Semcon tests autonomous technology at Swedish port

  • October 13, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Swedish technology company Semcon is conducting a feasibility study for Yilport to investigate how transport flows in the port of Gävle can be made more efficient using autonomous vehicles to automate logistics processes.

Gävle is one of Sweden’s largest ports. Huge quantities of goods are transported to and from the port every day, and Yilport is in charge of operations. Because ports, like mines and production facilities, are enclosed areas, they are suitable environments for automation.

“We have been commissioned to map and analyse the benefits and values autonomous solutions could provide to Yilport for a specific logistics process,” said David Darwall, global business manager at Semcon. “The feasibility study will focus on a single process, but the vision is to build fully autonomous logistics production for Yilport, which is very exciting. Autonomous solutions not only optimise operational costs, they also contribute to improved safety, quality and traceability.”

The logistics process that will initially be investigated is the transport of containers by lorry from container warehouses to the docks, where they are then lifted by crane onto ships. In the project, Semcon will map all parts of the process, costs, needs and challenges to understand the process in depth. A requirements specification, concept and business case will then be delivered to Yilport.

“Semcon has unique cutting-edge expertise as a full-service provider of autonomous solutions,” said Darwall. “We cover everything from design and development to implementation in a wide range of applications and in many different industries, whatever the vehicle type or manufacturer.”

To assist in the project, Semcon is calling on its close partnership with Yeti Move, which is providing a platform for controlling and monitoring autonomous operations. Yeti Move is a software provider and is jointly owned by Semcon, Øveraasen and Husqvarna.

Yilport, a logistics and supply chain firm based in Turkey, is responsible for the operation of 22 ports across the globe that use the same process for moving containers, which means that there are large-scale financial benefits to be gained by finding technology that can be applied to all its production worldwide.

“For Yilport, it’s important to always be at the forefront of technological advances so that we can offer our customers effective solutions and, in Semcon, we have found a partner we truly believe in,” said Håkan Bergström, sales director for Yilport Nordic. “Automation in ports is common, but no one has really come up with a solution to get it to work in conjunction with other traffic, and in this Semcon is at the cutting edge.”

Semcon collaborates mainly with companies in the automotive, industry, energy and life science sectors. With more than 2000 specialised employees, it can take care of the entire product development cycle, from strategy and technology development to design and product information. Semcon was founded in Sweden in 1980 and has offices in more than 30 locations in eight countries. In 2019, the group reported annual sales of SEK1.9 bn.