Crane with a brain?
GRAZ, AUSTRIA - ANDRITZ IS INTRODUCING A smart, fully-autonomous crane with enhanced artificial intelligence.
International technology group ANDRITZ and Metsä Fibre Ltd., part of the Metsä Group, have signed a preliminary agreement under which ANDRITZ will supply two, fully-autonomous, log-yard cranes to the planned Metsä Fibre bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland.
These ANDRITZ cranes will be the first autonomously operated log-yard cranes worldwide. They feature the latest in artificial intelligence, thus optimizing log handling, minimizing wood losses and securing environmentally- friendly and cost-effective operation compared with traditional log-handling solutions. The agreement is a significant breakthrough for log-yard cranes in Europe.
Metsä Fibre is poised to make the €1.5 billion investment decision for the new mill in late 2020 at the earliest, and the new mill will take approximately two and a half years to build.
Included in the engineering-procurement-construction deal are two 2 x 25-ton cranes on a 540 metre long runway with storage capacity of approximately 120,000 cubic metres. The cranes will handle approximately 7.6 million cubic metres of wood a year shipped on trucks and trains as well as handling log storage and feeding the wood to the pulping process.
“We valued the low noise – considering the planned mill location – the energy efficiency and all-electric drives with no fossil fuels consumed, and also the advantages created by applying advanced robotics and artificial intelligence to achieve autonomous operation,” says Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre.
Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of biochemicals, bioenergy and other bioproducts. Planning of the new bioproduct mill is based on a high level of environmental efficiency as well as efficiency in terms of energy and materials used. The mill will not use any fossil fuels and its electricity self-sufficiency rate will be 250%. If built, the Kemi bioproduct mill will produce 1.5 million tons of softwood and hardwood pulp a year as well as many other bioproducts.