Versatility emphasized in shiploading and unloading equipment

by Teresa Acklin
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   Whether pneumatic or mechanical, shiploading and unloading equipment is becoming more versatile. Many equipment suppliers emphasized that point in their responses to a survey on trends and developments.

   Amid competitive and economic pressures, port operators continue to diversify. An individual port may handle cargoes ranging from cereals and oilseeds to fertilizer and coal. Depending on the cargo, loading and unloading also may involve a variety of vessel and container types, such as barges, tankers, trucks, hopper cars, wagons, silos or flat storage.

   As a result, many recent equipment modifications and new designs are geared toward offering equipment that can perform in a variety of situations. A review of developments follows.

   • AS-C Materials Handling Ltd., Cheadle, U.K., has designed a new feeder for the Simporter, AS-C's twin-belt mechanical ship unloader. The new feeder, recently commissioned at the Bristol Port Co., permits operators to change feeder performance settings depending on the cargo. The feeder features extended side screw sections and variable speeds for the rotating elements. The screw blades can rotate as slowly or as fast as necessary to achieve maximum cutting performance.

   For free-flowing products, the feeder can be set for maximum capacity of up to 2,000 tph. To improve discharge of non-free-flowing products, the extended screw sections enable the feeder to undermine materials that tend to form “cliffs,” forcing the materials into the feeder.

   The screw sections also provide more digging ability because of their extra length and variable speed. This feature enables the feeder to slice through the top crust found in some cargoes.

   • B & W Mechanical Handling Ltd., Ely, Cambridgeshire, U.K., has commissioned more than 100 of its mobile shiploaders in Europe, the Middle East and the West Indies. The mobile machine offers low capital costs, flexibility in materials handling and handling rates of 1,000 tph or more.

   The mobile machine's key feature is use of the Samson feeder principle, which enables bulk materials to be moved directly from trucks to ship without unloading into pits. The Samson can receive materials from as many as 10 trucks simultaneously. The mobile shiploader is self-propelled and can move parallel to the ship, minimizing repositioning time. For vessel trimming, the units offer telescopic loading spouts and radial thrower attachments.

   The company also offers the Stormajor, a mobile stacking unit designed to receive and deliver bulk materials from trucks directly to flat storage. It can handle up to 500 tph for cereals or 1,000 tph for heavier materials.

   • Berga S.p.A., Quinto di Treviso, Italy, recently has been involved in three port projects in Turkey. These projects follow the completion of three earlier projects that began in 1988.

   Among the recent Turkish projects is the delivery and commissioning of one pneumatic ship unloader, with a capacity of 300 tph, at the port of Trabzon.

   The port of Mersin is undergoing expansion, and Berga has erected a combined shiploader/unloader. The unit's loading capacity is 1,200 tph; the pneumatic unloader's total capacity is 600 tph through two 300-tph booms. The equipment will be commissioned after construction of other port facilties is completed this year. Berga also provided equipment for the port of Derince. In addition to two 600-tph pneumatic ship unloaders, Berga erected one shiploader with a 1,200-tph capacity. The units are part of the Port Silo complex, and Berga also provided mechanical equipment, including chain conveyors, bucket elevators, slides and diverters with a capacity of 1,200 tph.

   Berga also has been awarded a contract at Trieste, Italy. The project includes supplying a pneumatic shiploader/unloader with a single-boom unloading line of 600 tph, a 100-tph hatch cleaning line and a 600-tph loading line.

   In early 1993, Buhler Ltd., Uzwil, Switzerland, commissioned a Portalink HL-SKT ship unloader and loader, including pier equipment, in Gdynia, Poland. This Portalink installation marked the continuation of an involvement that began nearly 60 years ago.

   In 1936, Buhler in Warsaw supplied a 10,000-tonne storage terminal and a traveling pneumatic ship unloader to the Gdynia port; the facility has remained in operation ever since. The old unloader was replaced this year by the new Portalink unit, which has loading and unloading capacities of 400 tph.

   Other recent Buhler projects include the supply of two rail-mounted mechanical ship unloaders rated at 600 tph to Agadir, Morocco, for 60,000-dwt ships. Buhler also supplied a combined loader/unloader, loading capacity of 400 tph, to Antalya, Turkey, for 25,000-dwt ships.

   One new Portalink RSO will be supplied to Oristano, Italy, to unload 30,000- dwt ships at a rate of 300 tph. In South Korea, two mechanical unloaders, 800 tph capacity each, were commissioned at the Inchon harbor for discharging 55,000- dwt ships.

   • Consillium CMH Babcock AB, Bjuv, Sweden, celebrated in May 1993 the delivery of its 100th Siwertell mechanical ship unloader. The 100th unit, a model 5000 S road mobile unloader, will be used to unload barges on the Rhine River at Duisburg, Germany.

   The multi-purpose Siwertell road mobile unloader covers a variety of unloading needs. It is self-propelled, or it can be placed on a trailer for road use.

   Other unloaders in the Siwertell line include the ST 490, with a rated grain unloading capacity of 600 tph, and the ST 390, with a rated capacity of 350 tph. These units have been commissioned recently in Italy, Portugal and Poland, and other projects are on-going in Venezuela, Denmark, Turkey, China and Taiwan.

   The latest deliveries are equipped with new features, including a new type of bearing and a newly designed inlet device. The “OD” bearing gives continuous screw flight from top to bottom without interruption and uses less power. The new inlet device permits the unloader to maintain high capacity even during final clean-up.

   • International Vac Services, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., leases portable Neuero pneumatic grain conveyors, commonly known as “vacs,” for ship lightering or discharging of bulk grain cargoes throughout the world. Recent projects have been undertaken in Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Russia, Estonia, Moldova and Ukraine.

   The units generally are used at ports lacking adequate unloading facilities. The vacs can discharge from a variety of vessel types and are the only method of unloading grain from tankers. Typically, the vacs are loaded on deck and travel with the cargo to the destination port.

   The self-contained, diesel powered units convey grain through a 20-cm-diameter pipe to smaller vessels, baggers, hoppers, conveyors or direct to storage facilities. Unloading capacity per machine typically is 50 tph, although it can be as high as 75 tph.

   The company also can provide operating technicians to maintain the equipment and to oversee its use and operation. The technicians arrive at the port about one or two days before vessel arrival and remain on board until discharge is completed.

   • Neuero Corp., West Chicago, Illinois, U.S., has a number of projects under way or completed. The company delivered two Multiport pneumatic unloaders to the port of Bandar Khomeini, Iran. The tire-mounted mobile units each have a capacity of 280 tph. Two similar rail-mounted Multiport unloaders were delivered to the port of Bandar Abbas, Iran.

   In Trinidad, the company is providing a 300-tph rail-mounted Multiport ship unloader/loader to National Flour Mills. The unit features vacuum unloading and mechanical loading. A 300-tph fixed ship unloader and mechanical conveyors were delivered to Iligan, Philippines.

   Multiple portable pneumatic unloaders were delivered to Cairo, Egypt. The company is providing a Multiport 250-tph rail-mounted ship unloader equipped with an auxiliary crane boom to Matola, Mozambique. In Owensboro, Kentucky, U.S., Neuero also is assisting in the installation and commissioning of a 250-tph barge unloader.

   • Redler Ltd., Stroud, U.K., designs and builds bulk handling systems, and its products range from single machines to complete turnkey projects. The company has provided shiploaders at Southampton, Cardiff and Newcastle, all in the U.K. Other products are in operation in China, Thailand, Turkey, the U.S., Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia.

   Redler features an en masse enclosed chain conveying system, which the company originated. Redler also supplies side-wall belt conveyors, belt and chain bucket elevators, along with ancillary equipment.

   • Vigan Engineering S.A., Nivelles, Belgium, has increased the capacities of its pneumatic mobile 120 and NIV ship unloaders.

   The mobile 120 has a new motor, a larger airlock and larger-diameter pipes. Maximum capacity on short distances is 190 tph; for barge unloading, peak capacities of 150 to 180 tph can be achieved; and for seagoing vessels, the mobile 120 can unload 100 to 150 tph, depending on suction height. Several of these units were delivered to Egypt and Romania, and another will be delivered to Panama.

   Vigan recently developed new models in its NIV series — the 320, 400 and 500 — that can discharge up to 500 tph per suction line. The NIV 320 has achieved a capacity of up to 350 tph at a horizontal suction length of 35 meters.

   NIV design changes included a larger airlock, larger filter units and a more powerful turbo blower. The first unit of this type recently was commissioned at the port of Durban, South Africa, for the discharge of maize and rice.

   In response to environmental concerns, Vigan has upgraded its filtration systems and noise abatement designs. An unloader for a Dutch facility will emit no more than 20 mg dust per cubic meter. Vigan also has insulated the turbo blower and compressor cabin with rock wall panels and perforated steel plates to reduce noise.

   • Fritz Werner, Geisenheim, Germany, will erect and commission a pneumatic ship unloader in Oran, Algeria, by the end of this year. The unit, with a capacity of 300 tph on heavy grain, will be used for cereals and oilseeds.

   The unloader features a 27-meter boom with an auxiliary winch, which can lift front-end loaders weighing up to 5.5 tonnes into the hold. The unit uses a three-lobe roots blower to reduce noise levels.

   The intermediate chain conveyor on the portal frame is movable for greater flexibililty. This feature provides the option of loading trucks in two rows or of transferring the material to an existing quay conveyor.