Konecranes and Fluidmesh Networks announce that they have joined forces and successfully carried out proof-of-concept testing of fully wireless communication for the Konecranes Automated RTG system. This breakthrough allows container terminal operators to roll out remote control and automation to RTGs in the container yard without running fiber or cable spools, with substantial savings in cost and time.
Port and container terminal operators have been embracing automation to increase productivity and give better working conditions to their employees. Many of the newest and largest container terminals have been adopting some level of automation and support for remote operations: from ship-to-shore cranes, to horizontal transport, to automated stacking cranes.
However, this has not been the case for RTGs, which are widely used in container terminals around the world. Much of the world’s RTG fleet is diesel-powered, and there have been limited options for automating RTGs given the fact that running cables to them is costly and often unpractical. Konecranes and Fluidmesh have been working closely to solve the connectivity challenge, creating a new opportunity for container terminal operators.
The automation solution for RTGs comes as part of the Konecranes ARTG 2.0 system update, which was in development for over two years with thousands of hours of field testing. Fluidmesh MPLS-based wireless technology has been used to guarantee low latency and high throughput to the RTGs for control and live-video data. The system has been designed to operate on licensed as well as unlicensed frequencies around the world, providing north of 99.95% uptime in real working conditions.
“We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with a leader like Konecranes and contribute to a system that helps container terminal operators around the world to embrace automation and drive the productivity of their RTGs,” comments Cosimo Malesci, Fluidmesh Co-Founder and EVP Sales and Marketing. “Our wireless MPLS-based technology has been proven in many vehicle automation systems around the world where 802.11 WiFi or LTE haven’t been able to deliver. Our focus on seamless roaming, extremely low latency and high throughput wireless networks to drive productivity, safety, and security continues to pay off. We are truly honored to have been able to deliver such performance to the container terminal space.”
“We have been impressed by Fluidmesh Wireless MPLS technology since day one,” comments Sampo Pihkala, Chief System Engineer ARTG at Konecranes. “We have been testing many different wireless technologies for crane operations over the last decade and the throughput and reliability delivered by Fluidmesh is unparalleled. Being able to work with a company that truly understands the requirements and challenges in the OT and port automation space has helped us to bring a truly innovative solution to the market in record time.”
This cooperation with Fluidmesh is part of Konecranes’ path to port automation, where container terminals improve productivity and safety in manageable steps. From smart features up to full automation, the path can include supervised operation and remote operation to smoothly introduce the power of automation. The path to port automation applies to all container handling equipment brands. Full automation can be the final goal but it doesn’t have to be. Flexibility is the key.