The world’s first ship-shore digital twin smart loading system independently developed by Tianjin Port has finished loading cargoes of 172,000 tons for three ships. The average difference in the ships’ depth of immersion was maintained somewhere between 30 to 45 cm. During the whole process of operation, the deviation value was maintained within 0.53 degrees. The system offers a “Tianjin Port solution” to making the whole operation process smart for bulk ports worldwide. It also pioneers smart control over the whole process in domestic bulk cargo industry.
The smart loading system integrates functions of digital twin modeling, real-time position monitoring, comprehensive anti-collision and precise in-cabin cargoes loading. It features a dual ship modeling technology based on exploded view of cargo plan and laser scanning, enabling automatic and accurate hull modeling, automatic error correction, and online monitoring of the hull, cabin and abnormalities. Internationally, it is the first system applying BeiDou positioning system and microwave radar to measure the ship’s water level and position, which solved problems including big errors, longer time consumed and low reliability when the water level was measured manually with a water gauge; it is the first to put forth fully automated loading operation and smart control algorithm with the goal of zero deviation in ship sagging and hogging, which improved the safety of ship structure and optimized the efficiency of ship loading and transportation; and it is the first to adopt the idea of quasi-double-round loading operation, realizing coordinated control over multiple in-cabin loading operation and substantially improving operation efficiency.
The use of the system reduced the average time each ship spent on a berth by 8 percent, improving the service quality of coal shipment and the core competitiveness of the company. It also increased the annual throughput of the port and saved operation costs. The system is very safe as it has devices for multiple rounds of safety detection. With the system, Tianjin Port is making new contributions to China Shenhua’s efforts in emerging as a first-class company worldwide.
The development of the smart loading system was approved by China Energy and was finished in two years. On the basis of automating the operation, the system aims for delivering the best client services. The research and development team mainly comprises researchers from the company’s innovation research institute. In the meantime, it also invited foreign and Chinese experts from Hexcel, Harbin Institute of Technology, and the Classification Society.