International VDI Conference - Automation & Digitization of Cranes

Please note, that this event takes place in English.

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  • Benefit from high-end and out of the box presentations
  • Learn from cross-industry examples and discuss with top industry experts he latest developments and opportunities of automation and digitization of cranes
Automation & digitization of cranes

It is time for our 2nd international VDI conference on Automation & Digitization of Cranes this time in Antwerp on September 10-11, 2019 . Future and cross-industry developments in automation and digitization of harbor and industrial cranes will be discussed. Enhance your knowledge on how to automate existing cranes and find out how your facility can benefit of automation. Listen to practical experiences from different industries and gain in-depth insights of maintenance technologies as well as opportunities and risks of industrial IoT. As a consequence you will be well equipped to successfully drive forward the crane automation and digitization process in your company.

Free of charge whitepaper download

Eyes for container crane automation
Author: LASE Industrielle Lasertechnik GmbH

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Increased productivity using automation

There are still many industries focusing on manual crane operations although automation and digitization are known for higher productivity rates and provide improved safety. Spearheading automation is the harbor industry, offering valuable experience to other industries and sectors. The most likely organizations to benefit from cost savings are companies with continuous crane operations.

The international VDI Conference ‚Automation and Digitization of Cranes‘ will showcase how digitization of cranes and processes can improve usage and maintenance of cranes whilst still ensuring safety of data and staff. Plus, it will show how automation will increase plant efficiency.

The following topics will be covered in 2019

This year’s focus topics will cover:

  • Crane Automation – Brownfield and Greenfield
  • Practical Experiences from the Industry
  • Industrial IoT: Data and Connectivity
  • From Condition Monitoring to Predictive Maintenance and Safety
  • Accompanying and complementing the conference we also offer an international Workshops, taking place on September 12th at the same venue: Obsolescence – Manage the Inevitable

Download Program PDF

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Registration & Welcome Coffee


Chair‘s Welcome and Opening Address

Robert Histon, President, PortRep Consulting Group, USA

I. Crane Automation - Brownfield and Greenfield


Crane Automation & Digitization

  • Reduction of technical risks through modularization
  • Dynamic servo motor for 3D laser anti-collision sensor
  • AI for automation tasks
  • Simulation and emulation shorten automation go-live
  • Edge processing for predictive maintenance

Gerhard Fischer, Head of Sales, Process Industries and Drives, Large Drives & Cranes, Siemens AG, Germany


Crane Upgrade - A Way to extend Cranes Life

  • Electrical and mechanical crane modernization
  • (Electrical) drive upgrades
  • Crane heightening
  • Examples of different industries

Bob van Kampen, Director Crane Upgrade NEMEA, Kalmar Netherlands B.V., The Netherlands


Adding open Loop Antisway Software to Crane Controllers

  • Sway control can improve safety and productivity
  • Adding functions to programmable controllers
  • Challenges when integrating software function
  • Operators adapt quickly to differently behaving crane controls

Dr. Joseph Discenza, President and CEO, SmartCrane LLC, USA


Networking & coffee break


Advanced Drive based Crane Features and Virtual Reality for Modelling & Learning

  • Drive based crane functionality
  • Virtual reality for user experience
  • Virtual crane package

Mikael Holmberg, Sales Manager for Cranes & Marine Winches, Jarkko Lalu, Design Manager, both: ABB Drives, Finland, Maitsetseg Ravdandorj, R&D Engineer, ABB Automation Products GmbH, Germany


Advanced Emulation Testing for automated Terminals: How to minimize Risks and optimise Performance

  • Including Equipment Control Systems in an emulation setup
  • Testing ECS and TOS integration and performance under near-to-live circumstances well before Go-Live
  • Verifying equipment performance

Raoul van Heffen MSc, Senior Project Manager, TBA Group, The Netherlands



II. Practical Experiences from the Industry


A fully automated Terminal as one huge Machine

  • Creating a terminal out of sub components
  • Standard versus exceptions
  • How to keep flexibility in a fixed process
  • Fully automated versus semi automated
  • Operating the automated terminal

Patrick van den Berg, Sr. Project Manager Equipment, APM Terminals MVII Rotterdam, The Netherlands


A Technology Fairytale: Sensor based Crane Automation from Slabyard to intermodal Cranes

  • Longtravel and cross travel crane measurement based on passive radar technology
  • Intermodal Yard Automation based on transponder technology
  • Train position measurement based on passive radar technology

Dr. Christian Augustin, Managing Director Yardeye GmbH, Germany


Networking & coffee break


Eyes for automated Process- and Container Cranes in the Port and Steel Industry

  • Technological area: 2D- and 3D laser scanners as key technology for the eyes
  • Application area: Container transshipment – Closing the gap between man and machine in straddle carrier and terminal truck operations
  • Application area: Process cranes in the steel industry – Optimised material handling in storage yards for slabs, coils and scrap metal
  • Outlook on applying further new technologies

Lars Ambrosy, CEO, LASE GmbH, Germany


Intelligent internetworked Automation Systems: Efficiency through connected Assets

  • Modern automation technology: Benefits of IOT to daily operation of distributed automation operations
  • Distributed Control Systems, data management on-premise and at cloud
  • Cloud & Big Data: Analytics improving business process performance from fleet management to future simulation

Sami Riekkola, President, Valmet Automation Inc., Finland


End of conference day one



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

III. Industrial IoT: Data & Connectivity


Automated Cranes not without a reliable Power and Data Transmission Systems

  • Secure and reliable Data transmission
  • Remote control to enable semi automation
  • Why condition monitoring?

Claus Burger, Global Director of Container Handling Market, Conductix-Wampfler GmbH, Germany


Smart Equipment Control Systems

  • ECS problems and conventional solutions
  • Message driven systems, micro services, TOS/WMS-ECS interface standardization, cloud readiness
  • Intelligent ECS systems and decentralization
  • Better decisions via optimization and simulation
  • Real-time monitoring and optimization with ECS and TOS/WMS decentralization

Mehmet Ali Kayaoglu, CEO, GullsEye Logistics Technology, Turkey, Caglar Uenver, Siemens AG, Germany


Demystifying ECS in Container Terminal Operations

  • Understand the basics of an Equipment Control System (ECS)
  • Learn how an ECS facilitates the work order processing between TOS and CHE
  • Explore how add-on optimization software further enhances an ECS

Alex van Winckel, Senior Consultant, INFORM GmbH, Germany, Bharath Sridhar, Senior Sales Application Engineer, TMEIC, USA


Networking & coffee break


BOXBAY - Technology Transfer from Industry to push Boundaries in global Port Logistics

  • New concept in container storage logistics built on proven and mature technology from the steel manufacturing industry
  • Revolutionary game changer to disrupt previous practices
  • An outbreak from the ever-narrowing spiral of competition and process enhancements

Dr. Mathias Dobner, Vice President at SMS group GmbH, Germany and CEO of BOXBAY FZCO, UAE

IV. From Conditon Monitoring to Predictive Maintenance


Remote Crane Diagnostics in Practice

  • Practical cases of crane monitoring with vibration monitoring
  • Specific implementation challenges and typical damages detected
  • How to set up a remote diagnostic center
  • Benefits of analytic engines and operating state normalization

Alain Naets, Managing Director, PRUFTECHNIK N.V., Belgium


Condition based Inspection Management on E-Chain® Systems on a BANG Crane

  • Online condition monitoring
  • Data based inspection proposal
  • Flexible alerting system for unexpected events
  • Online and offline livetime calculation

Richard Habering, Head of Business Unit, igus®GmbH, Germany




Driving Uptime with Truconnect® Data

  • Setting a common basis for evaluation
  • What data is there?
  • Turning existing data into usable data
  • Utilising data

Mario van den Heuvel, Director, Technical Support, Konecranes, Germany

V. Safety


Systems-theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) for Risk Analysis of Automated Machinery

  • Introduction to STPA and the underlying theory
  • Fitting STPA into the current regulatory and safety standards framework for machinery
  • Analysis example with discussion about benefits and disadvantages of the method

M.Sc. Tommi Kivelä, Institute for Material Handling and Logistics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany


Conference Chair‘s closing Remarks


End of Conference

Who should attend the VDI Conference „Automation & Digitization of Cranes“?

  • Conference participants include senior management of companies using harbor or industry cranes, including:
  • CEOs and Technical Directors
  • Head of Cranes & Hoists
  • Terminal Operators
  • Plant Operators / Manufacturers in paper manufacturing and metal industries
  • Terminal Equipment Manager / Terminal Engineering Manager
  • Business Development Managers
  • Applications Engineers Cranes

Benefit from great Networking Opportunities

Meet experts as well as participants of all events during the networking breaks and our evening reception. Get in touch with experts, business partners and specialists from the international crane, port and manufacturing industry in a relaxed atmosphere. Use the networking opportunities and have interesting discussions about existing possibilities and challenges emerging from digitization, connectivity and IIoT.

Book now

Are you keen to extend your knowledge on crane automation and digitization and learn from leading industry experts how your company can benefit from the latest developments? Ensure to reserve your place and book your ticket now for the international VDI conference „Automation & Digitization of Cranes“.

Are you interested in promoting your company and products at the international VDI conference Automation & Digitization of Cranes? Contact Robin Wulf Wulf @vdi .de for more details.

Advisory Board

Robert Histon PortRep Cosulting Group / Palmetto

Jochen Lang Siemens AG Industry Sector / Erlangen

Raoul van Heffen TBA B.V.  / Delft

Eventnumber: 02KO016

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