The Terminal Operating System (TOS) interface standard is a leap forward in global container handling, helping to minimize lead time and increase efficiency in ports’ operations.
In the industrial internet-enabled container terminal of the near future, machines would be designed to communicate seamlessly with each other, moving cranes and performing actions with precision. Helping to make this into a reality, Konecranes, together with the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA), developed the TOS interface standard.
Operating systems have been developed independently by various terminal operators and commercial software companies in the past, but there has been a lack of agreement on message protocols or guidelines. As a result, while these previous systems have had similar purposes and functions, integrating them to interact with each other without friction or overlapping software has been difficult and time consuming.
A highly adaptable standard
The purpose of the TOS interface standard is to enable the synchronization of databases and operating systems, thereby allowing operators to jointly coordinate and plan the moves that a crane should perform at any port worldwide.
Kari Rintanen, Konecranes’ Manager for Port Technology Research and the chairperson for the PEMA working group that is developing the TOS standard elaborates: “The TOS standard was developed to support various types of container handling machines and container terminal types, whether they are manually controlled or unmanned driven vehicles, operated by a computer and dedicated navigation systems.”
Vessels’ turn-around time is the key performance indicator for shipping lines. The principle is simple – if the vessel is not moving, it isn’t being productive. In turn, container ports compete with each other at providing the fastest service possible. Their goal is to successfully move tens of thousands of containers on a daily basis, without any friction.
- Kari Rintanen is the Manager for Port Technology Research at Konecranes.
- From 2012 to 2014, Rintanen chaired the PEMA working group that has been jointly developing the TOS standard.
- He is the inventor of several of Konecranes’ patents that are related to port technology.