Tratos Academy this month hosted its first-ever free public webinar, exploring the challenges ahead for ports terminals and related technologies in the company of industry experts.

Global manufacturer of cables for moving applications at ports, Tratos was keen to use a series of webinars and other online tools to allow the people to share information and stay connected while maintaining a safe distance. Tratos is no stranger to working remotely; its communication team and executives have adapted without much difficulty, remaining fully operative, as have the factories which continue production both in Italy and the UK. 

Guest presenters for the first webinar included COWI Technical Director Dimitrios Pachakis, PEMA chair Ottonel Popesco, Tratos Europe sales manager Rainer Pollmann and the session was chaired by Tratos Export Director Jon Sojo Arana, with closing remarks from Tratos CEO, Dr Maurizio Bragagni.

Presentations were made by Mr Pachakis and Mr Pollmann on Infrastructure for automated Ports and Powering systems for modern Terminals respectively. An informed and interesting debate followed with insight and observations from Dr Bragagni – all moderated by Jon Sojo. The session covered civil infrastructure on automated terminals and electrical power and data transmission on terminals, the landscape of the port and major challenges, culminating in a live Q&A.

Participants heard about the different challenges presented by conventional and automated port terminals, and that, because every single automated terminal is 100% unique, its built-in infrastructure is, in itself, a challenge.

The webinar opened a window on the wider role for cable in next-generation ports where they will be expected to yield more data as, increasingly, the future for harbour cranes remains hand in hand with cable.

Growth of automation was predicted to slow as a result of a recession following the current pandemic, but the situation had offered some valuable learnings – including ports looking at offering a full end-to-end delivery service for customers and an insight into what future Health & Safety benefits were offered by greater automation.

The webinar, which can be found on TRATOS YouTube channel, lasted for an hour and a half, engaging with a broad audience from different parts of the world and major Port sector players. In addition to automation, the impact of the COVID-19 on port investments was also discussed. 

Mr Pachakis gave an illuminating introduction to the process inside port infrastructure and the main challenges faced when we are considering an automated greenfield. He also gave his insights and opinion on brownfield Automation as well as the future impact of the current sanitary crisis.

Mr Pollmann shared some of his vast experience as TRATOS project manager in some of the most renowned and prestigious automated Terminal projects worldwide, to explain how cable relevance has increased exponentially as automation and electrification grows inside the sector, due to increased data transmission requirements and high-speed applications.

Concluding the session and before taking questions from the audience Mr Popesco provided a clear description of the current situation and the presumed impact on the port sector and related technologies. He said he expected investment in automation would not grow significantly in the short term after COVID-19 before taking a number of questions from the floor. 

Led by Dr Maurizio Bragagni the webinar panel offered its thanks to the essential workers in the port industry and other key workers who are working so hard to keep the world turning and protect and support frontline health workers.

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