USAHA TEKNIKAL BANKS ON PORTS’ AU­TOMA­TION

Ports can ex­pect im­proved work­flow con­sis­tency, en­hanced labour com­pe­ten­cies and safer work­place

New Straits Times - - BUSINESS - AYISY YU­SOF KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

USAHA Teknikal Sdn Bhd plans to take ad­van­tage of lo­cal port op­er­a­tors’ move to em­brace au­toma­tion. Its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Syed Sadiq Obaidi Al­bar said au­toma­tion would pro­vide work­flow con­sis­tency and en­hance labour com­pe­ten­cies to han­dle in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy while cre­at­ing a safer work­place.

“Au­toma­tion im­proves op­er­a­tion ef­fi­ciency with lesser hu­man in­ter­ven­tion and re­duces er­ror and cost. It is an ef­fec­tive method to max­imise pro­duc­tiv­ity, although it re­quires a cer­tain amount of cap­i­tal ini­tially to put in place the au­toma­tion in­fra­struc­ture,” he told NST Busi­ness re­cently.

Usaha Teknikal mainly pro­vides port and rail equip­ment and en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions, in­clud­ing prime mover, reach stacker, empty stacker and mo­bile harbour crane, as well as main­te­nance ser­vices.

Syed Sadiq said it was im­pos­si­ble for port op­er­a­tors to fully em­brace au­toma­tion but added that Op­ti­cal Char­ac­ter Recog­ni­tion (OCR) was a good start­ing point to em­bark on au­toma­tion.

“We are ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing the ini­tial au­toma­tion mod­ule lever­ag­ing on OCR, a sys­tem that uses mul­ti­ple cam­eras to scan con­tain­ers’ code at the ter­mi­nal and au­to­mat­i­cally up­date the in­for­ma­tion.

“OCR can be op­er­ated re­motely, with­out hu­man in­ter­ven­tion. The sys­tem can be in­stalled on the quay cranes ,” he added.

Syed Sadiq said Usaha Teknikal was part­ner­ing with ABB, a Swedish-Swiss dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy com­pany, to build the OCR plat­form for re­gional ports.

He is pos­i­tive on the ac­cep­tance of OCR among port op­er­a­tors in the re­gion, not­ing that the sys­tem was ex­pected to be launched in the third quar­ter of this year.

“With OCR tech­nol­ogy, ports can re­duce da­m­age claims against them by 50 per cent. It will help im­prove the con­sis­tency of ma­chine op­er­a­tions and in­crease moves per hour,” said Syed Sadiq.

Usaha Teknikal sales di­rec­tor Al­izi Is­mail said the com­pany was also keen to de­velop the Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes with an ad­di­tional au­to­matic op­er­a­tion fea­ture.

“We have the RMG fab­ri­ca­tion­ready de­sign for the struc­ture and it is a mat­ter of find­ing the right yards to fab­ri­cate the struc­ture.

“We are look­ing for­ward to se­cur­ing more RMG or­ders that suit our clients’ re­quire­ments,” he said, adding that the cost de­pended on the port’s size.

He said cur­rently, most lo­cal ports were us­ing the rub­ber tyred gantry crane to load con­tain­ers from trucks or ter­mi­nal trac­tors to the con­tainer block and vice-versa.

He said the com­pany was build­ing its pro­to­type “Rhino” ter­mi­nal trac­tor with al­ter­na­tive en­ergy power source for the han­dling op­er­a­tions.

Since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2007, Usaha Teknikal has been pri­mar­ily in­volved in com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing leas­ing port equip­ment, re­fur­bish­ment and main­te­nance of port and rail equip­ment and au­toma­tion projects in ports as well as re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

On its over­seas ven­tures, he ex­pects to se­cure crane re­fur­bish­ment and au­toma­tion projects in In­done­sia and Brunei this year and next year.

PIC BY AZIAH AZMEE

Usaha Teknikal man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Syed Sadiq Obaidi Al­bar is pos­i­tive on the ac­cep­tance of Op­ti­cal Char­ac­ter Recog­ni­tion among port op­er­a­tors in the re­gion.

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