Feb 2018

Navis to host automation summit


The event, which kicks off in London on the evening of March 12, followed by a day of seminars March 13, aims to “bring together many of the world’s largest automated and semi-automated ports and terminals, along with executives and experts from Navis, to discuss the current state of terminal automation and how operators can capitalize on the next wave of innovation,” Navis stated. Details are available here.

There is a lot of automation technology on the market today, but putting together an integrated hardware and software system remains a significant challenge. Navis notes that “not all ports and terminals are taking advantage of the new technology and equipment at the same pace and many are struggling to achieve the true potential that automation holds. During the summit, more than 50 participants will attend informative sessions and workshops aimed at taking a deeper dive into the benefits of today’s technology, share their automation success stories and operational struggles and envision the potential for even greater disruption in the industry in the years to come”.

Speaking with WorldCargo News, Scott Peoples, Chief Product Officer at Navis said the overall theme of the event is “crossing the chasm”, reflecting the wider industry challenge of how to take terminal automation a new level where it is more productive and easier to implement.

It is widely recognised that this process would be aided by a greater level of standardisation across automation projects, particularly at the TOS and software level. The automation landscape, however, is far from settled, and Peoples notes that “there is still a lot of innovation” in the designs and systems some terminals want to implement. At the same time vendors like Navis have been stressing the benefits of “staying within the walls” of existing, already developed systems.

The summit is a chance for terminal operators better understand what is available from Navis today and hear from their peers about the pros and cons of different approaches to customisation and implementing new technology. The event is also a chance, added Peoples, for terminals to inform Navis about priorities for future development, their expectations in respect of automation software, and debate the possibility of agreeing on standards.

In the afternoon the summit features a workshop on Next Generation UX/UI in terminal automation. Carlos Barbera, Sr. Director, TOS Product Management said this is a chance for Navis to share some of its ideas on insights on next generation systems. Terminal automation, he noted, changes jobs in IT and operations, and the user experience and user interface needs to evolve with that change. This can mean, for example, finding new ways to integrate data from different systems like the TOS and crane control systems, and finding better ways to present relevant operational data from different systems to an operator during exception handling, for example.

Navis also plans to share some of the work it has been doing exploring how different concepts including pattern recognition and other visualisation technologies could be leveraged to display information from the TOS and other applications in way that improves the effectiveness of automated terminal staff.