Category: Automation

Shipping: Automation bears the cudgel of safe-keeping


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Image Courtesy: Huawei

Not long ago, we would hear news of ships running aground for different reasons. Sometimes it was the corals, sometimes the depth was not gauged properly, the maneuvering was underdetermined, human error – as they call it. However, the ships did not stop and nor did the super technological advancement. Today, technology’s most appropriate companion is precision; and this promises the best results for any vertical of business.

Looking at the present-day shipping industry – it accounts for around 60% of the world’s total businesses and has a growth rate of over 6% per annum. The industry has grown to have bigger ships, more container volume, and faster automation software and hardware for loading and unloading ships.

But as rightly said, success comes along it’s flip side which has more difficult-to-crack challenges. Same with the shipping arena, there came along the issue of management, tampering, evacuation, short-haul transportation crunch, missing paperwork, wrong deliveries and the threat of infiltration besides other threats.

One miss and millions of dollars go down-the-ditch and problems of mammoth magnitude starts to stare in the face. Thus, to avert this there is an entire army of thousands of people, computers, equipment and investors who are constantly monitoring technological upkeep.

Of the many new buzzes is the digital manifest devices. This is an improvised way and a replacement for the paper manifests. These can be connected to the port’s network and be reviewed on the cloud itself. This takes care of all the missing paperwork, certifications, warnings, and safe-inspection protocols.

Another buzz is automation inside the port

Some people from the sector are working on Automated Fixed Guideway technology.   It will be a warehouse shuttling system, pick-up and drop-off via an automated robotic system. Take an inside automated warehouse system and move the containers outside. This technological system can pick up the containers from the STS train or back stack areas; goes outside the port and intermodal yard or rail yard. What this has to do with safety, well, everything.

The system leads to less human interference thus ruling out a big chance of leaks; it is several times stronger than the cranes that have in the past faced crash issues. Thus, a fool-proof, safe and reliable system for intra-port movement of the containers.

Another important tech-solution to ensure safety of the people at port and also of the machines deployed there is known as the brake thruster. They say it is not new, yes, that’s true but definitely the thrusters have undergone immense change and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it has emerged as one of the most essentials, at the port, especially in times of power outage or any such emergency situations.

There are many usages of the brakes at a port but it tops the list when it comes to “heavy” containers. Research papers put it as: “Intelligent, fully-connected braking systems of tomorrow”.

Automation is the way forward to a much safer and reliable future of the shipping industry. Automated ports ensure that there is enhanced operation security, faster response to any unforeseen circumstance and also, ensures that the work goes on!

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