Monthly Archives: June 2015

Four Stages of Big Data Exploitation in Container Terminals

Four Stages of Big Data Exploitation in Container Terminals

“Big data” refers to the data sets that can be described as ubiquitous or found anywhere. This article summarizes the possible sources of big data in container terminals and how this information can be used in improving the overall efficiency of container terminals.
 

Exploiting big data with a view to ensuring an accurate data analysis and improving responses to situations for terminals

The key software for operating a container terminal is the terminal operating system or TOS. A TOS manages processes from documentation, planning, execution of vessel operations and billing. The amount of data handled by the TOS is limited to inventory changes, work plans and sequences for dispatching jobs. Much more data is generated in terminals, including those from sensors and programmable logic controllers that have been built into cargo handling equipment deployed in such facilities. This data however, mostly remains under-processed or under-analyzed to be of real value.

TOS & Big Data

TOS & Big Data

Big data platform has been suggested with a view to collecting, storing, and analyzing various data that occurs from container terminals but is volatile enough to disappear quickly. This processed data can then be used meaningfully in the operation of the terminal. With big data platform in place, not only TOS information but also signals related to crane position and status and GPS position signal (if any) can be managed as data. Also, a lot of variables present in a terminal such as time, seasons, weather, temperature, humidity, and driver’s condition can be collected, processed and used as well.

Big data goes beyond its literal meaning of an enormous amount of data and may be defined as data that has a large volume, a short life cycle, and a great variety of attributes. Provided that big data is applied in container terminals, it can be exploited as a useful tool for analyzing past operational data. This can help to reduce risks and costs by viewing it in relation to the current conditions and in forecasting activities in the future.

 

Four stages in the exploitation of big data in terminals

If applied in a terminal, the general development of big data platform can be configured in four stages as shown below.

Step of Big Data in Terminal Industry

Step of Big Data in Terminal Industry

Stage 1 (Data Gathering): Data + System = Information

Any event or situation that can occur during operation can be a source of terminal data. This information is obtained in a three-step process: first by applying devices that can measure different conditions; second by having an environment that transmit measured data; and third by using a system that can store and manage the transmitted data.

[For example, GPS sensor is installed in a yard truck to gather location data in the formats of time stamp, sensor ID, and send these values to big data storage, using the terminal’s WiFi network.]

Stage 2 (Meaning of Information): Information + Experience = Knowledge

After the information acquired and saved in stage 1 has been identified, it can be reprocessed further by applying conditions gathered from actual experience. Thus the information is converted into knowledge.

[For example, one decides in which area (in relative location; e.g., 1A-31) a vehicle (in absolute location; e.g., 34.5678, 75.3454) is located and if it is the location for the task at hand, based on the location data for the yard truck that is acquired stage 1.]

Stage 3 (Knowledge Integration): Knowledge + Intuition = Wisdom

This is about analyzing knowledge that is accumulated through Stage 1 and Stage 2 and collecting and connecting all batches of data. The resulting system-generated information can then be in making guided decisions.

[For example, when traffic is heavy on the road leading to a destination, information is provided to help a motorist avoid crowded roads and take a less-congested one. Or, work orders are delivered to ensure speedier performance by a yard truck depending on yard status.]

Stage 4 (Wisdom-Based Prediction): Wisdom + Imagination = Creation

In this stage, one forecasts and simulates special circumstances that can develop from the current situation of a terminal. This is done by performing a comprehensive analysis of the wisdom about terminal operation that has been accumulated in Stage 3. By adding imagination (new attempts and new technology) to this wisdom, one can ensure creative terminal operation by forecasting unexpected situations on the job through simulation.

[For example, by simulating work implementation prior to the arrival of a container ship, one can predict the number of cranes and trucks that has to be allotted to tasks, operators to be assigned to the yard, and the severity of congestion at the gate.]

 

System support is necessary for big data exploitation

In this article we have reviewed the four stages of big data adoption in terminals. The stages are distinguished according to the level of exploitation of big data. Even if the concept of big data is applied to a terminal, it is not going to develop right away to Stage 3 or 4 immediately. To reach a higher stage, one must amass enough know-how and experience related to big data exploitation.

With the increasing interest in an automation system that can supplement the existing TOS, larger amounts of data can be accumulated and these can be converted to useful information that can be employed terminal operation. More and more terminals are rushing to introduce big data-based automation systems as a means of equipping themselves with the differentiated competitive edge resulting in reduced operation costs and improved ability to respond to situations.

Then, what factors do terminals have to have to collect big data? In our next article, we are going to take a look at terminal network and positioning technology, the basic factors of collection of various data in a terminal.

 

Posted by Namhoon Jung, a manager of Terminal Automation Team, who has more than 20 years of maritime and IT experience. Be sure to follow me on Linkedin.

 

If you have more information about big data in container terminal, please contact us.

CyberLogitec Contact

 

Container Terminal Automation Competition Going On

Container Terminal Automation Competition Going On.

 

As competition intensifies among terminals, demand is increasing for container terminal automation in order to secure competitiveness for terminals. And terminal automation can be realized not only for terminals that have adopted automated container handling equipment (CHE) but also for those that are using conventional CHE. In this article, we are going to give a quick look at the background to the development of terminal automation, and then, we’ll check the role of the system in the terminals that have adopted automated and conventional CHE, respectively.

 

Terminal automation: from a terminal marketing tool into a competitive element

Despite numerous attempts made for last half-century after the arrival of quay crane and RTG designed for container terminal operation, container terminal operation remains nearly the same as it was then. But, one single word that represents the most important change to container terminal operation is perhaps ‘automation’. The automation of container terminals, which was led by several technical pioneers, focused on mechanical automation designed for unmanned operation of giant machines and horizontal transports, and newly adopted advanced technology has served a major marketing tool for newly opening terminals. Today, however, competition seems to be starting in container terminal automation.

 

Various initiatives in automated terminals

Technologically speaking, it is believed that the standard for terminal automation which adopted perpendicularly arranged blocks and used ASC and AGV was created through the two attempts at ECT (1991) and CTA (2001). In fact, automation is diversifying into such types as the automation using a straddle carrier, application of a shuttle carrier that replaces AGV, the automation of RMG and RTG, and the automation of STS container cranes. The high labor cost in advanced countries was a major rationale for introducing the automation but nowadays, the type and level of automation are decided while taking into consideration a variety of factors such as the status of other terminals that compete in the same area, the size of transshipment cargo, invested fund, and operating costs during a life cycle.

 

Improvement of TOS is necessary to enhance the usability of automated CHE

While a lot of CHE manufacturers are lately releasing automated CHE that boasts advanced features in response to the changing conditions, there also exist barriers to entry that are detrimental to market penetration. It’s because adopting automated CHE does not mean simply acquiring an automated machine that replaces manual CHE. While conventional operation may rely on a driver’s manual reporting of job confirmation with terminal operating system (TOS) playing the key role, applying automated CHE requires TOS and automated CHE to automate driver action process through M2M (machine to machine). In other words, one has to create a broader terminal operating system that organically combines TOS and automated CHE, which needs to diversify infrastructure including industrial wireless network. Things become more complicated, especially if expanding an existing conventional terminal adds automated CHE or if automated CHE and manual CHE are mixed in operation as when a new terminal automates yard crane only. It is because automated CHE that can be controlled by a system behaves differently from CHE that is driven by a human who has free will.

 

Expanding control system for supplementing TOS functions

In adapting to the development, TOS providers have put in a lot of effort to improve functions and have racked up some achievements. However, since even those experienced leading TOS market players are not able to single-handedly conduct automation equipment monitoring and all of the control features owing to the system architecture of TOS, they perform an automated terminal project through third control systems such as TBA’s TEAMS and CyberLogitec’s Eagle Eye that functionally combine excellently with TOS.

 

Realizing terminal automation by using conventional CHE which includes PDS

And container terminal automation is not possible only through the adoption of unmanned CHE. It is a highly meaningful method of automation that at once contributes to the social value of job creation to realize process automation by adding PDS (position determination system) to a new or existing conventional CHE instead of acquiring very costly automated CHE in planning the automation of new terminals or existing conventional terminals. It can get the same visibility as when automated CHE is acquired by not only preventing mis-operation due to a user’s mistake or delayed job completion date through automating container hand-off process with PDS, but also having the system actively guide a driver through VMT in accordance with pre-defined process and actively intervene to solve problems.

Eagle Eye, the container terminal operating system measuring performance effectively

Eagle Eye, the container terminal operating system measuring performance effectively

As various automated CHE and concepts for their operation are presented for container terminal automation, market players are competing more and more intensively to fulfill terminal operators’ mission, which consists in cost saving, productivity improvement, safer operation, and social contribution.

 

 

Posted by Namhoon Jung, a manager of Terminal Automation Team, who has more than 20 years of maritime and IT experience. Be sure to follow me on Linkedin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CyberLogitec Contact

 

 

World IT Show review (2) – Operating Eco-Friendly Ships: IT-Related SCR System Designed to Reduce Engine Exhaust from Ships

World IT Show review (2) – Operating Eco-Friendly Ships: IT-Related SCR System Designed to Reduce Engine Exhaust from Ships

 

In general, large ships use a lot of oil. This means that they cause serious environmental pollution. And what accounts for a considerable portion of the pollutants is NOx. They are introducing an ever tighter emission limit on NOx, and starting in 2016, International Maritime Organizatio (IMO) will adopt a drastically strengthened regulation for NOx. Moreover, we need to brace up for expansion of ECA (Emission Control Areas). As there exists a study that has developed a way to improve on the matters, we’d like to share it with you.

NOx Regulation

NOx Regulation

NOx is quite common, as it is included in automobile exhaust. When it comes to ships, however, it’s a totally different story. For NOx discharged from ships is no to be compared in quantity to the gas emitted from automobiles. Increasing efforts are put in addressing such environmental questions, and the spotlight lately given on green IT ships is getting related research in full gear. Thus, people have embarked on initiatives to upgrade to eco-friendly and green ships.

The research team got their hint from the fact that NOx decomposes when it reacts with “AdBlue” urea solution, that is, ammonia. Consequently, the researchers came to think that they could develop a filtering system which would decompose NOx. And they named it SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system and a reaction mechanism.

Reduce NOx gas

Reduce NOx gas

The research team applied solution polymerization and thereby succeeded in synthesizing WO3 powder with nanoparticles designed for NOx gas sensor. The powder is attached to the sensor to detect NOx, and the sensor automatically sprays “AdBlue” urea solution (ammonia) to the ceramic filter. When this filtering system is installed in the exhaust outlet, the discharged NOx automatically converts to nitrogen and water as it goes through the filter.

Currently, ceramic filter and nano powder have been developed. And by working further on the project, they aim to create a total system that will include detection sensor, control, and injector.

WO3 powder for engine exhaust

WO3 powder for engine exhaust

The process is as follows. The generated NOx passes through the filter, which has been developed with the team’s technology. Here, spraying WO3 powder will select NOx out. And ammonia meets the NOx to decompose it into nitrogen and water. Once the method is adopted, it will significantly reduce the amount of NOx that is discharged out of ships.

NOx ceramic filter

NOx ceramic filter

Countries of the world are expected to enforce ever tighter regulations on environmental pollution, and in response, various pollutant reduction technologies and processes will be developed. And, as addressed in one of our earlier articles, they are also trying to use new materials in lightening ships and thereby reducing pollutants generated in the ships. We expect that such eco-friendly technologies designed to reduce pollutants or improve ship efficiency will come along, not only with shipyards and ship-related technology firms, but also through technology development and reorganization of fleet operating strategy by shipping companies.
 

If you have more questions about maritime solutions and consulting, please contact us by pushing the button below.

CyberLogitec Contact

 

This article is exhibited by ICT & Shipbuilding Convergence Research Center in World IT Show and shared here with his approval.

World IT Show review (1) – Aluminum Alloy Composite Material for Ships, Coming with Both High Strength and Ductility

World IT Show review (1) – Aluminum Alloy Composite Material for Ships, Coming with Both High Strength and Ductility

 

In the last week of May, CyberLogiteckers visited World IT Show held in Seoul. Today, we’re going to talk about our tour of the event. For there were a lot of interesting exhibitions available at the venue. We had to keep our eyes locked on trends in various areas of IT such as 3D printer, wearable devices, 5G, FinTech, healthcare, and IoT.

Notably, we spotted an interesting ship-related material which was presented by a college research lab, and we’re going to talk about this. As we all know, most of the existing ships are made of fibre-reinforced plastic, or FRP. And the aluminum alloy has been developed as an improvement on this.

As for existing ships, they cannot be recycled when they are old. So, the ships have been entirely disposed of or recycled as scrap iron. This isn’t easy. And it’s not eco-friendly.

Aluminum Alloy Composite Material for Ships

A photo image of aluminum alloy material

 

Using aluminum and involved problems

So, we have put the issue in a different perspective. How about building a ship with a greener material? And we have come to think of an aluminum-based ship. If we build a ship with aluminum, we can significantly raise the recirculation ratio. Besides, it makes a ship relatively light. So, a ship’s speed can go up.

But, aluminum has a serious drawback. While iron can be welded, it is not easy to weld aluminum. So, it is difficult to connect aluminum pieces through conventional welding. Another problem is its low strength. And this creates the disadvantage of reduced stability. Since it registers low levels of formability and weldability, it increases assembly cost. Hence the development of a method that would address the issues.

 

Developing aluminum alloy

The researchers applied ARB method. ARB method uses welding zinc in forming biomodal structure from the three types of aluminum of AA1050, AA5052, and AA1050. And the tensile strength increased 2.2-fold from before to after the application of the method. And the strength increased about 1.5-fold compared to aluminum 5052 (202MPa).

Compared to the existing shipbuilding materials, this aluminum has four characteristics.

  1. Sturdier than plastic, it registers greater safety.

  2. Being lighter, it helps reduce fuel cost.

  3. Unlike FRP, it can be recycled, and thus, it is eco-friendly.

  4. Characteristically of aluminum, it resists corrosion thus

As an improvement on the existing aluminum, it is a new aluminum alloy created with jointing technology. The picture below is a prototype for the ship made of aluminum alloy composite material.

Aluminum Alloy Composite Material for Ships

Small version of ship made of aluminum alloy composite material

 In the future, we may see a large container ship built with a new material, as seen in this image.

 

For eco-friendly ships, profitability needs to be proved

The development of such various materials and advancement of shipbuilding technology are going to alleviate the worry of shipping companies. Even though there is increasing interest in environmental protection and a variety of regulations are strengthening, shipping companies can’t easily decide to acquire eco-friendly ships because of the shipbuilding cost and operational efficiency. Despite the obvious reduction of pollutants with eco-friendly ships, there has existed no confidence in their financial feasibility.

However, provided that a variety of new materials including the above-described aluminum alloy continue to prove weight reduction and improved strength for ships, ships will clearly benefit from reduced fuel cost. When that happens, we think, shipping companies will be actively involved in building eco-friendly ships in a bid to secure their cost competitiveness and respond to environmental regulations.

 

If you have more questions about maritime solutions and consulting, please contact us by pushing the button below.

CyberLogitec Contact

 

This article is exhibited by ICT & Shipbuilding Convergence Research Center in World IT Show and shared here with his approval.

Simultaneous Derivation of Container Stacking Strategy and Crane Dispatching Strategy for an Automated Container Yard

Simultaneous Derivation of Container Stacking Strategy and Crane Dispatching Strategy for an Automated Container Yard

 

There are diverse factors which influence to terminal yard efficiency, such as type of equipment, number of equipment, operating policy, storage policy, and so forth. Once terminal infrastructures have been set, however, container stacking strategy and crane scheduling/dispatching strategy can be considered as practical elements to enhance yard efficiency.

Professor Ryu derives and proposes one of efficient strategy through the simulation. To accomplish such matters, he examined four alternatives by mixing two stacking method and two crane-scheduling method. He calculated and compared average AGV delay time and average ET waiting time of each combination. Please check the slide below and find out which combination resulted in the best yard performance.

 

If you have any queries or learn more, please contact us.

 

CyberLogitec Contact

 

This slide was presented by Professor Ryu from Busan University in LOGMS 2014 seminar and shared here with his approval. Busan University has cooperated with CyberLogitec for joint researches on container terminal technology.

 

CyberLogitec invites you to TOC Europe

CyberLogitec is exhibiting at TOC Europe 9th – 11th June 2015 at the Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands and we invite you to join us on stand B2 at the event.

Brian Jung, CyberLogitec’s consultant of terminal automation and tehnology, will make a speech about “Next Steps in Terminal Automation” at Tech TOC on 10th June from 16:30. Please join and get the opportunity to share your thoughts with technical experts.

TOC Europe is the global showcase for port technology and terminal operations. With over 160 exhibiting companies in addition to free to attend seminars and many networking opportunities – this is a chance to experience the latest industry innovations and make valuable new contacts.

Connect with the CyberLogitec team at TOC Europe 2015

CyberLogitec Booth
B2

Opening times
Tuesday 9 June: 10am – 6pm
Wednesday 10 June: 10am – 6pm
Thursday 11 June: 10am – 3pm

Venue
Ahoy, Rotterdam Netherlands
  – Full address: Ahoy-weg 10, 3084 BA ROTTERDAM, Netherlands

Contact: daniel.park@cyberlogitec.com

Deriving Situation-Adaptive Strategy for Stacking Containers in an Automated Container Terminal

Deriving Situation-Adaptive Strategy for Stacking Containers in an Automated Container Terminal

 

 In order to enhance terminal productivity, most container terminals are always concerning how to set-up their yard, including container stacking policy. Container stacking in automated container terminals is generally followed by the policy below.

  1. Requests for a stacking location

  2. Evaluate candidate locations

  3. Stack to the optimal location

In this slide, Professor Ryu compared three stacking strategies considering seaside crane’s workload under the particular situation and showed test results of average AGV delay time and average ET waiting time.

 If you have any queries or learn more, please contact us.

CyberLogitec Contact

 

This slide was presented by Professor Ryu from Busan University in LOGMS 2013 seminar and shared here with his approval. Busan University has cooperated with CyberLogitec for joint researches on container terminal technology.