Standardisation is needed to speed up deployment, radically shorten start-up times, and simplify the maintenance of highly complex automated systems, according to the president of Kalmar.
Antti Kaunonen said we need to be able to copy and paste standardised solutions from one execution to another, instead of reinventing the wheel over and over again for each terminal and the terminal industry needs to do more to help build an industry-wide standards framework, alongside technology and service providers.
He stressed that “despite all our efforts, we – or even us and all our competitors together – can’t do it alone. As solution and service providers, we simply can’t build an industry-wide standards framework as fast as it is needed, if such a framework is not urgently demanded by the industry; i.e., our customers. The terminal industry needs to sit up and do more on this front.”
Internal processes important
As well as defining the protocols through which various systems interoperate, safety and reliability, building workable industry standards for container terminal automation extend to internal processes and basic questions including how do we define what is a ‘container move per hour’.
“Even these elementary concepts need to be standardised, if we want to measure and track performance data consistently at automated terminals, let alone evaluate and compare this data as part of continuous process optimisation,” stated Mr Kaunonen.
He added that currently, the actual development of standards is still completely in the hands of the suppliers, but “to make real progress, now, across the entire industry, we need the active participation of our end customers.”