The MT depot of the future
Container terminal automation is reaching a mature stage of development and most new projects incorporate some elements of automation.
One of the new areas for process opt mizat on that until now has been mainly ignored is the handling and storage of empty containers. Whilst the optimization of empty container flows has received widespread attention, the cost to shipping lines for depots to process and handle empty containers is hidden within the total of container repositioning. The crucial role in the process of preparing an empty for delivery to the next client or for repositioning to another location is the ‘Empty Container Depot’.
Traditionally depots have consisted of minimal civil infrastructure and have relied on ‘Empty Container Handlers(ECHs)’with basic inventory systems and have been limited to the extent to which they can optimize their processes. Typically, empty container depot operations are performed in an ad hoc manner and achieve low levels of efficiency.
Recognizing the mature state of container equipment automation, the Kramer Group sought to assess how to implement automated handling processes within empty container depots.
In 2017, the Kramer Group assisted by Solid Port Solutions started to develop plans for the first fully automated empty depot, this resulted in the New Generation Robotized Empty Depot (NG-RED™).
The main principle of the design is based on well proven overhead bridge crane (OHBC) technology.
The OHBC gauge of 30 metres covers four TEU wide stacks with containers stored perpendicular to the gantry driving directon. Each OHBC lane has the same specifcaton and covers both stacking areas, as well as separate areas for empty depot services such as inspecton, cleaning and repair.
The service areas are within fenced zones that allow the blocking of automated OHBCs from working within a zone when workers are present.
NG-RED is a combinaton of existing technologies, the majority of which are commonly found in automated yard systems for deep sea terminals.
The system is also comparable to those found in assembly line systems for the product fabricaton of products where workers are constantly found working alongside automated equipment.
A container can go to the available yard when it gets the status “Available” directly from inspecton or afer the required services are executed.
The main advantage of the yard system is the density;
there is no space needed for roads for the ECH’s and containers can be piled eight high.
The storage capacity is calculated to be at least 40% more than traditonal depot systems.
The containers will be stored in blocks of the same client, type size and conditon for use.
In such blocks, the containers can be densely stacked with the automated OHBC minimizing wasted space between container tiers.
The blocks can vary in width, but are planned to be a maximum of six wide to support the use of FIFO (frst in, frst out) principles to prevent aging of certain boxes.
For more details please download the article from the porttechnology.org website
To download the article click HERE
Or visit the Intermodal website where during the Intermodal Europe 2018 the design has been extensively discussed
To visit the Intermodal website to learn more about this unique concept click HERE
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