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Kuenz cranes in full operation at TM2 in Morocco

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Dry Bulk,

In 2016, Kuenz was awarded a contract with APM Terminals, a subsidiary of Maersk Group, to deliver 42 automated stacking cranes (ASCs) to a new automated terminal in the Port of Tanger, Morocco. The company delivered all 42 cranes over the first two phases of the project from 2017-2019, with the terminally officially opening in June 2019. The cranes, which run full-time in automatic mode, have already handled 1 million TEU.

APM Terminals is one of the world's leading port operators. “The main reason for the latest success in Tanger was the high satisfaction of the customer with the cranes in Rotterdam,” says Guenter Bischof, CEO of Kuenz. APM Terminals MedPort Tangier is a Greenfield project, similar to the Port of Rotterdam.

Optimising the Assembly Process

The company developed a completely new concept for on-site assembly. Hinges were installed between the main girder and the beams, allowing the cranes to be assembled on the ground and easily erected afterwards. The process proved successful, allowing complete assembly of five cranes within a 3-day timespan.

New stacking concept

In terminals such as this, large ships are loaded and unloaded using ship-to-shore cranes. In the stacking area, all incoming and outgoing containers are temporarily stored before being loaded onto trucks or other vessels for further transport. The stacking area in Tanger is organised into 21 storage blocks, with each block being operated by two fully automated Kuenz ASC’s.

A Siemens Block Management System (BMS) is the link between the TOS and the crane. The BMS optimises the moves of the cranes and is a key element to allow the terminal to operate as efficiently as possible.

Apart from cranes for the intermodal container handling, automated stacking cranes have emerged as a bestseller for Kuenz in recent years. More than 120 stacking cranes from the company are currently in operation in Hamburg, Germany, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with 20+ more in the process of being commissioned. The 42 ASC’s in Tanger are the first cranes the company has installed on the African continent.

New technology

An additional key to Kuenz’s success is to an entire new generation of stacking cranes. In contrast to a traditional construction, the main girders of the new cranes are designed with a round, aerodynamic shape, which provides many advantages to the customer. One resultant benefit includes a lower wind attack area requiring less drive power, leading to a lower energy consumption and reduced dynamic forces on the drive wheels, crane tracks and civil works. This concept makes the new Kuenz ASCs on of the lightest and most efficient cranes in the world.

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