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Tag Archives: PIANC

LATEST BAROMETER REPORT LAUNCHED AT PIANC 2014

It goes without saying that the PIANC World Congress represents a landmark event on the maritime calendar. And, with such a wide range of stakeholders from across the industry attending, it provided the ideal platform for us to launch our latest Barometer Reports, which highlight a broad spectrum of issues pertinent to the industry.

To celebrate the launch of the reports, we took the opportunity to host a roundtable at the event that discussed some of the key findings. Against a backdrop of increased and varied demand, one of the main messages from the report was that there is a much more optimistic outlook on investment than in previous years.

In fact, the vast majority of respondents expect both capital and operational expenditure to grow over the next twelve months. With optimism returning, the roundtable delved in to the opportunity for port owners, operators, contractors and consultants alike to begin to navigate towards a more strategic, whole life approach to the design and construction of port infrastructure.

I took to the stage at the AGA luncheon and closing plenary to discuss how port infrastructure is evolving, and how stakeholders across the industry can best keep up and capitalize on the opportunities offered by new trends such as automated technologies. In addition, our technical expert, Mishra Kumar, discussed the importance of applying bespoke Velocity Factor (VF) and Temperature Factor (TF) when specifying marine fenders, and how rubber compound composition impacts these two key factors, as well as performance and longevity.

We also had a comprehensive team of sales and technical experts on stand to take visitors through our latest innovative products and solutions, including our brand new Port Performance Tool. Whether you’re a port owner, operator, engineering consultant or contractor, the new Tool allows you to discover just how well your port’s performance measures up against the industry average.

Trelleborg Marine Systems was Platinum AGA sponsor and exhibitor at the 33rd PIANC World Congress 2014, in San Francisco, California, U.S. The PIANC World Congress 2014 took place on 1 to 5 June 2014 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

WE ARE ENHANCING OUR MANUFACTURING CAPABILITY WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART U.S. FACILITY

Our business is centered on our commitment to constantly enhance innovation and improve standards across the industry. With this in mind, I am delighted to announce that we will be relocating from our current site in Clear Brook, Virginia, to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Berryville.

Due for completion toward the end of the year, the new site will house a 45,000 square foot manufacturing facility for foam-based marine fenders and buoys, as well as a 9,000 square foot sales and business development office.

We’re also investing heavily in new, advanced polyurethane spraying and foam winding equipment, which will further increase production facilities.

With testing absolutely critical to ensuring our portfolio remains at the leading edge, the new facility will also contain a new state-of-the-art high speed test rig capable of testing full size rubber and foam fenders in accordance with PIANC guidelines. While we already have a world leading materials testing program, the addition of these full scale testing facilities will ensure our products perform above and beyond customer expectations.

Following the recent opening of our new sales and business development office in Houston, Texas, this move yet again demonstrates our ongoing commitment to continually improving our U.S. operations. Our Clear Brook facility has served us well, but we must always ensure we are best placed to meet our customers’ ever-growing demands, and the new facility ensures we are well placed to do just that.

The new Berryville facility will be strongly supported by our engineering and design center of excellence in Ahmnedabad, India.

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

TAKE PART IN OUR PORT PERFORMANCE ROUNDTABLE!

At the PIANC World Congress, which takes place at the beginning of June, we’ll be launching the results of our latest Barometer Report, in which we’ve surveyed 200 port owners, operators, contractors and consultants on a range of issues pertinent to our industry.

Our Barometer Report contains the results of a regular industry survey, which seeks to gain insight into the issues that are impacting port infrastructure.  Calling on the views of hundreds of port owners, operators, engineering consultants and contractors, the report seeks to understand the challenges they are facing and what they think the future holds for the marine industry.

One of the key findings from this year’s report was that the outlook on investment is much more optimistic than in previous years.  In fact, the vast majority of respondents expect both capital and operational expenditure to grow over the next twelve months.

With optimism returning, we were keen to delve in more depth in to what this will mean in practice for ports, as they make up lost ground caused by the economic downturn.

Strategic investment in port infrastructure has suffered over the last few years, but with a brighter economic outlook, we’re keen to understand how those responsible for procurement will react: which aspects of infrastructure are the most in need?  How are terminals coping with increasing vessel sizes and throughput? Which regions are leaders and laggards?

We’re seeking to address these questions, amongst others, at an exclusive Port Performance Roundtable which we will be hosting at the PIANC World Congress in June, and we’re looking for port owners, operators, contractors and consultants to share their experiences and have their say on the findings from the Barometer Report.

If you’re a port owner, operator, contractor or engineering consultant and you’re attending the 33rd PIANC World Congress in June, we would like to hear from you.  To have your say on the issues affecting the industry, register your interest in the Port Performance Roundtable now http://ow.ly/wMBbA.

Trelleborg Marine Systems is Platinum AGA sponsor and exhibitor at the 33rd PIANC World Congress 2014, in San Francisco, California, U.S. The PIANC World Congress 2014 takes place on 1 to 5 June 2014 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Visit us on stands 400 and 402.

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/

RUBBER QUALITY: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT

The issue of rubber quality in fender systems is one that the market cannot continue to be complacent about.

A best writing paper typical fender system is constructed from both steel and rubber, and whilst the steel component will, rightly, undergo extensive testing to meet stringent standards, the importance of the fender’s rubber element is often overlooked.

In recent years, there has been a significant evolution in rubber manufacturing industries: we’ve seen the emergence of contract mixers, locations such as China and India becoming mainstream hubs, and the availability of a wider range of ingredients for rubber compounding.

These changes represent a break from tradition, and best practice in rubber compounding needs to keep pace.  The market must take the necessary steps to educate itself on this evolution and understand the effects these changes have on the performance and lifecycle of fenders.

We’ve recently launched a new whitepaper which delves into the issues of Velocity Factor (VF) and Temperature Factor (TF).  First introduced in PIANC’s “Guidelines for the design of fender systems, 2002” they should be applied to rubber fenders at the testing stage, to accurately ascertain performance in the field under varying compression times and temperatures.

Changing rubber compound ingredients have a direct effect on the characteristics of the fender and as such, VF and TF are greatly affected by the type of rubber used, be it natural or synthetic – and within that, virgin or recycled – and further still by the compound composition of the rubber.

VF and TF must be calculated and reported on a case by case basis.  Each is dependent on the make-up of the rubber compound, and as such, there is no “standard” factor that can be applied to calculate and report performance under varying velocities and temperatures. The degree of VF and TF applied will change depending on the rubber compound and, subsequently, from manufacturer to manufacturer.

PIANC’s recommendations for applying VF and TF are really only the beginning.  Suppliers need to make the appropriate investments in R&D to be able to underpin and substantiate their claims. Anecdotally, we’ve found that many actually copy factors which are not relevant to their products.

If suppliers aren’t able or willing to take the necessary steps to understand and be able to guarantee the quality of their products, then it’s essential that specifiers can to avoid throwing good money after bad on systems that are not fit for purpose.

To learn more, download the whitepaper. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section or via our LinkedIn group.

SETTING THE STANDARDS AND BENCHMARKING PERFORMANCE

As discussed in my last blog, there’s a trend across the industry of procuring mission critical fenders on the basis of upfront outlay – rather than the cost over the fender’s entire lifecycle.

Industry body, PIANC, set out the leading design guidelines for fender systems in 2002, but I remain concerned that these aren’t working in practice.  PIANC have neither the authority nor mandate to enforce these regulations, and this is allowing some of the more unscrupulous suppliers to use higher percentages of recycled rubber, to supply fenders at a cheaper upfront cost – without transparency around the composition of the fender.

PIANC’s guidelines state that robust material testing is a necessity, but laboratory and full scale testing is not routinely performed by all suppliers as part of their quality assurance process.  This is a serious concern, as specifiers need assurance that both sets of testing have been conducted on mission critical equipment.

We’ve developed new analytical tests to help stakeholders across the industry determine the quality and performance characteristics of the fenders they procure, so that buyers can understand and substantiate the makeup of their fenders and subsequently, the performance characteristics they can expect.

We conducted a series of physical and chemical tests on one high quality and a low cost fender – to really understand how much performance between the two differs.  To learn more about the tests and see the results, download the rubber testing whitepaper here.

INCREASING BUDGETS PAVE THE WAY FOR A MORE EFFICIENT 2012

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems

Richard Hepworth Video - Barometer Report 2

The results of our recent Barometer report indicate an encouraging increase in the capital and operational expenditure of ports over the next 12 months. It’s believed that this will mostly go into improving efficiency and increasing the capacity of port terminals – good news for port operators, contractors, consultants and suppliers alike (not least for ourselves).

Where this investment will be allocated and how best efficiencies can be achieved is the immediate issue but looking further down the line, the industry needs to become much more focused on whole life costs rather than short term savings. Because beyond the budget sheet a far more worrying outcome is emerging as a commoditised marketplace makes way for lower cost, lesser quality suppliers.

Indeed, 2012 may be looking brighter as spend is on the ‘up’ but let’s not put a downer on the forecast by forging partnerships with lower-cost suppliers and traders that are actively misusing PIANC accreditation. Port downtime and efficiencies go hand-in-hand with product quality and if the latter suffers so does the industry as a whole.

Hear my views on what sits at the heart of the biggest issues currently facing port decision makers and join our movement for better regulation and enforcement of product standards @MarineInsights on Twitter.

TESTING TIMES: DON'T COUNT THE COST OF SUPPLIER SHORTCUTS

By Mishra Kumar, Global Technical & Market Support Manager, Trelleborg Marine Systems

Mishra Kumar Trelleborg

As with all industries, some manufacturers follow acceptable practices, others don’t, so it probably comes as little surprise that online canadian pharmacy – despite the existence of PIANC fender design guidelines – the robust testing of rubber and steel is not routinely performed by all suppliers. While the short term cost savings may seem attractive, the longer term prospects of working with lesser quality products and materials presents a more problematic picture. Controlled testing in a laboratory environment is crucial to delivering consistent quality, higher performance and reliable cost effective solutions.

Here I outline our approach to ongoing research and development and call on the industry to collaboratively take a stance against outdated fender design guidelines.

LAUNCH OF 2011 BAROMETER REPORT

By Richard Hepworth, managing director of Trelleborg Marine Systems

After the success of our first Barometer Report, and the debate it sparked, I am pleased to say that the second edition of the Trelleborg Marine Systems’ Barometer Report, in association with Lloyd’s List, is now available.

This year’s report has thrown out some motivating topics for industry discussion going forward and some interesting comparisons can be drawn between the results this year and last.

The 2011 report features the same topic areas as last year, with some new ground covered.  We have included a focus on industry guidelines, the role of PIANC, compliance and materials testing this year, and the results make for some interesting reading.  We have concentrated on product design, production and installation standards, whilst examining the levels of aftercare offered by manufacturers and trading companies.

Some good news from this year’s report: compared to last year, twice as many respondents are anticipating an increase in capital expenditure (up 25% on 2010).  This trend will stimulate a supply chain that is already thriving and on the whole, will benefit the market.

We need to work to convince specifiers that their increased purchasing power should be used to buy into quality products.  It is understandable that customers are looking for low cost procurement, however, we want to raise awareness of the need to consider wholelife costs when buying new products.

Although upfront costs might be lower, the products offered by low cost, non-manufacturing suppliers will not be tailored to the needs of the port, may not meet PIANC standards, and, due to the lack of technical and manufacturing capability, will not offer a high standard of maintenance and aftercare – all these factors combine to raise the cost of the product over its lifetime, and ultimately, cost the port facility more.

We still have work to do, but are confident that by working with PIANC and wider industry, we can ensure that the quality of manufacturers’ products will prevail in the market, making ports and harbours safer and ultimately, reducing the cost to the customers we supply.

Topic discussions:

What are your views on the growth of non-manufacturing companies supplying berthing and docking products?

Should PIANC take a stronger stance on the enforcement of their guidelines?

What would you like to see done to improve industry standards whilst PIANC’s 2002 guidelines are updated?