Italy’s first, fully-automated gantry cranes reach Vado Ligure
Italy’s first ARMG (Automated rail mounted gantry cranes) have reached APM Terminals Vado Ligure. These will be used in the new Container Terminal due for completion in 2019. The long journey to Italy started in China in January and included stops in South Africa and the UK.
These six cranes are the first of 21 cranes to be delivered. These fully automated Gantry Cranes are the most technologically advanced in the terminal. In addition to their considerable size (they can handle up to six stacked containers), they are operated remotely by highly specialised operators who work from a control room, which is currently under construction.
Compared to standard specifications, APM Terminals requested around 20% customisation to meet its specific requirements. The cranes will move lengthways along 600-metre long rails.
No other port operator in Italy uses this kind of crane. And even within Europe, they are rare. Worldwide, fully automated port terminals have only started to appear over the last three to four years.
Combination of technology and a skilled workforce
“This is another key step towards the completion of the new Vado Ligure Terminal, a facility where human resources and the latest technology combine to ensure an effective, safe and environmentally friendly service for international markets,” says APM Terminals S.p.A. Managing Director, Paolo Cornetto.
Human intervention will, of course, still be fundamental: other than monitoring and coordinating the cranes movements, teams of operators will deal with periodical maintenance which is a fundamental activity. For these highly specialised professional operators, APM Terminals has implemented training courses which will start in the next months.
Unloading of the six cranes in the port of Vado took operators around 10 days. Routine testing will now follow. APM Terminals is making considerable progress with its platforms and processes to maximise output from these cranes and achieve related energy savings.
Three kinds of cranes will operate at the terminal:
- “Straddle carriers”, already on site, intended for the horizontal handling of containers, from the port quay to the yard and vice versa
- “ARMG” cranes, for the handling of containers within the yard
- Ship to shore cranes, for the loading and unloading of containers from the vessel to the port quay and vice versa
Straddle carriers and ship to shore cranes will be operated by operators on board.