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Tag Archives: Trelleborg Marine Systems

UNSCHEDULED DOWNTIME IS STILL HOLDING BACK THE PORT INDUSTRY

Our latest Barometer Report has revealed that unscheduled downtime is still a problem in the port industry.

We found that 74% of port owners and operators are still suffering unscheduled downtime. Fender damage was the most frequently cited cause, with 20% of owners and operators having suffered downtime due to damage to their systems.

The high incidence of fender damage and the subsequent downtime may be due to a lack of awareness on how to specify a truly quality system, something which really needs to be improved upon. 61% of the consultants and contractors we surveyed claim that their clients are concerned about upfront purchase costs, which could explain the poorly-performing solutions.

To me, the results of the survey suggest that fender system performance and quality is a serious issue. Two-thirds of port owners and operators say that they have upgraded their fender systems in the last five years – despite the fact that fender systems have an intended design life of 25 years.

The many upgrades which have taken place in recent years could be indicative of poor quality solutions which have to be constantly upgraded, with clients’ focus on cost-cutting a potential cause.

Levels of unscheduled downtime have decreased over time, which is a positive step, but any amount of downtime is costly in terms of lost revenue and damaged reputation. Concern about upfront costs is understandable, but in the long term, poor solutions can result in even bigger costs. Contractors and consultants should educate themselves on how to specify quality to steer clients away from cost-cutting upfront and towards investing in quality solutions that will perform well over a long design life.

To view the full results of the latest Barometer Report, visit the Trelleborg Marine Systems website.

TRELLEBORG DEMONSTRATES VALUE OF SMART SPECIFICATION

Demonstrating a commitment to quality and resisting the temptation to do business with low cost suppliers, Davao International Container Terminal, Inc. (DICT) located in Panabo City, Davao Del Norte, has purchased state-of-the-art Super Cone fenders and Tee Head bollards.

Berths 1 and 2 at the Breakbulk Terminal, which is located on the southeastern coast of the Philippines, are old concrete structures that required the installation of a superior fender system as part of upgrade works.

DICT had recently discovered that another port in Davao had upgraded their berth using low quality fender systems and they had cracked within just months of installation, with the frontal frames also beginning to corrode too. Extensive testing of the performance of the terminal’s previous fenders revealed that these were unable to guarantee the load bearing requirements of the reefer vessels currently visiting the terminal.

DICT quickly embarked on a project to replace its existing equipment with high quality, best-in-class solutions. We provided an end-to-end approach, through consultation on fendering, design along with engineering, manufacturing, testing, commissioning and installation works as well as after-sales and maintenance.

DICT turned to Trelleborg to supply 20 SCN900 fender systems to enable the berthing of vessels up to 30,000 DWT at Berths 1 and 2. As part of the terminal’s wider plans for expansion, DICT also opted for 22 SCN1100 E2.9 fender systems and 12 100T Tea Head bollards allowing for the berthing of the latest ultra-large container vessels up to 60,000 DWT at its newly constructed Berth 3.

The issue of quality in marine fenders is one that we have been discussing for some time. We have long called for more strategic specification for mission critical equipment and it’s great to see this is now translating across the market.

Like more and more customers, Davao International Container Terminal recognises the importance of quality. They realise that taking the strategic approach will mean savings over the life of the fender system and the berth as a whole, whilst reducing the risk of damage to both vessels and the terminal’s infrastructure itself.

I will leave you with a few words from Mr. Jesse G. Chiongson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of DICT, who said: “The performance of DICT’s previous fender systems significantly affected the operation of the terminal and ran the risk of harming its reputation as the leading port terminal in Mindanao. Therefore we had no hesitation in working closely with Trelleborg to define an ideal solution which would not only stand the test of time but guarantee the demanding load-bearing requirements of the vessels berthing at the terminal. Trelleborg’s unrivalled reputation and technical qualification meant the company was a natural choice to supply the project.”

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.

REMEMBERING GRAEME RUSSELL

Scott Smith, Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Trelleborg Marine Systems.

I recently learnt of the death of a former colleague and one of the pioneers of our industry, Graeme Russell, and did not want to let this pass without acknowledging his huge contribution to the rubber industry and to the marine fender industry specifically.

Graeme was the inventor of the Cone fender, an innovation that revolutionised the industry over 30 years ago. Before the Cone fender, the Cell fender represented the industry standard and Graeme’s patent signified a leap in performance, with the Cone fender having a much higher efficiency than its predecessors and exhibiting a high energy absorption to reaction force ratio.

In fact, the biggest ever contract for fender systems, which we won back in 2012 included 557 Super Cone fenders.  This order was placed for the New Port Project in Doha – a state of the art port that needed a state of the art solution, which would not have been possible without Graeme’s innovation.

I worked with Graeme at Queensland Rubber Company and subsequently at Fentek, which was established following a manufacturing and research and development agreement with Hercules, and saw Graeme’s commitment to both companies first hand as they grew, until his eventual retirement in 2001.

Trelleborg acquired Fentek, a company owned by Graeme amongst others, back in 2001. As well as the Cone fender, what made Fentek such an attractive prospect for Trelleborg was the company’s constant drive for quality. Graeme, who had a PhD in Chemical Engineering, was continually looking for ways to improve elastomeric compounds, and applied his expertise to enable innovative design in rubber and composite components, used for many engineering purposes beyond fender systems.

Of course, the optimisation and application of rubber compounds remains at the heart of what we at Trelleborg do today. Much of our work still focuses on how we can produce solutions that will better perform, reduce costs and improve safety through the understanding and evolution of rubber compound composition.

 

SOUTHAMPTON CONTAINER TERMINAL TURNS TO TRELLEBORG TO ENABLE BERTHING OF LARGER VESSELS

We were recently awarded the contract to supply over 70 Unit Element fender systems to DP World, Southampton, which will berth the latest ultra-large container ships.

I believe that our consistency in performance and engineering expertise has supported our relationship with the terminal.  We’ve worked together for a while now, and this contract brings total amount of fenders supplied to over 110.

Brin Humphreys, head of Engineering at DP World Southampton, said: “Due to the proven performance of the systems supplied by Trelleborg, we had no hesitation in turning to them once again. It was clear they had the capabilities to successfully deliver our expectations and requirements again.”

We have worked closely with DP World Southampton for over 10 years, first installing our Unit Element fenders in 1996 on SCT 1 Berth.

When refurbishment began on SCT berths 2, 3 and 4, in 2011, DP World chose us to keep the solution in line with SCT 1. We are delighted that we yet again had the opportunity to work with DP World Southampton using our unique solutions for such an important project.

On completion of the current project, Southampton will offer 1.87 kilometres of deep water quay, with up to 16 meters depth alongside. In addition, the 16 quayside gantry cranes with super post panamax capacity will allow for berthing of vessels over 400 meters in length.

It is vital that infrastructure keeps up with the ever increasing size of vessels and therefore we are delighted to be designing, manufacturing and installing our bespoke fender systems for a facility that places such importance on proactively keeping up with demand.

 

 

JEBEL ALI PORT RECOGNISES IMPORTANCE OF RUBBER SPECIFICATION

We are proud to announce the introduction of our rubber quality standards at the world’s largest man-made harbor – The Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. We have been working on the Quay Four refurbishment project with DP world since 2011, and have now completed installation with 60 super cone SCN 1300 fenders to project berths 18 and 19.

Super Cone fenders provide optimal performance and efficiency. The unique design makes them an excellent choice in terms of stability, strength and also resistance to over-compression.

The addition of analytical tests to verify the quality of rubber used in the fenders has ensured us to really reassure the port that the high-performance required for this project will be met.

As the biggest port in the Middle East and a supplier to the global market, we are delighted that DP world has shown commitment to superior solutions by building rubber quality standards in to their fender specifications.

Thanks to our entirely in-house approach, we could even personalise the solution for DP World by including the DP World Logo on the UHMW PE face pads of the fenders.

I will leave you with a few words from Hesham Abdulla, Container Terminal 1 director of DP world, who said: “Trelleborg was able to offer technical support across all parts of the system, from ensuring the rubber element would precisely meet specification, to chains and accessories. Their support and local presence meant that they were a natural choice to supply the project and thanks to their in-house manufacturing capabilities we could even have the solution personalised.”

PORTS CRYING OUT FOR EXTERNAL SUPPORT FOR EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATION

Our latest Barometer Report revealed that the majority (77%) of consultants and contractors don’t know the correct ratio of ingredients in a superior rubber compound for use in fenders.

To me, this suggests a huge gap in specification knowledge and product awareness, and that needs to be addressed. As we’ve talked about frequently in this blog, the performance and lifecycle of fenders vary dramatically based on the type of rubber used, and within that, the compound composition of the rubber.

And whilst many lacked awareness of the importance of compound formulation, what’s more, 50% of those surveyed don’t know if suppliers apply bespoke Velocity Factor (VF). 53% are also unaware if suppliers apply bespoke Temperature Factor (TF).

The application of VF and TF on a case by case basis is essential in determining fender performance and lifecycle. First introduced by PIANC, VF and TF should be applied to fenders depending on the compound composition of the rubber to accurately ascertain performance in the field, under varying compression times and temperatures.

Its no surprise then, that the study also revealed 86% of those surveyed would find it useful to have a system that can easily test suppliers’ compounds. The need is there, and it’s time for suppliers to react to it, evolving offerings to provide the required education and substantiation.

I’d like to get your thoughts on the matter. Do you feel that the level of knowledge within the industry is up to scratch when it comes to specification? 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/Resources/Downloads-2/

TRELLEBORG BECOMES PIANC PLATINUM PARTNER

Here at Trelleborg, we have a longstanding association with PIANC. Not only do we have a number of people involved in technical working groups, but we’ve also participated in and sponsored a number of world congress events. After being the Platinum AGA sponsor of the 33rd PIANC World Congress at the beginning of June, I am delighted to reveal that we have cemented our commitment to best practice by becoming a PIANC Platinum Partner. As a manufacturer of mission critical port equipment, its essential to us to share knowledge with the industry body that guides standards across the board.

With PIANC continuing to set best practice guidance for so many, and varied, issues pertinent to waterborne transport infrastructure, they felt it was important to have a supplier on board that could contribute across such a broad spectrum.

With our expertise extending from shore-based infrastructure, to oil and gas and LNG; we’re well placed to contribute to a number of areas PIANC work within.

This year’s Congress resolution, set forth by PIANC, will investigate ongoing and emerging trends, technologies and business models. With that said, we here at Trelleborg look forward to being involved in contributing to this important discussion going forward.

For more information about PIANC, visit: www.PIANC.org

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/