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How Big Data Is Lifting Cranes

Tony Slinn
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Rostock-based German manufacturer Liebherr is one of the first maritime companies to use big data as an IT tool.

With the introduction of the LiDAT smartApp and a big data platform, which optimizes the performance of its cranes at ports and terminals globally, Liebherr has made it possible to quickly analyze operating and performance data from cranes.

Big data as applied to ports and shipping is still in its infancy. But the continuing rise in port and terminal automation where technology and especially communications that are essential to the industry can provide a platform that welcomes and integrates big data across the board.

Three Main Aims for an App

Liebherr manufactures a comprehensive range of port cranes, including ship-to-shore container cranes; mobile harbor and permanently installed cranes; portal cranes; rail-mounted and rubber-tired stacking cranes; plus cargo-handling equipment like straddle carriers and reachstackers.

The company’s telematic LiDAT smartApp has three main aims,

1. Optimize cranes’ cargo handling performance, and,

2. Monitor working progress in real time;

3. Enable processes to work more efficiently.

To do that, LiDAT combines crane technology and data transfer logic and uses big data analytic techniques in the following way:

• Crane sensors record specific values online, during operations;

• Process data is then transmitted in real time to the LiDAT server center, where it’s analyzed;

• LiDAT displays relevant data/variables as key performance indicators (KPIs) on any device (PC, tablet, smartphone, etc) and its analysis results can also be fed to crane operators’ displays.

How Big Data Is Lifting Cranes

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