Brieda Cabins pioneers ground control station for remote crane operations
Brieda Cabins, a specialist in ergonomic cabins, control stations and desks for manned and remote crane operations, has developed a ground control station to remotely operate container cranes, with an ergonomic design and user-friendly interface that will boost productivity at marine container terminals, intermodal facilities and inland ports.
The Ground Remote Control Station (GRCS) has been specifically designed to operate both yard and ship-to-shore container cranes, with a layout that combines the crane control seat and an arm box control panel with a remote desk that can be customised to present specific information on screen, enhancing communication between teams and boosting operational efficiency.
“We are very pleased with this design, which continues our proud track record of focusing closely on how best to combine comfort, convenience and safety through ergonomic design” said company CEO Siro Brieda.
The GRCS uses a similar crane driver seat and control system to the DYCS – Dynamic Control Station and the Brieda Remote Control Desk. These have both achieved world-first certification to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and European EN ergonomic standards.
Development has taken place over 12 months, driven by the needs of Brieda client the Port of Virginia, USA. The port is in the process of remodelling and expanding the rail operation at its Virginia International Gateway (VIG) marine terminal as part of a major facility upgrade that has also seen the development of 13 new yard container stacks. Expansion of the on-dock rail operation includes the purchase of four new cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) which will be operated from a central control room equipped with five of the Brieda control stations.
“Our four new CRMGs will be the backbone of our new, expanded rail operation at VIG,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Phase I of the rail yard is done and Phase II will be complete in late May. We have completely reconfigured the rail operation – having doubled its size – to include the new CRMGs. Our rail volume is increasing and knowing this, it was essential that we have a 21st-century system in place to ensure an efficient, productive and safe operation.”
The use of ground remote control stations for intermodal rail crane operations marks another technological milestone at VIG, which was the first facility in the USA to deploy semi-automated container yard cranes when it opened in 2007. In total, the Port of Virginia handled over 2.85 million TEU in 2018 across its seven marine and inland container facilities.
The Port of Virginia expects the new system will benefit its crane operators by enhancing their work environment, reducing strain and boosting comfort. The GRCS offers a bespoke work environment thanks to its adjustable seat and workstation, enabling operators of different heights and body shapes to be fully supported in a safe, comfortable and healthy working position.
The GRCS has been designed so it can be delivered in three parts, which means that it can be easily moved to a central control room and set up in just 30 minutes. The system is now ready to be rolled out more widely to ports that are looking to drive efficiencies by boosting the use of automation throughout their operations.
“We are delighted with how the pilot has gone with the Port of Virginia and look forward to rolling this product out more widely now,” continues company CEO Siro Brieda. “Our consistent focus on R&D, product innovation and the needs of our clients produced this latest development. We will continue to drive our business forward as we look to develop high-quality control systems that improve the health, safety, wellbeing and productivity of crane operators.”