seamlessly with TBA’s TEAMS Equipment Control System.

The new software ensures the entire fleet, whether manual or automated, can be supervised using one management system.

Konecranes equipment and TBA’s terminal and equipment software work hand-in-glove so that simulations, testing and ramp-up are as seamless as possible. In this way optimal system performance is swiftly achieved according to the manufacturer.

Blending an entirely manual fleet of SCs (many already 10 years old) with the 27 new A-STRADs required several changes to the port’s operations and infrastructure.

This included building the new truck gates operated by the A-STRADs and setting up an interchange area for the “handshake” between the SCs and A-STRADs.

Ralf Konnerth, director, Konecranes Automated Horizontal Transport, commented: “In close cooperation with the POAL team, we designed the port’s sectors first-ever dynamic, fenceless and fail-safe interchange area.

“The innovative system allows stack shuffling between manual SCs and A-STRADs and saves the customer substantial costs in civil works.”