RAM spreaders gave a glimpse of new its robotic twistlock handling system at TOC Europe.
Automating twistlock handling on or under quay cranes effectively has so far proved elusive, but RAM Spreaders is not giving up.
Speaking at TOC Europe this week, Cameron Hay from RAM Spreaders gave a preview of “PIN SMART II”, RAM’s second attempt at an automated twistlock handling machine. The key to PIN SMART II is a robotic arm with interchangeable “hands” for removing and installing different twistlocks. Hay said there are over 40 types of twistlocks, mid-locks and other interbox connectors in use around the world, and RAM has developed around 20 different hands to cover the different types.
PIN SMART II has been designed to work as a system with the crane and terminal management applications (including the TOS), to fully automate twistlock handling and manage the data processes this requires. Performance wise, one robotic arm can remove two twistlocks in around 21 seconds. If more speed is required additional robotic arms can be deployed.
The twistlocks are managed in magazines that can store up to 2,000 units, which can be retrieved for installing on export containers or sending back on the ship as required.
RAM has tested a scale model prototype robotic arm and the different hands over two years in Singapore and plans to invite select terminal operators to see the system there later in the year. Hay said RAM intends to have PIN SMART on the market in Q3.