As over 70 percent of the global trade occurs through the sea and is carried out by the ports, digitalization of the ports is being carried out to enhance the activities thereby resulting into the smart ports. Smart ports are the digitized or the automated ports through the application of Internet of Things (IoT) that uses Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and analytics, cloud computing platforms, application of sensors, etc technologies to increase the efficiency of the port equipment and enhance the port operations. Most of the trade activities are carried out through the ports, hence, to be most efficient in its operations and handling the equipment efficiently with low downtime is the ultimate goal which can be achieved through digitalization of the ports and introduction of IoT that will take the port operations to next level.
The global trade through ports is rising with increasing cargo volumes and bigger vessels. In order to with stand the economic competitiveness, it’s important to adopt innovative technologies for increasing the efficiency of operations and thereby the productivity at the ports. For this implementing IoT and monitoring the port equipment could result in the high productivity rate with lower risk to human life where large and complicated machineries are involved in the process. Port operations involves multiple activities such as cargo loading/ unloading through cranes, vessel and truck traffic management, container stacking, warehousing, transhipments, etc. Now, continuously monitoring the process and equipment involved in those operations is a bigger task done by adopting IoT.
The various port equipment, machineries, assets are managed by IoT by integrating its data by adopting various available connectivity protocols, making it available through cloud computing, and analysis through Artificial intelligence and Machine learning. All these analyses can be used to create various reports, dashboards, trends and provide predictions on maintenance and operations. The real time monitoring of the equipment gives the idea of equipment condition, optimizes the maintenance required to the equipment and reduces the downtime by providing the predictions for maintenance and failures.
To have a better understanding of benefits of digitalization of the ports, lets take a live example of the application of Rubus IoT on the various operations at the Inland Waterways Authority of India that works for the development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways. To measure the efficiency a pilot in Sahibganj multi modal port terminal has been done to optimize overall efficiency, improve utilization of equipment, enhance security, reduce equipment downtime and maintenance cost. The main scope of the project included the following
· Asset Utilization of Heavy Machinery
· Gate Management & Automated Weigh Bridge (In & Out)
· Berth Monitoring System
For Asset utilization of heavy machinery, the operational data (like run hours, faults, alarms, etc.) was integrated from PLC to the Rubus IoT Bridge where the data is analysed to create reports, anomaly detection, trends, etc. For the gate management and automated weigh bridge (In & out) sensors were installed and the data from them and the installed cameras was transmitted to Rubus platform using Rubus IoT Edge. Berth monitoring system consisted of the data from the ultrasonic sensors mounted along the jetty and transmitted via the Cisco gateway to the Rubus Platform.
The data from various sources is stored and analysed to create dashboards that gives the real time data of all the equipment. Dashboards representing various parameters was provided for Conveyor system, Barge Loader/Mobile Harbour Crane under asset utilization and also for Gate Management & Automated Weigh bridge and Berth Monitoring system. The other modules included the trend analysis that included two sub modules live trends and historical trend that gave the live data as well as the historical data in the form of graphs. Additionally, reports were created for all the equipment integrated for every 24 hours.
The benefits of all the above analysis, reports, dashboards, trends, or the real time monitoring of port etc. can be explained as below
· Increased equipment life due to timely and efficient routine maintenance.
· High productivity due to digitalization thereby increased trade and profits.
· Reduced cost for maintenance and manual operations.
· Greater control of engineering workloads, scheduling &inventory.
· Saving time on manual operations and creating manual reports.
· Lesser risk to human life due to digital operations of equipment.
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