KALP to Relaunch ALP Business

KALP GmbH and Bromma have mutually terminated their agreement for Bromma to utilise KALP´s technology for automated twist lock handling.

KALP GmbH is the company that developed the “Automatic Lashing Platform” (ALP). In February 2012 Kalmar acquired the KALP Automatic Lashing Platform from its inventor Rainer Kapelski and assigned it to Bromma for further development. Bromma marketed the system as the ALP (Automated Lashing Platform) and in 2016 announced the first commercial order from VICT, ICTSI’s new automated terminal in Melbourne, Australia.

A joint announcement said “KALP GmbH can, based on the agreement, independently continue with production and sales of the ALP technology”.

With the ALP to manage twistlock handling on the quay VICT aimed to be the world’s first “fully automated” terminal. As has been reported previously, VICT, which also features remote controlled STS cranes, has had a difficult ramp up period and opted not to try and incorporate the ALP into its operations.

Bromma has now reassigned all the product rights back to KALP’s founder Rainer Kapelski, who has also settled all claims with earlier KALP investors and now has full control of the product. Kapelski is now in the process of looking for new investors, and a partner on the terminal operating side who is willing to work with KALP to integrate the product.

Speaking exclusively to WorldCargo News, Kapelski said he has not changed his conviction that automated twistlock handling is achievable and can deliver significant benefits to terminal operators. He intends to work on improving the tooling system in the ALP machine itself, and develop a process for handling exceptions in the system.

An exception where the twistlock jams or cannot be handled for some other reason, Kapelski said, should be identified by a control centre monitoring the operation through cameras. Exceptions can be dealt with by taking the container out of the operation to a separate area, rather than trying to design a process for a person to access the machine and address the problem under a crane. This would enable the crane to keep operating while any issues are resolved.

There is still plenty of interest in automated twistlock handling in the market. With vessels and call sizes getting larger, Kapelski believes the opportunity to shorten the crane cycle by 20-30 seconds and improve safety by handling twistlocks automatically is compelling. Furthermore, new vessels have a much more homogeneous fleet of twistlocks, and typically call at fewer terminals. There is an opportunity, Kapelski said, for lines and terminals to work together and save three to four hours per call by developing the system for specific trades.


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