Moffatt & Nichol’s terminal emulation is based on FlexTerm technology. Using FlexTerm as a platform, Moffatt & Nichol can create a virtual container terminal and execute various container handling jobs at the berth, in the storage yard, in the rail yard, or at the gate to perform emulation studies for container terminals either at its development or operation stage.

Moffatt & Nichol has developed an emulation framework for communication between FlexTerm and TOS, especially for NAVIS SPARCS N4, a leading TOS product for container terminals. This framework includes a model to map between TOS data and FlexTerm, a multi-threaded communication protocol and interface between TOS and FlexTerm for terminal operations, and visualization of equipment movement tracking and container inventory in vessel and storage yard. The framework is highly extendable and scalable to allow more emulation functionalities and communication with other TOS products. 

Real World Behavior

Utilizing the FlexTerm emulation framework, Moffatt & Nichol has performed various demonstration of emulation projects regarding container yard and vessel operations for both discharging and loading containers. Moffatt & Nichol is actively working with terminal operators to further enhance its emulation capabilities, as well as applying emulation to various terminal operation scenarios. The firm understands emulation is an important tool to analyze and optimize terminal operation.

Emulator Tool Highlights

  • Support the TOS development by provide a test bed
  • Facilitate interface testing and integration between TOS and Equipment Control System (ECS)
  • Evaluate TOS’s capability to reliably handle the designed workload
  • Train terminal operators without impacting the real terminal operation
  • Fine tune TOS parameter to improve its performance
  • Test alternative strategies before actual application to real terminal operation