Photo: Busan Port; Image: Pixabay

5G MEC tech to make Busan Port cleaner, smarter

Busan Port Authority (BPA), the governing body of the South Korean Port of Busan, has decided to integrate 5G mobile edge computing (MEC) convergence technology into crane remote controlling in an effort “to make the port safer and smarter”.

As informed, BPA is participating in the Public 5G Integrated Service Project in collaboration with LG Uplus, relevant SMEs, and other organizations.

Mobile edge computing-based 5G convergence is a technology to process network data at the service site, rather than having to transmit the data to the main server. This can be achieved by establishing servers or other computing systems to process and store data near mobile communication base station.

It provides ultra-low delay by decreasing network traffic, highly functional 5G services suitable for the site, and stronger security, according to BPA.

Based on such an ultra-high speed and low delay 5G technology, remote controlling of port cranes and automation of warehouses can be realized, making Busan Port safer and more efficient.

Currently, to move containers with a port crane, the crane has to be operated by a person. The operator needs to look down from 25-meter above the ground and operate the crane for long.

Only one person can operate a crane, and containers can be stacked only up to three layers. Moreover, the risk of accidents is high as the equipment is operated at the same place where people work.

With 5G, cranes can be remotely operated in an office far away from the site, and one operator can operate 3 to 4 cranes simultaneously. Moreover, containers can be stacked four layers or more, improving productivity by 40%, and accidents between equipment and workers can be prevented.

For warehouses, following technologies will be applied: three directional unmanned forklifts and auto guided vehicles (AGV) to move products; auto risk detection and alarm for hazardous material storage by using liquid leakage sensors; and automatic checking of workers’ body temperature and alarm when they do not wear masks.

For the project, the MEC center and the 5G network for Busan Port will be established during the latter half of this year to be used for port unloading equipment.

“Introduction of 5G technology is a great opportunity to establish digital infrastructure for smart port based on domestic technology, which is important to secure competitive edge over other advanced ports abroad. It is also an opportunity to lay a sustainable foundation for other related industries,” CEO Nam Ki-chan commented.

“We will work with public organizations and private companies to create an exemplary model for the Korean New Deal project.”