Smart port design

All of our projects are designed using BIM as standard and we are also proud to be developing a series of parametric design approaches to enhance our design tools and streamline our design process.
Smart port design
We always design ports to our customers’ needs and by using digital tools, we can combine digital ways of working with technology such as mixed and augmented reality to help our clients’ ports work even smarter. Find out more about how we’re integrating Smart Design in the creation of Smart Ports.

Digitalisation and tools

For us, digitalisation is both the adoption of new technologies in our projects and partnerships, and the development of new, technology-enabled solutions and services for our clients. It allows us to work more closely with our clients and partners to deliver value in design, asset management and operations.

Digitalisation brings a number of key advantages in the smart ports sector:

  • Efficiency
    Collaborative BIM ways of working and new tools such as automation and digital twinning enable us to test ideas and typical scenarios in a virtual environment. This helps us address client queries and concerns early in the design phase and enables confident decisions to be made more quickly. Such collaboration both accelerates the design process and drives major savings in construction, asset management and operations: challenges or unexpected environmental factors are identified much sooner, long before construction begins.

  • Visualisation
    A central part of our expertise is in translating complex information in a coherent and engaging way. Technology tools such as virtual and augmented reality (and others), are enormously valuable in this area, enabling us to convey scenarios and solutions visually, creating common understanding across client, supply chain and stakeholders.

  • Creativity
    Technology today enables more creative thinking, by automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks. By performing calculations and making adjustments automatically within virtual models, digital tools free up our engineers and consultants to focus on value, innovation and problem solving.

  • Analytics
    Deeper collaboration with our data science specialists Ynformed and HAL24k over many projects is bringing increasing benefits.

Our joint expertise brings unrivalled insights for smart ports, by using the ports’ own data and combining it with other sources of information. The approach applies data analytics to virtual design models to make reliable predictions about operational outcomes and performance.

Mixed and augmented reality offer enormous potential to smart ports. The technologies provide an enhanced level of information, blended with the real world. They translate data instantly into tangible, valuable insight.

Using these tools in design

The technology is invaluable to the design process in enabling stakeholders to gain a visual impression of what a new port asset would look like. It allows designers, stakeholders, clients, asset managers and more to visualise and interact with data. For example, it can visualise strain through a structure or help us understand the impact to wildlife of lengthening a dock wall.

Design options can be presented in a 2D or 3D demonstration, to give a real sense of scale, sightlines and visual impact. The user can walk or drive around the port development, viewing a proposed asset from all angles. AR and MR provide a level playing field of perception, where everyone shares the same experience.

The latest MR developments enable us to go further than ever before. 3D elements can now be displayed ‘live’ in a room so that they can be evolved and co-created as part of a team meeting.

Asset management

A smart port collects vast amounts of data to help manage and improve performance. But to be effective, that data must be translated in real time via an engaging, easy to use interface. AR and MR offer the perfect vehicle. Here’s an example: an operative views a pump room’s current performance through a headset such as Microsoft HoloLens. Her visual view of the pumps is overlaid with information about pressures in each unit, input and output levels and inspection dates.

Any smart port asset can be augmented in this way to suit any specific data requirement: whether it be the levels of strain on a lock gate, energy usage at individual vessel berths or the performance of automated terminal processes.

Our expertise

Our approach to Smart Ports, coupled with our deep expertise and application of new digital technology enables informed client decisions. Clear information at the right time leads to the best outcomes in port design, asset management and operations. Speak to our team today to understand how digital tools can add value to projects.
Mark Wootton - Director for Terminal automation


Director for Terminal automation

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