Subscribe to RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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/

 

THE ABUPI FORUM!

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

We recently attended the Asosiasi Badan Usaha Pelabuhan Indonesia (ABUPI) Forum in Indonesia, where I presented on the importance of fenders to the port operation.

There are a number of benefits to be gained through the correct specification, design, manufacture and testing of fender systems, which we have talked about in detail on this blog in the past. Benefits such as improved ROI through reduced maintenance, safer operations, less downtime.

ABUPI, or the Port Corporation Association, is a forum for Indonesian business-people and serves as the primary organization for corporations and individuals who work in ports. It was established with the objective of supporting and assisting government endeavors to improve economic development in the maritime sector.

The event – the ABUPI Forum – is intended to facilitate and share discussion around governmental policies, intended to enhance the operations and management of port and harbors. With other presentations coming from private port owners, discussion mainly centered on the issues that private port owners are facing in Indonesia while competing with government owned ports.

 

SMARTPORT BY TRELLEBORG AT COAST AND MARINE STRUCTURES 2018

Following Australia’s rapid growth in trade, the need for port optimization and infrastructure development to support increased opportunities and drive regional growth is more urgent than ever. The 10th Annual Coast and Marine Structures Summit 2018 focused on how to optimize port operations, proactively plan to accommodate larger vessels, manage assets and maintain pace with the international market through planning, designing and managing port infrastructure.

Big data has the potential to transform our industry. Through application and insights, big data is creating new opportunities to drive innovation and deliver tangible operational efficiencies across the shipping world. But the collection of information alone is not enough. It is the analysis of this data and the actionable insights it provides that will transform and increase the efficiency of day-to-day operations across the shipping industry in years to come. This is a time of huge change for our industry. The advancement of automation, and the exponential rise in data it brings, mean disruption on a scale that ‘shipping’ has never seen before. Those that invest now in the architecture that empowers collaboration between smart assets, will be best equipped to face the future.

At this year’s Conference, Jason Whitehouse, Product Development Manager at Trelleborg’s marine systems operation, took to the stage to discuss SmartPort by Trelleborg, which realizes the critical interface between ship and port, on land and at sea. This gives Trelleborg a unique overview of the ‘vessel turnaround’ process, and data extraction points throughout it – both on board the vessel and in the port, and in the interface between the two. Trelleborg is seeking to educate the marine industry about the importance and potential of this interface.

SmartPort by Trelleborg is a technology platform that connects port operations, allowing users to analyze asset performance and apply data insights, to improve day-to-day decision making for optimized operations; improved safety, reduced costs, greater sustainability and increased revenue return.

Trelleborg recently launched a whitepaper bringing together the latest news and thinking on big data in the maritime sector, highlighting how and where these technologies are being implemented and the key application areas that will deliver future operational efficiencies for ports and terminals. To read the whitepaper, visit: http://ow.ly/ClMF30ihvQc

TRELLEBORG FOCUSES ON OPTIMIZING PILOTING AND NAVIGATION IN US WORKSHOP

By Tommy Mikkelsen, Managing Director of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation in Denmark

Piloting requires the safest, most efficient and reliable technology. It demands exceptional performance, ease of operation and high position accuracy to facilitate optimum approach, berthing and departure. With that in mind, we hosted a technical seminar and workshop designed to help marine pilots keep up-to-date with Smart technology to ensure the efficiency and safety of navigation and piloting operations. The seminar and workshop was held 4 – 5 May at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, U.S.

The event saw myself discuss Trelleborg SmartPort, a technology platform that connects disparate port operations, providing holistic, real-time oversight which allows users to analyse the performance of assets and identify areas for optimization.

In addition, the President of the American Pilot Association, Captain Jorge Viso, also had his say on the evolution of piloting technology. Representatives from both the Association of Maryland Pilots and San Francisco Bar Pilots (SFBP) were also on hand to discuss Trelleborg SafePilot which uses state-of-the-art software and smart technology to help pilots and ports optimize safety and efficiency in their day-to-day operations.

SafePilot offers the latest in navigation & piloting and port systems. Developed in conjunction with working marine pilots from across the world, SafePilot offers the most up-to-date user-friendly PPU (Portable Pilot Unit) software available. Using touch screen technology to make it easy to operate, this intuitive PPU software consists of separate modules to meet different maritime operational needs, from docking and river through to lock.

 

IT’S SHIPPING, BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT – HOW MAERSK AND ALIBABA ARE POSITIVELY DISRUPTING OUR INDUSTRY

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

Could the announcement of a major collaboration between Maersk and Alibaba in just the first week of 2017 indicate this is going to be a year of seismic change for our industry? Let’s hope so. Shipping, like all other sectors of the global economy, is transforming. And it needs to change too.

Technology is recognized as one of the key enablers of this change and while it’s interesting to see that the first big deal of the year sees a traditional industry player team up with an e-commerce giant – surely an example of positive disruption at its best – it’s perhaps not unsurprising.

Over the last few years we’ve seen a number of alliances and collaborations, such as the emergence of the so-called Power Four, so the decision by a main shipping line to form a partnership to deploy online services seems to be the logical next step in the evolution of the ‘old’ shipping business model to a more logistics-centred approach. It’s also worth noting that while the first deal of this kind is based in Asia, where the speed of change and disruption is more rapid, it won’t be contained there. Further digitalization of the supply chain is inevitable and everything that can be automated will be automated.

Attitude is key. The traditionally conservative shipping sector needs to embrace technology and the positive change it can bring. Collaborations such as this one, may seem removed from our own day-to-day activities, but there are smaller, practical steps that can be taken now to take advantage of developments in smart technology.

Our own research shows how shipping lines value smart technologies that have a positive impact on the safe and efficient operations of ports and terminals. These so-called smart ports benefit from smart technology that connects products, collects data and provides insights to deliver real efficiency gains, such as lowering operating costs due to improved vessel throughput. It’s a first step but it’s a tangible one.

THE BATTLE FOR FENDER BEST PRACTICE

By Mishra Kumar, Technical Director for Marine Fenders at Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Back in December, Richard posted a blog entitled ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, about the importance of understanding how materials perform and are processed in order to ensure you get what you pay for when it comes to specifying and procuring fenders.

We’ve discussed this issue a lot. We know there are players in the industry who are willing to lie and cheat tests in order to undercut reputable manufacturers. We have been working for years to stop it.

And now we’ve got some new developments to share.

A lot of our previous work has concentrated on rubber fenders: the importance of understanding how ingredients are selected, how they are manufactured and how they are tested. Although the industry is still far from perfect, largely, this work has been successful. There is a recognition of the need to specify quality and avoid making purchasing decisions based on price.

Now, we’ve moved our research on to foam fenders. Erroneously perceived to be a commodity product, they are an extremely versatile solution, often the most effective system for a number of applications.

The specification and production of foam fenders needs to be taken more seriously: they must be decommoditized and treated with the same level of importance as highly engineered, rubber fenders are beginning to be.

That’s why we are recommending a new testing method for foam, to ensure a best practice approach is taken. We’ve launched a brand new whitepaper and webinar detailing best practice design and manufacture for foam fenders, and highlighting exactly how they should be tested to guarantee performance. The new method and report are based on robust data from an in-depth research program we undertook earlier in the year.

But we’ve not stopped there. A key project for this year has been the development of an online Fender Selection Tool, which enables port consultants to determine the appropriate fender system for their project. We’ve almost completely digitized the fender selection process, while saving consultants huge amounts of time normally spent carrying out complex manual calculations.

The tool will help specifiers and suppliers take steps towards a more standardized engineering process, reducing subjectivity in the design process and shaping industry best practice and consistency.

The tool only requires the input of a few parameters and generates a document detailing every potential fender system suitable for the application and performance required.

These are just the latest steps we’ve taken in our mission to drive standards up across the industry. We will continue to work to raise awareness of the risks of inappropriate fender selection. It’s critical that specifiers understand the dangers. The consequences could be severe.

To explore the tool, visit: https://goo.gl/DTfcbM

SMOKE AND MIRRORS

Understanding how materials perform and are processed will help make sure you really are getting what you pay for, says Richard Hepworth of Trelleborg.

Ports need to have confidence that equipment will perform as expected to fully protect terminals and berthing vessels and keep 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. But 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 familiarisation with these could mean the difference between a good investment and a bad one.

How fenders are built and then chemically processed determines the product’s final properties which in turn determines fender performance (read more about building and curing in fender performance here). However, as the economy has become increasingly global, it has become more difficult to be fully confident in the performance and provenance of some products. There have been instances of falsified testing information which means that it isn’t always a case of what you see is what you get. Caveat emptor definitely applies.

The good news is that Trelleborg is working to highlight these issues and, as a supplier of high quality fenders, to raise global standards in testing and performance.  We are currently undertaking a large-scale study into the impact of chemical processes on rubber fender performance – more information to follow soon!

In the meantime, being aware of quality issues and questioning suppliers to improve specification will help ensure you’re getting the right fender for the job, and more importantly one that will perform over the long-term as expected. It’s about minimizing risk, protecting investment and improving performance.

Remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So get familiar with fender production, ask suppliers difficult questions and give yourself peace of mind.

TRELLEBORG SHOWCASES SMALL-SCALE LNG EXPERTISE AT INTERNATIONAL LNG CONGRESS

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

Trelleborg showcased its Seatechnik™ Universal Safety Link (USL) at the 2nd International LNG Congress (28 – 29 November), an innovative product that takes the company’s expertise in large scale applications and applies it to an optimized product for the burgeoning small-scale LNG sector.

Small-scale LNG transfer, whether ship-to-shore or offshore ship-to-ship, is in its relative infancy in terms of the development of infrastructure to meet increasing supply and demand. However, as the market has developed over the past decade, so too has new thinking around innovative means to transfer LNG. The onus has been on finding solutions that strike the balance between new means to improve operability and maintaining the highest safety standards.

The safe control and operation of small scale LNG transfers and fuelling pose special challenges, and the drive for a Ship-Shore Link (SSL) of increased functionality in an assured compatibility package is secured with the USL.

Some of the key benefits of the system include automatic shutdown through an intrinsically safe Emergency Shutdown (ESD) backup system, assured inter-compatibility throughout the small-scale and fuelling supply chain, as well as in-built system test and diagnostics.