Kalmar launches AGV

SPRC Container Terminal Cartagena Columbia Kalmar STS Crane

Kalmar will launch its an all-electric battery AGVs that can be charged dynamically at the TOC Asia conference taking place in Singapore this week. With this launch, Singapore is poised to become the largest market in the world for AGVs with the eventual opening of Tuas Megaport.

“The Kalmar FastCharge AGV is constructed on an optimised steel platform that can carry one or two 20-foot containers, one 40 or one 45-foot container and handle loads of up to 70 tonnes. The AGV features an eco-efficient electric power system that uses the latest in Lithium-ion battery technology, making it much easier and more cost effective to maintain and operate than a comparable machine powered by lead-acid batteries. The fully electric drivetrain also ensures zero emissions at source,” Kalmar stated.

Instead of the battery exchange system used in Rotterdam and Long Beach, Kalmar has opted for a quick charging system, allowing the AGV to be charged on the terminal. “Kalmar’s FastCharge technology – already available for Kalmar shuttle and straddle carriers – eliminates the need for time-consuming battery swapping as machines can be opportunity charged at charging stations along their working routes. With recharging taking just a few minutes, equipment availability is maximised with the AGVs spending more time moving containers and less time idle. The Kalmar FastCharge AGV also features the latest in Lithium-ion battery technology as well as a regenerative energy system that stores energy from braking and makes it available for reuse”.

Kalmar, it appears, has opted for the connection system from Switzerland’s Stäubli Electrical Connectors AG, which can support high current rapid charging.

 With regard to the IT needed to support AGVs (Equipment Control System and TOS), PSA (as far as is known) is planning to own its own software in these areas. It develops its own TOS (CITOS) which is the core of its operation in Singapore. Back in 2013 PSA awarded Kalmar a contract to develop the onboard navigation system, navigation infrastructure and remote diagnostic tools for a fleet of AGVs, which is being used now on several different brand machines being tested at Tuas. It is not known at this point whether PSA will use Kalmar’s terminal logistics system (TLS) or another ECS at Tuas.

Not every terminal operator wants to take this approach, and Kalmar was keen to emphasise that its FastCharge AGVs can be supported by a variety of software combinations. “Customers can choose an integrated turnkey solution consisting of the Kalmar terminal logistics system (TLS) and Navis N4 terminal operating system. They can also take advantage of Kalmar Key, which enables integration of the Kalmar TLS with their existing terminal operating system (TOS) through a series of open application interfaces”.

Mikko Mononen , Vice President, Intelligent Horizontal Transportation, Kalmar said: “The Kalmar FastCharge AGV offers both greenfield and brownfield terminals an alternative solution to reduce the environmental impact of their operations while maximising equipment availability. It complements our existing offering for horizontal transportation and is based on our proven TLS automation platform, which includes AGV support for terminals using the Navis N4 TOS. Launching the Kalmar FastCharge AGV was the natural next step after the successful project with PSA Singapore, where we delivered a fleet of 18 customised electric AGVs at the end of June 2017.”

These were supplied, according PSA’s specifications, with batteries from Microvast Power Systems, a US company headquartered in Texas with manufacturing facilities in China, while Singapore-based New Resource Technology supplied three automated DC charging stations.

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