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Kalmar Industries introduces Smartspot, the latest addition to its growing suite of automated products. Smartspot is a driver assistance tool designed to optimise container handling between terminal tractors and ship-to-shore (STS) / rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes. It expedites and increases the safety of terminal tractor positioning by replacing manual positioning with an automatic system that informs the driver when the correct position for loading / unloading is reached, markedly reducing operation time per container move. This results in increased STS productivity and smoother container handling operations.

Smartspot is easy to use, simple to install and can be retrofitted to all existing terminal tractor units. The new system is suitable for handling a wide variety of container combinations and all trailer types, and promises to significantly boost crane productivity.

Based on patented technology, Smartspot employs Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave technology to transmit electromagnetic signals from antennae located on the terminal tractor to a series of echo units on the STS / RTG crane. The system, which is automatically activated when the tractor approaches the crane area, continuously measures the distance between the tractor / trailer and the spreader landing position. Information is transmitted to a simple display system in the terminal tractor cabin where a series of LED indicators guide the driver to the correct position underneath the crane.

Says Kalmar Product Engineer, Johanna Huttunen:

With the continued growth in container volumes, it is vital that cranes undertake as many moves per hour as possible. This is often impeded by the time lost waiting for terminal tractors to be manually positioned underneath the cranes for container loading and unloading. In response to growing customer demand for a solution to this problem, Kalmar developed Smartspot, which uses automation to provide faster and safer terminal tractor positioning, resulting in remarkable improvements in crane productivity.

Smartspot joins Kalmar growing range of automation tools, which now includes: Smartrail, an auto steering and container position verification system for RTGs; Smartpath, a real-time container position verification system for straddle carriers and RTGs; Remote Machine Interface (RMI), a monitoring and maintenance system, and Fleetview, a fleet control system for managing straddle carriers, reachstackers, forklift trucks, terminal tractors and RTGs.

Says Jorma Tirkkonen, President, Kalmar Intelligence & Automation:

Ports and terminals today are under growing pressure to increase productivity while at the same time complying with mounting environmental, safety and security responsibilities. This all needs to be managed without a significant increase in operating costs. At Kalmar we believe that ‘smart’ handling solutions which combine the latest technology with quality manufacturing can help them meet these challenges head on, hence our decision to set up a business unit dedicated to the development of such tools.
Note to editors:
Press information can be found on Kalmar website: Simply click on News Room to be taken to a list of recent press releases. A photograph to accompany this press release is also available on the Kalmar website, by clicking on Press Pictures. The caption for the photograph reads:

“Kalmar Smartspot driver assistance tool for accurate terminal tractor positioning dramatically improves STS and RTG crane productivity.

Kalmar is a global provider of container and heavy duty materials handling equipment, automation applications and related services. It is the world leading supplier of cargo handling equipment to ports, terminals and intermodal facilities.

Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine. The company also supplies a wide range of machines to demanding industrial customers for applications as diverse as handling steel and paper to shunting road trailers at distribution hubs.

Kalmar is also leading the way in port automation applications with its application of unmanned container handling technology, on-board smart features and remote maintenance products developed in co-operation with customers and partners.

Kalmar product range is complemented by a large range of value added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Production plants are situated in Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Malaysia, China and the USA. Kalmar net sales were EUR 1.2 billion in 2006.

Kalmar is part of Cargotec Corporation, the world's leading provider of cargo handling solutions, which are used in local transportation, terminals, ports, distribution centres, and ships. In 2006 Cargotec net sales were EUR 2.6 billion. Cargotec class B shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

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