Tenova’s SafeForPorts project set to transform Port Operations


Castellanza, March 04, 2024Tenova, a leading company specializing in sustainable solutions for the metals and the mining industries, thanks to the project SafeForPorts has won a call for proposals issued by the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) under the banner of RAISE (Robotics and AI for Socio-economic Empowerment), implemented under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Mission 4 funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU. SafeForPorts is a new project tasked with creating smart and sustainable ports by implementing key Industry 4.0 technologies. It will revolutionize the safety of machine operators improving the efficiency of port operations by offering an innovative solution that integrates training on one side and assisted maintenance on the other to address critical needs in port areas.

Through the use of a Virtual Reality simulator, the project will develop a comprehensive solution for the remote training of operators and on-field assistance for the operation and maintenance of bucket ship unloaders (a rail-mounted mobile unit typically installed on port docks). The VR simulator will be accessible to operators via headsets, while remote assistance will be enhanced through the processing of structured photographic material using Computer Vision algorithms.

Designed and developed in Tenova's virtual laboratory in Genoa, the VR prototype will include a workstation cabin with handheld controls simulating the 3D operational environment of the machine. The final system will advance the laboratory model by developing interactive elements and refining operational logic to achieve full virtual operational capability.

This integrated approach will allow operators to execute maintenance workflows systematically, while supported by a hands-free head-mounted wearable device. These workflows involve capturing images of criticalities and providing inputs for processing algorithms that generate reports on system degradation. In addition, Tenova has foreseen the possibility of developing a Digital Twin for managing cargo hold procedures on the ship in unmanned operation mode.

The project falls within RAISE’s activities, which include the implementation of robotics and AI systems for the management of port traffic, contributing to the advancement of intelligent solutions in the maritime industry. It is being developed in partnership with Prosoft Intesys and InformAmuse as technology providers.

Silvio Leoni, EVP of Material Handling Business Unit, commented: "SafeForPorts holds strategic significance for Tenova, not just in terms of business but also for actively contributing to the development of new technologies and the design of increasingly intelligent, optimized processes for smart and sustainable ports. This project testifies our commitment to prioritizing and enhancing a core value at Tenova: safety. As we embark on this initiative, we recognize it as a catalyst for innovation and a cornerstone toward shaping the future with new possibilities and perspectives."