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GUARANTEEING FENDER PERFORMANCE

By Richard Hepworth, President, Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Trelleborg Fender System

The Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) test, adopted by many high quality fender manufacturers, determines whether fenders have been produced using a technically superior rubber formulation that includes little or no recycled rubber and only reinforcing fillers like carbon black.

Reinforcing fillers improve the mechanical properties of rubber. However, contrary to the belief of some across the industry, non-reinforcing fillers such as white calcium carbonate (CaCO3), actually reduces the lifespan of a fender, especially when used in larger quantities. CaCO3 is not a substitute for the carbon black used in high quality fenders.

Considerable research has been carried out over the years on the use of CaCO3 in rubber formulations. It is added to rubber to lower costs, improve processing and impart a lighter color. However, CaCO3 provides very little reinforcement to the rubber. Naturally obtained CaCO3 (ground CaCO3) has poor polymer-filler interaction due to its coarse particle size and its large surface area. Therefore, the rubber compound has poor adhesion and tear resistance.

Some manufacturers make use of large quantities of CaCO3 in the compound formulation of fenders to achieve lower cost. However, while more CaCO3 in a rubber formula may have its advantages in the processing of the compound and lower cost, it negatively impacts the primary aging properties over time, leading to a lower lifespan of the fender.

But, chemical testing is not enough. Full scale testing on prototypes and finished products should also be performed in the manufacturing facility to guarantee that the fenders meet lifecycle and performance specifications. This needs to be verified by testing a randomly chosen fender either at an independent facility, or, by using an independent testing jig.

Although deployed at a manufacturer’s facility using their own test frame, an Independent test rig provides a witness (third party or consultant) with real-time independent testing data captured and shown on an external display. Results are also printed in real-time providing witnesses with direct access to the data. What’s more, load cell and deflection measuring devices can be calibrated on the spot or by an external party independently, outside of the control of the fender manufacturer. Meanwhile test data obtained from the rig can be compared with that reported by manufacturers using their own measuring devices.

It’s vital that the industry understands that the substitution of carbon black with non-reinforcing fillers, such as CaCO3, means that equipment will need to be replaced earlier, and in the long term, result in heavier investment, not to mention the higher risks of failure during service life. Port owners and specifiers also need to educate themselves on the testing methods that can guarantee that the performance of their fenders meet specifications.

For more on Trelleborg’s research into the importance of ingredient selection, mixing and the manufacturing process in marine fenders, please refer to the ‘Guaranteeing Fender Performance’ and ‘Rubber Fenders: Mixing it Up’ whitepapers.

A SMARTER APPROACH TO FOAM FENDERS FOR THE CRUISE INDUSTRY

By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

With cruise ships continuing to grow in size to accommodate the 27.2 million passengers expected to cruise across the globe throughout 2018, it is vital that both terminals and berthing vessels are sufficiently protected. Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has launched a new brochure designed to help port and terminal owners and operators specify industry leading highly versatile foam fenders to meet the needs of the modern cruise terminal.

‘The Smarter Approach: Foam Fenders for the Cruise Industry’ details how Trelleborg’s foam fenders are an easy to use, low maintenance solution that provides many years of reliable service in cruise line operations. Easy to install, they offer a tough, heavy-duty fender solution for in-harbor, off-shore and ship-to-ship applications. Their resilient foam-filled construction provides an unsinkable fender body that permits high energy absorption with relatively low reaction force and hull pressures.

Modern cruise ships are larger than their historic counterparts and so carry more passengers and require a larger crew. In turn, this means more people are dependent on the safety and reliability of the port than ever before. And with the huge capacity of today’s vessels, comes the need for more efficient solutions port side, to accommodate and optimize intended economies of scale.

As a long term supplier and partner to the cruise industry, we’ve gathered our extensive engineering expertise and sector specific knowledge to create the new brochure which provides port and terminal owners and operators with the knowledge they need to achieve faster turnarounds, increased throughput, improve safety and lower operating costs for both their facilities and the vessels that visit them.

Trelleborg’s foam fenders share a construction technology centered on a closed cell polyethylene foam core and an outer skin of reinforced polyurethane elastomer, making punctures a thing of the past. After several years of active service, the fender can be returned to the factory, re-skinned and made ready for a new lease of life. Even if damaged, foam fenders still function until repairs or replacement are possible. To meet the needs of the modern cruise industry, Trelleborg’s foam fenders are available in a range of sizes and performance grades, as well as different colors.

To read the ‘Foam Fenders for the Cruise Industry’ brochure, visit: https://bit.ly/2Jw98Hu

 

 

THE EVOLUTION OF FENDER BEST PRACTICE

By Richard Hepworth, President, Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Ports need to have the confidence that their equipment is fit for purpose to fully protect terminals and berthing vessels, while keeping the port running safely and efficiently. Fenders are an essential part of this port infrastructure and as such their ability to perform reliably day-in, day-out is also essential.

However, not all fenders are made equal, and even those that appear to be made out of the same material, such as rubber, differ significantly in terms of performance. This is down to a number of factors and familiarization with these could mean the difference between a good investment and a bad one. As the economy has become increasingly global, it is more difficult to be fully confident in the performance and provenance of some products. Some unscrupulous suppliers are taking the opportunity to undercut reputable fender manufacturers. We have been working for years to prevent this. And now, I have some exciting news to share.

Since the establishment of PIANC’s 2002 Guidelines for the Design of Fender Systems there has been a number of evolutions in vessel design and industry applications, as well as advances in the design of fender systems themselves. As a result, Trelleborg has spent the last eight years relentlessly lobbying for updates to the guidelines with substantial investment in research highlighting the importance of understanding how ingredients for fenders are selected, how they are manufactured and how they are tested.

With that in mind, I am delighted to reveal that PIANC has announced the establishment of a new WG (MarCom Working Group 211), which will consult with a number of leading fender suppliers, including Trelleborg, with the objective of updating its 2002 guidelines – marking a significant step towards industry-wide fender best practice.

These changes will include updated guidance on the design, manufacture and testing of fender systems, including both the rubber element of the system and associated components. The group will also review guidelines for durability, maintenance and repair of fender systems and the implications of automated mooring systems on fender design. As such, we relish the discussion of our research into rubber compound composition, velocity and temperature Factors, manufacturing methods and testing.

It’s safe to say that we at Trelleborg look forward to working closely with PIANC and other leading manufacturers to ensure the new guidelines, when they become available, reflect the needs of a changing industry – one which is has a number of opportunities to thrive through the use of smart technologies.

Additionally, while PIANC is undoubtedly an important standard bearer for quality and performance, we’re pleased that the updated guidelines will seek to reiterate that PIANC has no mandate to nor intention of enforcing standards across the industry. Recognizing that this lack of enforcement has seen a number of suppliers misuse the term ‘PIANC certification’, with some even claiming ‘PIANC approval’ (which does not exist), the updated guidelines will see a stricter line on the use of its name.

We’ve long supported the work of PIANC and our contribution to the forthcoming update to PIANC’s guidelines is not only the latest in a long history of collaborative work, but a fitting reward for the near decade of our tireless efforts to driving up standards for fender best practice.

 

 

COLLABORATION IS KEY – TRELLEBORG HOSTS THCC SEMINARS

By Richard Hepworth, President, Trelleborg marine systems operation

Vessel sizes are becoming larger, competition is increasing and broader alliances between shipping lines are being established. These factors combine to put increased pressure on ports and terminals. Our industry is famously conservative, but change is coming quickly. There will be a need for more collaboration – as different stakeholders have different strengths. This will make partnerships throughout the supply chain and across industries critical.

After signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2017, strategically, this is what both we and Third Harbor Consultants Company (THCC) are doing. Collaborating. To further innovation and enable improvements for our ports and vessels. Recently, this saw Trelleborg host two technical seminars (20 & 21 June) in China with consultants and engineers from THCC and CCCC Water Transportation Consultants Company (WTCC).

The seminars provided consultants and engineers from THCC and WTCC with a comprehensive overview of SmartPort by Trelleborg, which powers the critical interface between ship and port, on land and at sea. SmartPort connects port operations, allowing operators to analyze performance and use data to increase efficiencies, improve safety and improve ROI for ports and vessels alike. The system integrates assets like fenders, mooring equipment, ship performance monitoring, and navigation systems through a network of sensors.

The seminars also provided insight on two solutions that fall under the SmartPort portfolio. The first being AutoMoor, Trelleborg’s rope-free, automated mooring system that uses smart technologies to enable faster berthing and improve safety levels within the port environment.

The second was Smart Fender, a marine fender load monitoring system that can be used to measure both the impact on fenders when a vessel berths, and the ongoing force applied as the vessel continues to bear against them whilst docked. When analyzed, the data obtained has the potential to be used in several ways: such as developing a deeper understanding of berthing dynamics, which in turn could assist with future fender and wharf design, and further, feed into the revision of safe and acceptable berthing operations and procedures.

Additionally, load data may be used to determine when maintenance is needed, or indeed, a replacement fender is required. In the event of an accident, or a fender failing, the data can be used to provide information as to why – providing valuable data for insurance claims and helping ports and shipping lines to avoid the costly downtime associated with disputes.

For more on SmartPort by Trelleborg, visit: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/marine-systems/smartport

SUITE OF SOLUTIONS SUPPLIED TO INDIA’S FIRST FSRU-BASED LNG TERMINAL

By Richard Hepworth, President, Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

With India one of the fastest growing countries across the globe, its energy consumption continues to rise at a rapid rate. Therefore, the country’s need for clean, safe and affordable fuel has never been greater. Marking a significant milestone for the development of port-based industries and social infrastructure across India, the country’s first Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) based LNG terminal at JSW Infrastructure’s Jaigarh Port in Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra state, aims to deliver exactly that.

Therefore I am delighted to reveal that Trelleborg recently supplied the H-Energy owned terminal with a suite of products, which included our Quick Release Hook Units, Environmental Monitoring System, SmartDock Docking Aid System and Central Integrated Monitoring system.

Developed with industry leading engineering and safety standards, an annual capacity of 4 MMTPA, H-Energy’s LNG Terminal offers storage, re-gasification, re-loading, fuel bunkering and truck loading facilities to cater to the growing energy demand of Indian industries. When operational towards the end of 2018, the re-gasified LNG will be supplied to customers, through a 60-kilometer pipeline which will be connected to a national gas grid at Dabhol.

The project was managed by our experienced projects team in Melbourne, while engineers from our engineering and design center of excellence in Ahmedabad, India, carried out the inspection and commissioning of the mooring equipment and attended the successful berthing of the FSRU.

The supplied suite of products fall under our SmartPort portfolio. SmartPort is a technology platform that seeks to connect all aspects of port operations, allowing users to analyse asset performance and apply data insights, which helps to improve day-to-day decision making.

For more information on SmartPort by Trelleborg, visit: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/marine-systems

 

TRELLEBORG AT THE 11TH INTERNATIONAL HARBOUR MASTERS CONGRESS

By Richard Hepworth, President, Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) will hold its 11th Congress from 25 – 28 June 2018 in London. Attracting port authorities and international maritime experts and professionals from across the globe, the 2018 Congress will provide the platform for the discussion and exploration of upcoming infrastructure projects, the latest developments in port construction, how to improve the safety and efficiency of modern port operations, and more.

With the growing need for shipping companies and port operators to establish smarter ways to deliver against the expectations of globalization and increasing scale and utilization of vessels, at the Congress, we’ll be discussing SmartPort by Trelleborg. SmartPort by Trelleborg is a technology platform that powers the critical interface between ship and port, on land and at sea. The SmartPort platform connects port operations, allowing operators to analyze asset performance and use data to improve decision making. The system integrates assets like fenders, mooring equipment, ship performance monitoring, and navigation systems through a network of sensors.

With that in mind, we’ll also be showcasing a number of our cutting-edge docking and mooring solutions for use in oil terminals operating at sub-zero temperatures, LNG terminals in the tropics and everything in between. Additionally, we’ll also be on hand to provide visitors with everything they need to know about our advanced navigation and piloting solutions for offshore energy and pilotage operations.

For more information about the International Harbor Masters Congress, visit: https://maritime.knect365.com/ihma-global-port-and-marine-operations/

 

TRELLEBORG EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN LINK TECHNOLOGY AT POSIDONIA 2018

By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation will showcase its Emergency Shutdown Link (ESL) technology for LPG, ethane, oil and chemical gas transfer operations at Posidonia 2018 (stand 3.419, 4 – 8 June) in Athens, Greece.

Posidonia not only serves as a bridge linking the international shipping industry with the Greek shipowners, who operate the largest fleet globally of over 4,000 vessels, the largest under the control of any national group, but also serves as the platform that brings international shipowners in touch with the latest developments in the shipping industry and offers them direct access to the entire range of shipping products and services available on the international shipping market.

The transfer of hazardous liquids in a marine environment necessitates the use of linked Emergency Shut Down (ESD) systems. The ESL offers a reliable link between the two interconnected ESD systems involved in the transfer, enabling rapid and controlled shutdown of the transfer operation in emergency situations.

At Posidonia, Trelleborg will also exhibit its Ship Performance Monitoring systems. Fuel is the single largest operational cost of running a vessel. Fuel costs are rising dramatically, and the key question occupying ship-owners, ship managers and charterers alike is; “In a competitive market how do we reduce the running costs of the vessels we operate while maintaining the level of service to our customer?”

For the last 25 years Trelleborg has been at the forefront of the development and implementation of Ship Performance Monitoring and Optimization systems. Using the latest technology available, computer-based systems have monitored and controlled the performance of complex vessels such as multi-engined Ro-Ro ferries up to LNGCs. The systems are modular in concept to enable all ship system configurations to be accommodated and for systems to be upgraded. Interfaces are used to link with all applicable on-board systems.

For more information about Posidonia 2018 or to register your attendance, visit: http://posidonia-events.com/

 

2018 PIANC WORLD CONGRESS A SUCCESS!

By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

A huge thanks to those of you that joined our technical presentations at PIANC’s World Congress in Panama City earlier this month. As ever, it was great to catch up with industry peers and debate the innovations and developments that have emerged in the last four years.

This year, my colleague Mishra Kumar, Technical Director – Marine Fenders, delivered a technical presentation that highlighted the fact that many fenders supplied to critical projects across the globe may not be fit for purpose thanks to the ease at which unscrupulous manufacturers can dupe fender performance testing results. Mishra discussed the need for improved guidelines to enable the independent authentication of fender performance and provided an overview of a new, more accurate verification test, as we at Trelleborg have long called for. Intriguingly, we know that PIANC has some rather exciting news in this area which will be revealed in due course.

My colleague Tommy Mikkelsen, Managing Director of our Danish Operations, also took to the stage to discuss how ports and vessel performance will be further shaped by data and smart technologies. He showcased current case studies and highlighted a number of new technical innovations that we’re evolving to support data-driven best practices.

On stand, visitors were able to try our newly updated online fender selection tool designed to allow specifiers to select and specify the most appropriate fender for their application. I am delighted to say that this proved a big hit with visiting consultants, engineers and designers, all keen to find out the extent to which they can make their jobs a little easier. So too did SafePilot, our flagship product within the navigation piloting category, as well as Automoor, our rope-free, automated mooring system.

It’s safe to say that The PIANC World Congress was undoubtedly a hugely enjoyable and insightful event for all that attended. A huge thank you to PIANC for organizing and of course those of you that came to see us on stand.  I look forward to the next one!

 

TRELLEBORG TO SHOWCASE LNG EXPERTISE AT INTERNATIONAL LNG CONGRESS

By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Trelleborg will exhibit its portfolio of cutting-edge docking and mooring systems at the 4th International LNG Congress (4– 5 June). From oil terminals operating in sub-zero temperatures, to LNG terminals in the tropics and everything in between, Trelleborg has the pedigree in all onshore and offshore applications to provide the right solution to optimize operations.

The fast growth and commoditization of the LNG market in different industry sectors especially in FSRU, floating solutions, small scale and bunkering has introduced new challenges to the critical process of docking and mooring. At the Congress, Hanni William, Sales and Marketing Manager at Trellborg’s marine systems operation in Melbourne, will take to the stage to discuss how failing to address these challenges at early design stages can leave the terminal / vessel owner or operator exposed to significant safety, legal and commercial risks which can be a very costly exercise.

To find out more about the LNG Congress, visit: http://lngcongress.com/

 

TRY OUR NEW AND IMPROVED FENDER SELECTION TOOL, REDUCING HOURS OF MANUAL CALCULATIONS TO A FEW CLICKS

By Mishra Kumar, Global Technical Director at Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

We are committed to customer-centric development of our products and services – and we’re also committed to digital innovation, as evidenced by our SmartPort platform.

This commitment to digital innovation goes beyond the work we’re doing on site in global ports and terminals, though. We know there are huge opportunities to increase efficiencies across the sector in desk based work too.

That’s why we’re pleased to announce we’ve just launched a series of updates to our online fender selection tool. The updated tool encompasses a number of enhanced features, designed to allow specifiers to select and specify the most appropriate fender for their application.

In addition to an existing vessel berthing Energy Calculator and Fender Selection Tool, the tool’s new capabilities include:

  • A Fender Specification Generator
  • A Bollard Specification Generator
  • A Fender System Selector for Ship-to-Ship Applications

The online tool allows users to ensure fender selection meets required berthing energy specifications and has been developed in accordance with PIANC guidelines and British Standards, to ensure best in class, compliant solutions. Users receive a number of fender system options, allowing them to further refine their inputs using different filters to arrive at the most appropriate solution.

To explore the tool, visit: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/marine-systems/resources/online–tool/fender–tools