The semi-automated CTA terminal in Hamburg was the testing ground and first customer for Gottwald's first battery-electric AGVs and quick-change station, and now it is set to be the recipient of 25 Konecranes Gottwald AGVs with, for the first time, Li-ion battery drive instead of lead-acid batteries.
The machines are scheduled to be delivered in spring 2018 together with six fully automated quick chargers, writing the next chapter of the AGV technology story for both Konecranes and HHLA.
Mika Mahlberg, Executive Vice President, Business Area Port Solutions, Konecranes, said: “The order is significant in several respects. It stands for continuity in customer relationships and in technological development. It also accentuates our leading role with regard to the future of terminal automation.”
Jens Hansen, Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of HHLA: “CTA with its high degree of automation is already leading the way for container handling of the future, to which the AGV technology of Konecranes has made a major contribution. With our entry into lithium-ion battery drive technology, we are continuing to develop consistently in terms of efficient and sustainable container handling.”
CTA's first AGVs were supplied by Gottwald in 2001. These were equipped with diesel-hydraulic drives, but in 2006 there followed AGVs with a diesel-electric drive train. In 2011, AGVs with lead-acid batteries were delivered (by Terex Gottwald). At the time, these were the first battery-driven AGVs on the market. To date, a total of nearly 100 AGVs have been delivered to CTA.
Battery-driven AGVs from Konecranes Gottwald are now well-established in Europe and the USA. Some 200 of the approximately 650 machines delivered since 1991 are fitted with a battery drive.
Klaus Peter Hoffmann, Vice President, Integration, Konecranes, said: “The battery technology for AGVs used in terminals has developed rapidly, particularly in the last three years. As the technology leader for AGVs, Konecranes is exploiting this dynamic development for its customers. With the Li-ion batteries, we are now able to offer terminal operators a battery with greater efficiency at lower deadweights and up to three times the number of charging cycles in comparison to lead-acid batteries.
"Since the Li-ion batteries can be charged around four times faster, it is also possible to charge in the vehicle in connection with an automated quick charger."