Terex Port Solutions (TPS) has received a milestone order for automated container-handling equipment for terminals. Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), Hong Kong, China, has placed an order for a turn-key package, comprising 72 environmentally-aware battery powered Terex® Gottwald Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), along with fleet management software for the AGVs, and a battery-changing station for use in the company’s Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT), California, USA. The equipment is to be used in a completely new terminal that is currently being constructed by combining and reassigning existing terminal space and other land in the Long Beach port. With this new installation, Terex Port Solutions is now heavily involved in seven automated container terminals worldwide. This new order is not only the first for AGVs and associated equipment that has ever been placed from outside Europe, it is, at the same time, a premiere for Terex Gottwald automated container-handling solutions in the USA.
Steve Filipov, President of the Terex Material Handling & Port Solutions business segment, is pleased with this development in his home country: “This order placed by our customer, OOCL, is a logical step. We have been established among leading European terminal operators for several decades as a manufacturer and supplier of AGV technology. We consider it to be confirmation of our commitment that we have now been awarded this prestigious order, allowing us to contribute such high-grade, environmentally-aware engineering to the new low-emissions Californian container handling project. The order from OOCL affirms our position in this increasingly important market.”
Battery AGVs bridge the gap between STS and container stackyard cranes
The Terex Gottwald Battery AGVs for use in Long Beach take over the task of moving containers horizontally from the quayside to the stackyard. Each vehicle has a capacity of 70 tonnes and can transfer all standard ISO containers, including 45′ containers, from the ship-to-shore cranes to the yard, or vice versa. The first batch will be delivered to Long Beach from early 2014 and, soon after, will commence commercial operations. The remaining vehicles are to be delivered in batches over the coming years.
Environmentally-aware container handling
Emission-free Battery AGVs are fully compatible with OOCL’s environmental vision and core value of environmental stewardship. They are also ideally suited for use in the State of California which is well-known for its strict approach to environmental legislation. The machines exceed the requirements of the Port of Long Beach by avoiding CO2, NOX and particle emissions, in line with the Port’s sustainable environmental policies.
As was also the case with orders from European terminal operators, the order includes a battery-changing station, incorporating a pair of storage and retrieval machines operating on a single rail, which allows the batteries of two Battery AGVs to be swapped out simultaneously and highly efficiently. The unit allows the 11-tonne cell packs to be changed fully automatically.
Terminal software solutions
As well as the hardware, Terex Port Solutions will also be supplying the necessary software, including navigation and fleet management software as integral parts of the package for operating the Battery AGVs. In addition, the delivery includes the fleet management software for the new ship-to-shore and stackyard cranes which, as emphasised by Steve Filipov, “demonstrates that leading terminal operators not only count on handling machines made by TPS but also on our tailored software solutions.”
Continuous development in AGV technology – focused on the environment and efficient handling
At the end of the 1980s, Terex Port Solutions was the first company to produce AGVs, for commercial use in ports and terminals and has received orders for some 600 of these vehicles to date. In cooperation with various customers, TPS has continued to develop the machines and produce the corresponding software.
In recent years, Terex Port Solutions has pursued two parallel development paths. In view of the changed process requirements in some terminals, TPS had initially presented the Lift AGV. This enhancement meant that, by adding a pair of lifting platforms to a conventional AGV and installing container racks in the quayside interchange zones in front of the container stackyard cranes, the processes of container transport and container storage could be decoupled, which eliminated waiting time for the Lift AGVs and the stackyard cranes.
In parallel with this development, TPS dedicated itself to replacing the diesel-hydraulic drive train with a diesel-electric unit, which was then followed by a production-ready battery powered drive train. As a result, Terex Port Solutions can now boast a modular range of AGV products that perfectly meets the specific requirements of all such terminals.