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Tag Archives: marine insights

AN OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK ON PORT INVESTMENT

Our latest Barometer Report has revealed the most optimistic outlook on investment since we began surveying the industry back in 2010.

We found that 93% of port owners and operators expect capital expenditure budgets to increase over the next 12 months, and 88% expect operational expenditure budgets to grow too. The picture was even brighter when we surveyed consultants and contractors, with 98% expecting both CapEx and OpEx to grow.

This is certainly a positive step, but those increased budgets need to be spent strategically to really help ports to increase efficiencies which, unfortunately, doesn’t really seem to be happening at the moment. 61% of consultants and contractors felt that their clients were concerned by upfront purchase costs, rather than prioritising whole life value. Seemingly, attitudes towards procurement still need to change.

To me, this focus on up-front purchase cost may have been understandable while we were suffering the effects of the economic downturn, but with budgets expected to rise, the industry as a whole needs to take steps to ensure we implement high-quality solutions.

The report revealed that ports are already under pressure to adapt to increasingly complex demands on infrastructure – they risk falling further behind if they don’t act now to optimise new investment opportunities.

Ultimately, though, I take a positive message away from the findings of the report: as the market continues to strengthen, there’s an opportunity to take a bold and deliberate step to get ahead of demand and invest strategically now.

The have a look at the full results of the latest Barometer Report, visit the Trelleborg Marine Systems website.

WE ARE EXPANDING OUR GLOBAL REACH WITH NEW HOUSTON OFFICE

Here at Trelleborg, our long-term strategy relies heavily on investment in markets with strong growth potential. In particular, at Trelleborg Marine Systems, we remain committed to growing our business in the fast moving global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry.

Therefore, for Trelleborg’s Marine Systems Business Unit, establishing a presence in Houston – the long established capital of the global oil and gas industry – is essential. As such, we are delighted to announce we have opened a new sales and business development office in Houston, Texas, U.S.

The move will see us join colleagues from Trelleborg’s offshore operation in their facility, enabling us to work more collaboratively across functions and allowing both businesses to take advantage of the synergies our complementary product areas provide.

As a global company, we strongly believe that it’s important to have a local ‘feet on the ground’ presence within the regions that our customers operate.

As such, we will relocate our USA President, Faiyaz Kolsawala, to operate from Houston as well as a number of our global sales team, including a specialist docking and mooring representative and a dedicated oil and gas transfer and vessel technology salesperson, both will provide a closer relationship with customers in the area and the reassurance of a face-to-face presence. We will also be further strengthening our Houston-based sales team with several new appointments.

The regional sales office will serve the local U.S. and Gulf of Mexico markets across all five product areas of our marine operations: marine fender systems, oil and gas transfer technology, vessel technology, docking and mooring, and marine products.

The new Houston office will be strongly supported by the Americas’ headquarters in Clearbook, Virginia, which also includes polyurethane and foam-based marine products manufacturing facility serving the North American and global customer base, as well as Trelleborg’s engineering and design center of excellence in Ahmnedabad, India.

For more information, visit: www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/

MEET THE EXPERTS EPISODE 15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZpN2IM2X8g&feature=youtu.be

In the latest episode of our “Meet the Experts” series, Ryan Abbott, our Technology Development Manager discusses Trelleborg’s approach to compliance.

To watch any of the episodes in our “Meet the Experts” series, visit the TrelleborgMarine YouTube essay writing services channel.

PORTS CLAIM PIANC CERTIFICATION KEY TO COMPLIANCE AND REGULATION

The results of our latest Barometer Report show that the majority (65%) of port owners, operators and contractors request and check PIANC certification to ensure that marine fenders are sold as described.

Although it’s reassuring to see that the majority of respondents do request certification, it’s important that owners and operators understand exactly what to look for. PIANC is undoubtedly an important standard bearer for quality and performance, but it doesn’t have the legal mandate to enforce standards across the industry.

At present, it’s too easy to gain PIANC certification, with some of the more unscrupulous traders using this to their advantage by applying certification to entire product lines or factories, rather than to specific product batches and compound formulations.

In comparison to last year’s report, which revealed that just under 80% of respondents were struggling to get to grips with unscheduled downtime, this year’s Barometer reveals that, alarmingly, over 90% are now suffering, which suggests to me that the emphasis placed on checking certification in theory, is not necessarily translating to best practice.

It’s therefore imperative that equipment specifiers, for mission critical equipment such as fenders, begin to take necessary steps to ensure that the products they are buying are truly “as described”.

I’d like to get your thoughts on the matter. How much importance do you put by third party certification and design approvals when procuring mission critical equipment? Let us know in the comments section.

The full results of Trelleborg’s latest Barometer Report, which details a wide range of findings from the industry survey, is available now as a free download from: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/Home/

INCREASING PORT SAFETY HIGH ON THE AGENDA WITH NEW BOLLARD GUIDE

By Simon Wilson, Managing Director of Docking and Mooring, Trelleborg Marine Systems.


We’ve long stressed the importance of best practice, tailor-made solutions in providing specialist berthing and mooring systems.

It’s important that bespoke, integrated solutions are put in place to enable whole life cost savings and more importantly, ensure safe operations in demanding marine environments.

But, how do you specify a system that optimizes price and value for your particular solution?

Our new bollard guide, written for port operators, and contractors aims to help with just that. The new guide features all the latest comprehensive bollard data, factors to consider in the design process and specification and installation information.

The guide also underlines why different types of bollard are required for different applications and the significance of the differing performance characteristics.

Bollards are safety critical items and as such, product quality is paramount.  The importance of demanding the highest standards of certification is highlighted, with tips on what to look for in a quality documentation package.

To download your free copy of the Bollard Guide, visit http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/.

BESPOKE SOLUTIONS WIN US A NEW DEEP SEA CONTAINER PORT CONTRACT

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems.

We’ve long considered the need for bespoke solutions and tailored systems to be a key success factor in an efficient and safe port environment. Indeed, we saw further evidence of this when we at Trelleborg won the contract to supply 86 super cone fender systems, 59 mooring bollards with a 200 tonne capacity, and 41 safety ladders for a deep sea container port that handles the largest container ships in the world.

Our solution was chosen after we worked with the port to carry out an in-depth analysis of vessel data and berthing speeds.

Our high-performance Super Cone fenders will be specifically designed for this port to accommodate berthing angles up to 10°, bow flare angles up to 15° and for the latest generation of container vessels with a displacement of 225,000 tons.

The first of the fenders for the container terminal is scheduled for delivery early this year, with the contract scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

I’ll leave you with some words from one of our area sales managers, Andy Cope, who worked on this project: “We have future-proofed the terminal through the positioning of the fender system.  Therefore, as and when container ship sizes increase, a greater number of fenders will be engaged, absorbing greater levels of impact energy.”

“We have specified the highest quality materials in the design of the fenders, including specialist rubber compounds which have been formulated at our state-of-the-art Singapore facility.  Our in-house capabilities mean that we are able to develop bespoke, yet cost-effective solutions to meet individual project requirements.”

BUY CHEAP, BUY TWICE: LOW COST SUPPLIER ISSUES EXTENDS FURTHER THAN PORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Guest contributor, Andy Hatton, owner of Global Anodes UK Ltd shares his story.


I have seen a fair bit of discussion raised by Trelleborg in the last few weeks about the issue of low cost suppliers and it’s a topic that really strikes a chord with me.  There are a lot of parallels I can draw between the issues that Trelleborg’s Barometer Report brought up and my experiences.

Years ago, when working for another company, we were frequently undercut on equipment by “low cost” replicas. However, when the equipment failed, ship owners or managers would still call us to put it right.

We would always go above and beyond to help a client, dispatching engineers for the cost of a flight and a hotel in the (naive) belief they would come to us for systems next time they were building new vessels.

In reality, they got so used to us running around doing our best to keep their substandard equipment running, that the next six ships in the series would be fitted out with the same cheap rubbish as before.

After about three years we had no choice but to start saying no, that we weren’t prepared to do this for nothing and if they wanted our engineers they’d have to start paying for the service.

Another drawback to our willingness to help was that in many cases the equipment we were called in to look at was of such poor design and quality it was not economically viable to attempt repair, if indeed it was repairable at all. It became a serious concern for some of our engineers, they started to feel we either looked incompetent or as if we were lying just to make a sale when all we could do was say; “Sorry… you need to rip out all the old system and replace it”.

Before this, we’d always maintained an excellent world wide service base out of profits from the spares and systems we sold. If a client called with a problem we could usually have an engineer on a plane and on his way to meet the ship within 12 hours (in one case in 45 minutes when I had to be in Turkey for a hand over that had to be concluded that day).

We’d started to lose the equipment business, and slashed our margins so much just to compete, that our service facility gradually disappeared; the profits were simply not there to maintain it.

Worst of all, we start getting calls saying things like: “We had your engineer on the other day and he didn’t know what he was doing.”  This often came as news to me, as I was in charge arranging all engineer attendances worldwide.

Further investigation revealed that the Chief Engineer or similar would ask purchasing to get him the “anodes guy”, and purchasing would either just book any Joe Bloggs who happened to live locally or go for the cheapest quote – usually resulting in unqualified people we had never even heard of going on board vessels with the Supers and Chiefs believing they were our engineers. Until it was too late.

As a final note, the worst case scenario I experienced. An “engineer” attended a vessel in Pusan; he turned out to be some guy from a domestic appliance repair shop (apparently a contact of a company we had traded with previously.) I had a very angry Superintendent screaming down the phone at me until I explained that his company had not even spoken to us about their problem or requested an engineer… never mind sent a purchase order for a service attendance. Apparently this so called “fake” engineer even had business cards with our company logo on them.

Global Anodes UK Ltd is an independent company that is owned and operated by engineers with a range of experience in marine, offshore and industrial applications.

Global Anodes offers trouble-shooting solutions to corrosion and bio-fouling problems.

 

LNG MOORING AND MONITORING SERIES

By Simon Wilson, Trelleborg Marine System’s managing director, docking and mooring

Check out our first and second instalments in a series of seven short videos, covering vessel mooring operations from our docking and mooring divisions.

With the latest LNG export terminals requiring modern mooring and monitoring equipment to ensure safe operations, the correct specification of these systems are an essential part of the overall design of marine facilities. The first and second instalments are now live on our YouTube channel.

In the first animation, we introduce the components of a typical system and examine how design can improve safety and reliability in mooring operations. The second instalment covers our field proven Smartdock Docking Aid System and how it assists successful vessel berthing.

Keep an eye out for the next five videos in the series, which will be coming to our YouTube channel over the coming weeks.

CAPITALISING ON INDIA’S ENGINEERING & DESIGN EXCELLENCE

By Scott Smith, Regional Director (Asia Pacific), Trelleborg Marine Systems

Indian Centre of Excellence

Trelleborg Marine Systems' newly expanded Indian Centre of Excellence

India West – an online portal for the global Indian community – this week reported that the country’s population still dominates science and engineering with Indian-born US migrants making up the vast majority of graduates in these specialisms (43.1%).

Asia has long been held up for its engineering excellence – with China coming in a close second – so it’s no surprise that global enterprises committed to keeping at the forefront of technical excellence have invested in a strong presence in the region.

Trelleborg has benefitted from a dedicated design and engineering centre in India since 2009 – a resource that is heavily relied upon by the Marine Systems division and other product areas within the Trelleborg Engineered Systems group. Indeed, the centre has become so crucial to our competitive standing as a complete ‘cradle to grave’ supplier that we’ve recently moved to new premises to centralise and expand our unique engineering and design set-up.

While we boast some level of in-house expertise at our regional offices, the more detailed engineering design, modelling and analysis aspects are now sent to the new Indian Centre of Excellence in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, for further progression. Here the business is split into two areas.  The first is engineering and design support for Trelleborg’s worldwide offices – covering Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, India, Dubai, the USA and Europe – and the second focuses on regional sales into India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

We have very high expectations for the performance of the improved engineering and design centre as a market leading offering – not least because, while our competitors choose to outsource their engineering and manufacturing requirements and thereby relinquish some degree of control, having our capabilities centralised in this way means we can maintain watertight quality right through the supply chain. Moreover, it enables us to drive cost efficiencies, improve collaboration and encourage cross fertilisation of ideas across our global offices.

If you’re a port owner, contractor or consultant interested in seeing this unique facility for yourself we’d be happy to give you the guided tour – leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.

IT’S ALL DOWN TO TECHNICALITIES

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems

Salerno Contract Win

The panels for Salerno being prepared. The white marks are a quality control check for the thickness of the paint.

Customers quite rightly demand the ability to meet demanding specifications and tight delivery timescales. Indeed, it’s our capabilities to accommodate stringent design parameters and time pressures that enable me to proudly announce our new contract to supply Super Cone Fenders and Tee Head bollards to Salerno Port, Italy.

Working with RCM Costruzioni, our technical know-how was called upon to overcome restricted space for the cone fender due to a limited high capping beam. What’s more, we also needed to prove that we have the internal processes in place to deliver to exceptionally short lead times with 34 sets of SCN1300 Super Cone Fender Systems and 24 sets of Tee Head bollards 100t required by November. No mean feat!

Fresh from the findings of our latest Barometer report, which brought to the fore that the robust testing of rubber and steel is not routinely performed by all suppliers, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that all fenders supplied by Trelleborg are fully compliant with PIANC Guidelines and have undergone both laboratory and full scale product testing. Given our industry reputation I’d hope that goes without saying and certainly for our client contact at RCM Construzioni, Mr. Elio Rainone, this played an important part in his decision to specify Trelleborg Marine Systems.

On that note I leave you with some kind words supplied by Mr. Rainone himself and look forward to sharing more company news with you soon…

“Due to Trelleborg’s strong reputation and technical qualification, they are already a preferred supplier for both the port authorities and us, the contractor.

“The solution provided by Trelleborg Marine Systems met the requirements of both parties: the port authorities wanted a reliable solution, with a long life cycle.  For us, an important factor was the necessity of an accessible dedicated project management team, and the assurance of high quality aftercare.”