Hamburg mineral bulk terminal Hansaport, jointly owned by HHLA and Salzgitter AG, has been testing a new 3D scanner to speed up discharging operations. The scanner is no bigger than a soft drinks can and weighs 6kg. It produces a picture of a bulk carrier and is attached to the gantry grab unloaders, which are already automated. The scanner locates the cargo in the ship’s hold and enables the PLC to calculate, in real-time, the grab swing required to reach the coal or ore in the corners in the hold.
“This is a highly sensitive measuring technique,” said Erhard Meller, managing director of Hansaport, explaining that the laser reflections build a 3D picture in real time, showing the distances in different colours, while the existing scanners require 60 seconds to generate the picture. Special software converts the raw data in such a way that the 12t grab at the ropes of up to 25m in length can land in the hold with the right swing. The scanner shows the angle of the rope in real time.
It has not been disclosed who has provided the new scanner, but the existing scanners and navigation systems for the automated grab unloaders were provided by iSAM AG.