Innovation in Terminal Automation
Ever since 1993, when European Container Terminals in The Netherlands, launched the world’s first automated terminal, the industry has been both fascinated and skeptical about the prospects for automated container handling. In keeping with its history of innovation and leadership in technology, Navis SPARCS supported operations in automated terminals like Euromax and Virginia International Gateway. Equipment automation is not anymore the province of the pioneering few with deep pockets to fund big, in-house development and implementation teams. Growing experience (and competition) within the commercial sector is driving down costs and the terminal industry is now able to draw on a growing skills base. As Equipment Automation is becoming more of a main stay, Navis went back to the drawing board and built a new optimization framework for automated terminals on the open and extensible N4 platform.
The N4 TOS has evolved to become the "master brain" of a complex technological landscape typical of an automated terminal. The new Automation solution includes:
- An open and flexible interface that enables seamless integration with providers of complementary technologies such as the Equipment Control Systems and Quay Crane Automation Systems.
- A flexible and extensible, sophisticated optimization solution for holistically scheduling and dispatching automated equipment. This solution is built on top of commercially proven technologies specifically designed to solve complex optimization problems.
- Newly designed and engineering user-interface that is mobile and touch enabled.
The architecture of the new Automation solution enables Navis to support new Automated Equipment types such as Automated Shuttles, Auto RTGs and Auto Straddles further solidifying Navis’ position as a provider of innovative technology solutions. The N4 automation solution is already live at two fully automated terminals in Rotterdam and is expected to be deployed in more terminals making Navis the leading provider of commercial TOS for automated terminals.