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Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines collaborate to automate the marine market

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Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines collaborate to automate the marine market. Image: Sea Machines
Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines collaborate to automate the marine market. Image: Sea Machines
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To provide customers with complete automation solutions from a single trusted source, Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines Robotics announce a new collaboration that will deliver comprehensive remote command, autonomous control and intelligent crew support systems to the marine market and complement Rolls-Royce’s mtu NautIQ marine automation portfolio. As part of this agreement, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems and Sea Machines, the leading developer of remote-vessel command and autonomous control systems, will join forces on the development and sale of fully and semi-autonomous vessel control systems. The combination of Rolls-Royce’s propulsion and automation solutions with Sea Machines’ vessel control products will offer marine customers significant benefits in terms of vessel operations, safety, efficiency and environmental impact.

Michael Johnson, CEO and founder of Sea Machines, said: “Our autonomous vessel control products and advanced perception systems are pioneering the revolutionary shift of conventional and manual vessel control effort from human to intelligent technology. Autonomous systems take over routine efforts, reduce stress for crews and thus increase operational predictability and safety. The technology makes shipping more productive, economical and contributes to more sustainable operations. We partner with those best-in-class and Rolls-Royce stands out as being most trusted. We look forward to serving the market together and furthering the technology that provides solutions for customers.”

Denise Kurtulus, Vice President Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “As part of our PS 2030 strategy, we are evolving from a propulsion supplier to a provider of integrated sustainable solutions. In the marine sector, we want to provide our customers with complete solutions from ‘bridge to propeller’ with the highest quality customers have come to expect from us. We are delighted to have found another strong and agile partner in Sea Machines to help us achieve this.”

The strategic cooperation will focus on products for remote and autonomous vessel control and situational awareness, primarily for yachts, commercial and government vessels. As part of the agreement, Rolls-Royce Power Systems will receive sales and service rights for existing and future Sea Machines products. The two companies will also work together to develop new capabilities to provide customers with advanced total solutions that aggregate and analyze all vessel data and intelligently control vessels based on this information.

Claudius Müller, Head of Business Development of the marine business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “Our aim is to offer our customers highly innovative and integrated solutions which are industry-leading – from propulsion, ship automation, bridge systems to semi and fully autonomous control systems, complemented by our digital solutions like our latest Equipment Health Management system mtu NautIQ Foresight. Following the acquisition of Servowatch and the inclusion of bridge systems into our newly launched mtu NautIQ portfolio, the agreement with Sea Machines is the logical next step.”

Moran David, Chief Commercial Officer at Sea Machines, stated: “This partnership is a milestone for the marine industry. It signifies Rolls-Royce’s trust with Sea Machines in continuing their long tradition of being at the forefront of innovation. Expanding on Sea Machines’ commercially deployed product range, the companies are already aiming at joint efforts reaching far beyond the development of autonomous ship controls. It’s an exciting time for the future of the marine industry.”

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Maritime

APM Terminals and ZPMC enter into strategic alliance

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APM Terminals and ZPMC enter into strategic alliance. Image: APM Terminals
APM Terminals and ZPMC enter into strategic alliance. Image: APM Terminals
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A memorandum of understanding between the companies will change equipment purchasing from a purely transactional process to a more strategic collaboration with strong focus on automation.

With automation being one of the key components of APM Terminals’ strategy of “Safer, Better, Bigger”, it is critical for the company to have access to adequate, state-of-the-art automated equipment for its diverse terminal portfolio. However, the common industry practice of transactional customer-supplier relationships has proven less effective in complex automation deployments that require a more integrated approach between APM Terminals and the supplier.

Therefore, APM Terminals is implementing a strategic alliancing framework, initiated with the signing of an Alliance Memorandum of Understanding with port equipment manufacturer ZPMC (Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited). The focus of this memorandum is the joint development and deployment of a wide range of automated solutions, including automated container handling equipment.

Signed in October by APM Terminals CEO Morten Engelstoft and ZPMC Chairman and President Liu Chengyun in a virtual ceremony, the Memorandum of Understanding also includes an order for 18 Ship-to Shore (STS) Cranes and 9 Yard cranes across 6 terminals and the reservation of production slots for additional 25 STS cranes and 62 Yard cranes in the future.

“With this alliance, we are leveraging our 23 year-long relationship more effectively, in which APM Terminals demonstrates strong commitment towards ZPMC and in return receives prioritization of factory capacity, access to the best resources, active involvement in product development according to our needs and a commitment to maintain the relationship on long-term basis”, comments APM Terminals CEO Morten Engelstoft.

ZPMC’s automated equipment is already in operation in several of APM Terminals’ facilities, namely in Vado Ligure (Italy), Lazaro Cardenas (Mexico) and its latest automated terminal in Tangier, Morocco. Most recently, the company is also running a pilot with ZPMC’s Automated Straddle Carriers in its Aarhus (Denmark).

ZPMC Chairman and President, Mr Liu Chengyun highlighted the progress his company has already made in several domestic automation projects in China. “I hope these good experiences will now translate into even better results for APM Terminals, as we now embark on this strengthened collaboration based on innovation and co-development”, Mr Chengyun added.

As well as the automation focus of the Memorandum of Understanding, both parties expect the new framework to also spark closer collaboration in areas like safety, supply chain and decarbonisation.

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Windpark Fryslan: world’s largest shallow water windfarm

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Windpark Fryslan: world’s largest shallow water windfarm. Image: Port of Amsterdam
Windpark Fryslan: world’s largest shallow water windfarm. Image: Port of Amsterdam
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Blades, towers, hubs: all kinds of wind turbine parts have recently been transported via the port of Amsterdam to the construction site of the Netherlands’ largest shallow water windfarm: Windpark Fryslan.

In October, the last turbine left the TMA Logistics terminal in the Amerikahaven. The windfarm – of 89 turbines in total – is now completely finished. Windpark Fryslân – which will supply about 380 MW of power to about 500,000 households – is the fifth large wind farm to be installed from this region.

IJmuiden region has made a major contribution to the realization of this largest wind farm on inland waterways. In this region, the facilities and knowledge are available to facilitate the logistics, assembly and production of components.

For example, in addition to the location of TMA Logistics, several locations are available in the ports of IJmuiden and Amsterdam to facilitate this. And with the arrival of the Energiehaven in IJmuiden in 2025, we can also facilitate the installation of the future offshore windfarms which are planned on the North Sea.

The Amsterdam port region is one of the world’s most important logistics hubs. With a freight throughput of 100 million tons per year, Amsterdam is one of the top five seaports in Western Europe. Its strategic and central location in Europe makes the port easily accessible and ensures excellent connections with all major European markets.

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A record at Port of Los Angeles as cargo volume exceeds 903,000 TEUs

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A record at Port of Los Angeles as cargo volume exceeds 903,000 TEUs. Image: Port of Los Angeles
A record at Port of Los Angeles as cargo volume exceeds 903,000 TEUs. Image: Port of Los Angeles
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The Port of Los Angeles processed 903,865 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units i.e., TEUs in September, the busiest September ever in the Port’s 114-year history. Year to date, overall cargo volume stands at 8,176,917 TEUs, an increase of 26% compared to 2020.

“Despite the global supply chain challenges, the Port of Los Angeles and its partners continue to deliver record amounts of cargo,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This is made possible by the extraordinary effort of our longshore workers, truck drivers, terminal operators and so many others on the waterfront and in our region’s warehouses. I’m grateful to all of them.

“Of particular note is the great work by BNSF and Union Pacific, which have reduced the rail backlog in half in the last month and by two-thirds over the last two months,” Seroka added. “We’ve got more work to do but we’ve made significant progress due to the collaborative efforts with our Class 1 railroads.”

September 2021 loaded imports reached 468,059 TEUs, about the same amount compared to the previous year. Loaded exports dropped 42% to 75,714 TEUs compared to the same period last year. It was the lowest number of exports since 2002.

Empty containers climbed to 360,092 TEUs, a jump of 28% compared to last year due to the continued demand in Asia. In total, September’s 903,865 TEUs was 2.3% above last September’s previous record of 883,625 TEUs.

North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $259 billion in trade during 2020. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. The Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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