The world’s largest container transshipment hub relies on Stäubli’s technology

Electrical AGVs as logistic vehicles at PSA Singapore © PSA Singapore
(PresseBox) ( Allschwil, )
PSA Singapore is preparing for the future with its new mega-port at Tuas having fully automated key operations. Self-driving container transporters (AGVs) are automatically charged during the operation process and in the course of maintenance, their battery systems are exchanged automatically. QCC from Stäubli, the innovative, automated connector for high power charging systems needs only 20 minutes of charging time for every four to five hours of continuous operation, while fast battery replacement systems are implemented for maintenance purposes, integrating Stäubli’s Multi Connect System. 

PSA Singapore is ranked the world’s largest container transshipment hub. Its excellent network services link shippers to shipping lines with connections to 600 ports globally. In 2020, PSA Singapore terminals handled 36.6 million TEUs of containers (TEU: twenty-foot equivalent units). To anticipate the future growth in global trade, PSA is constructing the new mega port at Tuas. This future port will feature totally automated terminal operations.

Sustainable efficiency

PSA is testing all these processes in their current operations at the Pasir Panjang Terminal in the preparation for this new automated mega port. A part of this development is based on the fully battery-powered AGVs (automated guided vehicles), which have a carrying capacity of 65 tons and a cruising speed of 25 km/h. With electrical drive, they are more energy-efficient, require less maintenance, and positively reduce CO2 emissions for port operations.

For the highest efficiency of the operation in terms of both time and costs, recharging the batteries of the AGVs needs to be fully automated, reliable, and very fast. The automatic rapid charging solution QCC by Stäubli is the fastest and most reliable way to recharge the battery during operation time. Therefore, PSA has implemented this technology as an automated connection device (ACD) in its AGVs.

High performance and fully dependable

Designed for high numbers of mating cycles, the Stäubli QCC solution provides a long service life and features a fully enclosed design to protect the contact elements while ensuring low maintenance. A high level of safety is guaranteed by a completely touch-protected and waterproof design. Several hundred kW of charging power allow four to five hours of continuous operation with less than 20 minutes of charging time.

In close co-operation with the PSA engineering team, the final adaptions on the functionalities of the QCC system have been implemented. This approach makes sure that the integrated angular and positioning misalignment compensation at the QCC charging station suits the automated arrival and departure of the AGVs. To meet the operating outdoor environmental challenges at the port, ingress protection has been enhanced according to the customer’s specifications.

Increasing productivity

The Stäubli connection solutions ensure productivity and continuity in the AGV operation at PSA with the Quick Charging Connection system promising high power transfer in a minimum time. Thanks to the resistance to harsh environmental conditions and water ingress, this connection and charging solution grants high reliability and efficiency due to the unique properties of the used MULTILAM contact technology used. Furthermore, the battery exchange during maintenance is carried out very quickly thanks to the automated coupling of all needed connections.

The Stäubli engineering experts thoroughly supported the implementation on-site and interacted closely with both the PSA engineering team and involved technology suppliers to deliver a safe and dependable, high-power electrical transmission solution for PSA battery-powered fleet.
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