Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are centrally controlled, driver-less horizontal transportation vehicles that have been a part of advanced port technology for a number of years, with perhaps the most prominent example being PSA Singapore’s fleet of 30 AGVs.
Leading port technology manufacturer, Terberg Special Vehicles of the Netherlands, has been at the forefront of developing automated port tractors for a number of years. They deployed prototype vehicles to the Thamesport as far back as 1992. Now Terberg have launched the world’s first fully automated yard tractor: the Terberg AutoTUG. Unveiled in June 2017 at TOC Europe in Ametsrdam, the new vehicle promises:
- Lower initiation costs compared to AGVs
- Integration with any port management system
- Modular components that can be easily integrated with existing port systems
- An optional cabin for manual operation
The AutoTUG can be immediately used in parallel with conventional operation – there is no need to convert the entire terminal at once.
Konecranes have announced it is collaborating with Terberg to make the AutoTUG available as an “Automated Terminal Tractor” (ATT) through the Konecranes network, although the AutoTUG remains a 100% Terberg product, also available from Terberg independently.
The ATT will be combined with the TEAMS equipment control system from Konecranes group company TBA, and other automation software from Konecranes, in a complete hardware/software offering.
As the leading heavy lifting solutions provider in West Africa, and representing both Terberg and Konecranes, Paterson Simons is already gearing its sales and service offering to make these the AutoTUG machine immediately available to ports throughout the region. Automation promises to deliver cost and operational efficiencies offering highly competitive advantages to ports, airports, green and brownfield developments as well as industrial customers.