The Importance of Real-time in a TOS

The Container Handling Industry over the years has witnessed many technological breakthroughs while some were futile others were pervasive, creating incredible opportunities for ports and terminals beyond the scope of known capabilities. Automation and the Cloud have been the most substantial technological advancement to date for terminal operating systems, downplaying the significance of real-time control and planning, which supports in-memory and parallel processing.

Improved decision-making abreast enhanced operations implores the need for real-time. Only then can accuracy and precision derive from the decisions made within a terminal. However, building a real-time connection without understanding the very depths of its architecture, represses an accurate depiction. It is vital to differentiate from true real-time and forged real-time as it will assist in identifying key problem areas terminal operators currently face.

What is Real-time?

Transaction Processing Architecture

The term “real-time” has been commonly abused to describe an environment that strays far from its semantics and tends to have contrary constructs representative of transaction processing. An online transaction should not be confused with real-time since the system is oriented in a method that processes data statically and sequentially. As a result, operators cannot work on any tasks or continue the planning process until they have successfully downloaded and retrieved the data from the previous operator on the servers. Transaction processing becomes increasingly complicated when workstation operators receive modified data, forcing the entire planning process to start from the initial stages. Sometimes the planning process continues without realizing the changes until CHEs have already received these instructions that are now deemed redundant, causing system hangs and erroneous moves from ensuing, which eliminates the chance for resource, CHE, and process optimization. Therefore, a transaction-oriented system has a strict structure that is not very reactive to changes, creating inflexibilities over control and removes agility in planning. A system architecture of this type is not feasible for running terminal operations and is not the pragmatic approach for operators who need reliable information to make accurate decisions.

Real-time Architecture

Unlike the conventional TOS, RBS TOPX Expert is built on a true knowledge of real-time architecture, which ensures that data is always in its most updated state. Without interaction, TOPX Expert can be updated continuously, so that information flow is consistent and fast without being prone to fragmentation. The true real-time nature reinforced in TOPX Expert is owed by its unique centralized, single server infrastructure which facilitates parallel processing, allowing an operator to move a container even while another operator is controlling the same container data – a rarity for standard TOS’.  As multiple windows and application processes can run in simultaneity, the workload is divided, inherently driving performance targets to new heights.

Although very few understand its true meaning, a system with a genuine real-time environment alerts another operator who intends to use the same data that it is actively used at a different workstation before they even confirm the action. Therefore, all activity conducted during planning to operation stages is registered in the system continuously so that concurrent planners are not using obsolete data. As information in TOPX Expert is always in real-time, any alterations in data are also automatically adjusted accordingly, so every stage of the planning process remains unaffected due to its independence and unique parallel graphic design.

TOPX Expert is conceived from a centralized infrastructure that facilitates real-time processing, which serves as the pillars that streamline processes, optimize resources, and makes accurate decisions. It has also generated core building blocks that ease the integration of new technological advancements like the Cloud, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence and has contributed an expanse in TOPX Expert capabilities. Only due to this architecture is RBS able to break conventional barriers and go beyond the known landscape to create innovations valuable for terminals. Understanding the architecture of your TOS is crucial in determining whether the roadmap can lead you to a prospective future. Your TOS is your future.