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New technology eliminates paper

A trailblazing technology system created at Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) is paving the way for industry, eliminating up to 50,000 pieces of paper annually at the RG Tanna Coal terminal (RGTCT).

GPC’s unloading and stockpiling operations at RGTCT have officially gone paperless following the implementation of a Digital Twin Decision Automation system.

The online interactive system shows all machine movements at the terminal including trains and dozers in real time, allowing operators and managers to get up-to-date information and find data instantly.

Operational Systems Manager Brian Jobling and his team developed the system from scratch.

Mr Jobling said it has significantly improved terminal capability, quality of service and efficiency.

“Since we implemented this software we’ve had 30,000 coal trains with zero errors and that’s an ode to moving away from manual systems such as paper log books and automating business processes,” Mr Jobling said.

Mr Jobling and his team have combined decades’ of experience and data into the system.

“We had all this valuable but un-linked information - we now automatically cross reference the data to have accurate information presented and understood within five seconds. In the past this took two hours per shift!”

The operational systems team explored options to improve the old paper process from 2011 before designing their own system with the latest Cloud-based technology in 2014.

“We were interested in increasing capacity and eliminating all forms of waste, looking at where we could improve and to stop people waiting on a slow paper process,” he said.

The GPC system now has 60 different digital components of the terminal and can track movements of trains and dozers as well as communicate with customers and record data.

“I have some really passionate people on our team who have made this improbable task, possible,” Mr Jobling said.

Acting CEO Craig Walker said the technology developed by GPC is setting a global standard.

“At GPC we are preparing for the next 50 years - intergenerational planning is central to our strategy to future proof the regions in which we operate,” Mr Walker said.

“It is critical that our ports are developed in a systematic and sustainable manner to facilitate the continued growth of trade and planning is a vital part of that process.”

The team is currently working with the University of Queensland and CAT, who have looked to GPC to help improve automation technology due to the significant volume of data they collect every day.

As Australia’s premiere multi-commodity port, GPC is working to ready Queensland to take full advantage of the future.