Development of precise positioning accelerates Kalmar’s research project – Etteplan Rugged Evaluation Platform in action

Kalmar offers the widest range of cargo handling solutions and services to ports, terminals, distribution centers, and to heavy industry. Kalmar is the industry forerunner in terminal automation and in energy-efficient container handling, with one in four container movements around the globe being handled by a Kalmar solution. Through its extensive product portfolio, global service network, and ability to enable a seamless integration of different terminal processes, Kalmar improves the efficiency of every move.


As a market leader, Kalmar is able to shape the future of its industry. The company drives the transformation of cargo and material handling through openness and collaboration as well as with innovative, digitally enabled, and eco-efficient solutions. As a part of this strategy, Kalmar is seeking solutions to support autonomous operations and precise positioning in its cargo handling machines.

More specifically, Kalmar wanted to develop a positioning system for their heavy machinery, such as manual straddle carriers, that would help especially with verifying the location of containers, and enable utilization of geofence areas in seaports, both ongoing challenges in the industry.

High-precision positioning development with Etteplan Rugged Evaluation Platform

The need was for a reference design that could provide connectivity and high-precision positioning and would enable Kalmar to develop its solutions cost-effectively. For example, a separate high-end GNSS receiver is too expensive for these solutions.

Etteplan was able to offer our Rugged Evaluation Platform that could be installed on the top of the machines to generate positioning data and help Kalmar with developing a prototype for the positioning solution. 

Etteplan Rugged Evaluation Platform

Etteplan’s Rugged Evaluation Platform

“We had a good understanding of Etteplan’s capabilities beforehand due to our history with the company. Etteplan was able to offer competitive pricing, suitable technologies, and a hardware platform that we can continue to develop in the future”, explains Pekka Yli-Paunu, the director of automation research at Kalmar, on why Etteplan was chosen as the development partner.

Plug-and-play reference designs delivered to Kalmar

In total, Etteplan delivered five evaluation platforms with precise positioning and connectivity capabilities. Kalmar used the platforms to test positioning functions on their machinery. Etteplan also supported Kalmar in the testing by maintaining cloud services and fixing any errors in the prototypes.

“The project went according to our expectations. The required hardware and functionalities were integrated on the platform and we were successful in conducting the testing that was planned”, elaborates Pekka, “Altogether, the basic functionalities and the goals for this project were achieved.”

The result was an accelerated research project for Kalmar

With the help of Etteplan and the evaluation platforms, Kalmar was able to accelerate the testing of its concept, save valuable resources in R&D, and concentrate on its core competencies.

“So far, we have tested the solution in our own machinery, but our intention is to take it to our customers in the future and continue to further test it in machinery. The service and reference designs Etteplan provided definitely expedited the research project and helped us meet our goals”, concludes Pekka.


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Eero Kaappa
Eero Kaappa
Business Development Director