Automating Tanger Med
The crane manufacturer Künz, from the western Austrian town of Hard, recently won a contract to deliver 32 stacking cranes for a new automated facility in Tangier operated by APM Terminals. The company was pleased to state that the deal means that Künz cranes will thus make their first-ever appearance in an African gateway.
Having delivered stacking cranes to Hamburg as well as Rotterdam (pictured) recently, the firm Künz was not surprised to win an order for 32 of its fully-automated stacking units from the port of Tanger Med. The giants of the seven seas will thus be loaded and unloaded by Künz’s ship-to-shore cranes there in future. After unloading the boxes are temporarily placed in the gateway’s stacking zone before they are on-forwarded by lorry or loaded onto another ship. The zone is divided up into 16 storage blocks, each of which has two fully-automated gantry cranes.
In recent years automated stacking cranes have been becoming ever-more important for Künz, the company said, as have cranes for intermodal container handling. A total of 100 of its stacking cranes are in action in Hamburg and Rotterdam, for example, with just under 20 more units on order.
Technology goes easier on environment
Künz pointed out that this order was for a new generation of stacking cranes. Traditional box construction has given way to a new approach, in which the unit’s main beams are made with round cross-sections. Word from Hard has it that “the introduction of an aerodynamic design for the main beams creates a series of advantages, including environmental benefits.” Less surface area for the wind to act on means the units require less power, for example, which means less energy is consumed. The dynamic forces acting on the cranes’ wheels, their tracks as well as their frames are thus also reduced.
Deliveries to Tanger Med were a bit of a challenge in terms of the timing, as the terminal is scheduled to become fully operational in the first half of 2019.