Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Intermodal transfer areas become efficiently and safely automated

A newly developed telematic system allows the safe and effective management and control of mobile equipment used in intermodal transfer areas.
Intermodal transfer areas become efficiently and safely automated
The broadening of European route networks has brought intermodal transportation in the scene of most business activities. In this way, the commerce of most goods and products may now take advantage of the various possibilities of using more than one means of conveyance. However, the timely and cost-efficient delivery of quality products is a function of many factors, and is directly related with their carefully planned movement, storage and warehousing.

Handling products and goods at intermodal transfer areas constitutes a highly complicated task that requires both heavy engineering and extremely intense manual labour. Unlike most telematic support tools, this Italian development called GEMMA offers effective management and control of all operations performed by mobile equipment used in these areas. Most importantly, this innovation may lead to minimisation of human intervention within these activities, thus reducing risks of error and accidents, and in turn maximising safety.

More specifically, GEMMA comprises peripheral units found on mobile equipment that communicate with a central processor. The system offers real-time scheduling and rescheduling of tasks and remote driving of mobile equipment including continuous operations monitoring as well as control and reset options via sensors. Most interestingly, the software tool may exploit suitable data in order to specify priorities in activities sequencing and this may lead to complete automation of operations.

Adopting the GEMMA system, intermodal transfer areas are expected to become the coordination junctions of a large variety of subsystems that will be fully managed and controlled via telematics. The novel technology is offered to port management companies and operators who deal with movement and/or storage/warehousing of goods. The system may be tailored to particular partner needs and for this purpose qualified technical assistance is provided.
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