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STS crane automation

STS cranes set the pace for the whole terminal and the productivity of STS cranes is extremely important for the commercial success of the whole container terminal.  

Serving increasing number of larger ships requires taller cranes with wider reach. With this, the travel distance of the trolley increases and the cranes need to run faster to maintain the productivity level. The industry is also moving towards cranes that can handle multiple containers. STS crane automation makes these complex machines manageable for operators and terminal logistic systems, ensuring uninterrupted and predictable production.

Automation is also ‘machine-friendly’. It runs the operation smoother than a human operator and reduces damage to the equipment, and goods. This reduces maintenance costs for machinery, such as spreaders.

ABB’s STS crane automation solution is available for all types of STS cranes and enables fully automatic cycle between the quay and the ship. It consists of the following functions:

  • continuous load sway and skew control
  • ship profiling and optimum path control
  • OCR identification of containers and vehicles for automated handoffs
  • measurement of vehicle position and guiding of vehicles
  • automatic container landing on platforms, ground and vehicles
  • single interfacing with TOS for work orders, bay layouts, container and vehicle information.

Combining STS crane automation with remote operation from a centralized control room allows the crane capacity to be fully utilized at all times. 

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Automation and remote crane operations prime new Swedish container terminal for the future


Hutchison Ports is an international ports operator boating 52 container terminals in 26 countries. Its new Stockholm Norvik Port in Sweden features a natural deep-water draught right on the Baltic coast, and currently has capacity of 250,000 TEU with potential to double that to 500,000 TEU. Quay operations are carried out by two of the world’s biggest quay cranes featuring automation and remote-control technology that provides optimal efficiency for customers.

“With the assistance crane operators get from automation, we are able to achieve both operational stability and consistency, which makes operations more predictable,” says Andy Lewis, Head of Operations, Engineering and Automation at Hutchison Ports Stockholm.

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