Welcome to this new forum which will be focused on discussions relating to all issues in the planning, implementation, design, operation, inspection and maintenance of machines in bulk ports & shipping.
I will be your moderator for this post and my details will appear in the relevant places soon. In brief, I am a design engineer for bulk handling machines and cranes. I also provide technical consulting services on all mechanical and structural aspects of these machines. In an effort to improve our processes, I am also conducting PhD level research into the effects of errors and error rates on the outcome of design processes.
Below, please find a general description of this forum. In it, I raise a number of questions that may be interesting to some of you and I hope that you will take up a topic from this list and post a thread.
The purpose of this forum is to discuss the design, operation and
implementation of machines, ships and transfer processes in a bulk Port. In short we are interested in all aspects of ship loading, ship unloading and shipping. It is of interest to any personnel who are planning to implement bulk ports and who are involved in their design, operation, inspection and maintenance.
For example, an early discussion in any port development is how to select the style of machine and transfer operation to best suite the strategic goals of the organisation. What rate should the machines operate at? Should the loaders be of the slewing and long travelling type, the radial type, or the longitudinal type? What ship sizes and what range of sizes should be accepted into the Port? Once the design of machines is being implemented, how can you ensure that the design process will produce the
machine which was envisaged?
Are you someone who needs to initiate efforts to make such decisions? Join us to enquire where to start, if only to make sure you end up speaking with the right experts.
Many systems make up a bulk port. Indeed, each machine operates numerous subsystems at any one time to effect the transfer process. Should systems be driven electrically or hydraulically? How do you modify a transfer chute that blocks every time you load at the high boom angle? Can you do
something about the dust being emitted from the loading chute even though it has all the suction mod-cons you can buy? If your ship warping operation causes you a much longer interruption of material flow than it takes to warp the ship, what can you do about that? Your draft survey is regularly different from the belt weigher readout. What effects influence these readings? How do other people deal with these issues?
Are you in charge of operations and have difficulty resolving these issues? Many are very subtle and you need the employ of an expert. However, you will be surprised how innovative operating staff can be. Join our forum and find out what you can do before making life more complicated.
Are you a supplier of equipment that may help solve problems, or improve on what exists? Use the opportunities offered by this forum to let people know.
A hot topic in recent times has been the use of risk assessment and management techniques for the operation, inspection and maintenance of any equipment. This has special implications on the operation of bulk handling machines, which are subject to very abbreviated design processes, when comparing them to that of a truck or a car for example. They are also subject to very onerous loading condition not similarly experienced elsewhere. A big point behind this drive to risk management is the recognition that bulk handling machines suffer catastrophic failures at a rate of ~100 times greater than other industrial structures! Why is that?
Are you in charge of safety processes on your wharf? What is your view on risk assessment and how beneficial can it be in avoiding catastrophic failures? Many have complained that it suffers similar problems to the box ticking processes of quality control. Do you have experience in this and have you been able to identify circumstances when it does work or does not work?
Last edited by HelmutMayer; 12th December 2001 at 21:59.
Director and Principal Engineer
Mayer International Design Engineers Pty Ltd
Specialist Engineering of Material Handling Equipment,
Cranes and other Custom Machines