OneTerminal beats a path to integration
Integrating terminal equipment, software and services is a considerable and complicated undertaking. Kalmar is paving the way to a solution in offering pre-integration testing of its automation solution OneTerminal.
Kalmar OneTerminal is an automated terminal solution that brings together intelligent equipment and operating systems in one package that can be delivered as a predefined product or customised to individual customer requirements.
The solution comprises the Navis N4 terminal operating system and the Kalmar TLS (terminal logistic system) equipment control system. The aim in combining these systems is to tackle the implementation challenges customers face with the multi-vendor approach, says OneTerminal Product Manager, Hannu Karp.
“The aim is to tackle the implementation challenges customers face with the multi-vendor approach.”
“Many terminal operators have experienced integration issues with this type of automation implementation,” he explains. “It is only when an operator starts testing systems from multiple vendors that it can be sure these systems will actually interact with one another, and whether the integration specifications have been understood differently by different implementation teams, which could pose problems for the project or software upgrades. This is time that the customer could spend on more productive activities.”
The pre-integration test process involves running 62 functional tests, which might be as simple as moving a container from one block to another. In addition, pre-integration testing includes running a simultaneous load and discharge endurance emulator run of at least 500 discharge and 500 load moves.
“Without testing already done during the product development phase, the customer would have to spend a considerable amount of time running combined integration tests before even starting tests of the business process flows,” explains Karp.
OneTerminal enables customers to:
- Reduce risks in implementing terminal automation
- Decrease implementation lead time
- Achieve higher returns on investment
As part of the development process, Kalmar has arranged internal staff training for the Navis N4 terminal operating system. “Developing skills across both our terminal logistics system and terminal operating system is crucial to realise the full potential of the OneTerminal concept, and honing needed skills in product management and project delivery, as well as product development and testing,” says Karp.
The pre-integration work undertaken by Kalmar does not cover customer specific process flows and configuration, so there is still a need for the end user to test the systems in the delivery projects. However, it does significantly reduce the risk and workload associated with these activities.
Karp acknowledges that terminal operators are still in the very early stages of implementing automation and that there will always be some customers who choose to source hardware, software and services separately. He also cites industries such as manufacturing as examples, where the process is more developed and where this type of pre-integration testing is more commonplace.
“This is not a standalone or one-off project – Kalmar will run similar pre-integration tests for each new release of the Navis N4 software with the latest Kalmar TLS and will continue to further refine the process,” explains Karp. “We are currently developing the testing asset further so that the criteria for future OneTerminal releases will be even stricter,” he concludes. “For example, there will be functional tests covering more exception cases and the endurance test model will be more realistic.”
Text: Paul Golden