Now, APM Terminals pushes the boundaries even further by changing the scope from diesel-electric powered Lift-AGVs towards fully electric Battery Lift-AGVs. APM Terminals Maasvlakte II has placed an order for 37 Battery-powered Lift-AGVs, 87 battery packs and two, robotic Battery Exchange Stations, allowing automated exchange of the battery pack.
“This order demonstrates our commitment to constantly envision new ways of running our operations. Three years ago, when we set out to design the terminal of the future – this battery technology was not available. Our engineers had the foresight to meet with Gottwald and create a new solution better suited to today’s tougher business environment. And very recently the testing phases demonstrated the performance criteria we needed so we have today changed our order to reflect more quiet, more efficient equipment” stated Frank Tazelaar, APM Terminals Maasvlakte II Managing Director.
Green sustainable technology: Zero emissions, lower noise emissions
In principle, the Battery Lift-AGV is quite similar to the traditional diesel-electric Lift-AGV. In both types the drive system is electric. The difference lies in where the energy is retrieved. In the diesel-electric Lift-AGV, a diesel engine generates the energy. In the Battery Lift-AGV, the energy is retrieved from a battery pack.
The Battery Lift-AGV allows APM Terminals to achieve higher levels of performance while minimizing environmental impact. In diesel-electric Lift-AGVs, the diesel engine produces CO2/NOx/particulate emissions at the terminal. By removing the diesel engines, APM Terminals removes all local emissions (CO2 / NOx / particulate matter) at the terminal. Furthermore, the diesel engine produces a significant amount of noise. The result is a fleet of green Battery Lift-AGVs with minimal impact on the local environment.
Robotics at Battery Exchange Stations
The Lift-AGVs use a battery pack that allows eight hours of driving. Then, the battery pack needs to be changed. To do this, the Lift-AGVs drive to the Battery Exchange Station and begin a fully automated process in the Battery Exchange Station performed through robotics.
Lower energy costs and maintenance costs
Besides the positive impact on the environment, the Battery Lift-AGV also reduces costs. Diesel is one of the major cost components in operating a fleet of Lift-AGVs. Whereas, the Battery Lift-AGV has a more efficient drive system, saving energy. Furthermore, the price of electricity is lower compared to ever-increasing diesel prices.
And, the Battery Lift-AGV requires less maintenance than the diesel-electric version. Diesel engines require a lot of maintenance. By removing the diesel engine and switching to the Battery Lift-AGV, the total maintenance costs are reduced significantly. The lower electricity costs and maintenance costs yield lower operating costs.
After an extensive evaluation process, APM Terminals Maasvlakte II chose the Lift-AGV based on the high levels of productivity and safety, while maintaining low costs of ownership. They are built in Germany by Gottwald Port Technology, a subsidiary of Demag Cranes who have a proven track record in the development of automated container handling equipment.
With the ordering of the Battery Lift-AGVs APM Terminals ensures that it can operate with high levels of performance and productivity for the next 25 years. For the first phase of the Maasvlakte II terminal opening November 2014, the fleet will consist of 37 Battery Lift-AGVs, 87 battery packs, two Battery Exchange Stations and 128 storage racks for containers creating the terminal of the future.