A Cut Above The Rest

Tuesday, November 02, 1999
Advances in steel processing have enabled shipyards around the globe to streamline operations while vastly improving efficiency and quality. This fact is not lost on the shipyards of the Gulf of Mexico region, which in recent years have invested tens of millions of dollars in advanced systems designed to propel their yards into world class levels of quality and efficiency. Bender: Breaking out of the “Second Tier” Image Bender Shipbuilding’s transformation from a so-called “second tier” shipyard into a world-class facility is hinged on the success of its newly opened First Operations Shop. The new facility, which features the installation of a high powered laser cutting machine, will include operations such as raw plate and profile receipt and storage, blasting and primer painting plate and profiles, plate cutting, part forming, profile cutting and forming, part identification, part kitting, and delivery of kitted parts to downstream processes. Prior to the First Operations Shop, Bender had no in-house plate cutting capability. In selecting the laser system, Bender has effectively postioned itself to prosper for many years to come. Bender can attribute part of the success of opening the new shop with its collaborations with Caterpillar, which though a Maritech project, provided Bender with a full set of technical data which was key in ascertaining Bender’s needs in terms of quality and speed. In addition, Caterpillar transferred a proprietary technology of tab & slot and twist tab joing designs to Bender Shipbuilding, a technology which is enabled by the precision and cut quality of the laser. Bender tabs the technology as a significant enhancement to the way in which ships are designed and built, and the concept was presented to ABS for strength and fatigue tests. The results were successful, and now Bender will petition ABS to formally approve the joint design and allow its use in selected applications. To investigate which cutting solution would be best for Bender, executives embarked on an international tour of yards in Europe and Asia, as well as ship and boatyards in the U.S., such as Bath Iron Works, Friede Goldman, Alabama shipyard, Avondale, Halter Pascagoula, Halter Equitable and Bollinger. Bender’s First Operations Shop — which at press time was scheduled to open with full functionality at the beginning of 2000 — represents the latest advances in materials processing, as well as laser cutting. According to the company, the 6 kW laser system to be installed offers many quality advantages, including an accuracy withing .004-in. In addition, part repeatability is nearly 100 percent, and there is no degradation of the beam quality over the course of the cutting program between normal, routine maintenance. Steiner Steps Up Steiner Shipyard, with origins as a family shipyard dating back to the 1920s, is certainly a well-known and regarded entity in the local maritime markets. However, Steiner is far more than a local player, as it counts companies around the globe, including Japan, as good customers in standing. Steiner is perhaps best known for its endeavors in the fishing vessel markets, as it has built hundreds of boats over the years. But the company’s activities are broadly stretched, a strategy, which has yielded dividends as cyclical trends on occasion touch one or more of the branches. The latest business opportunity for Steiner revolves around a new company dubbed Enviro-Metals. Featuring a Wheelabrator metal processing unit, used to preblast millscale (the coating on metals that must be removed before the metal can be painted). The unit is housed in its own building, which is a great benefit toward complying with EPA guidelines. In fact, Russell says, the Alabama Conservation Department has even issued tickets if sand goes into the water during the blasting process — a far more likely result for yards still blasting in open air. The tighter regulations on blasting and coating mean small boatyards need to employ such a process; however, the prohibitive cost of the unit makes the prospect a bit unfeasible. Therefore, Steiner's hope is to offer the company's services to local, smaller shipyards. "We'll do it all," Russell says, "we'll cut, blast, prepare the metal. All the shipyard will have to do is assemble the hull." Steiner is no stranger to such an arrangement, as the company already subs out some expertise work of its own. With only 100 manufacturing employees, such tasks as electrical work, carpentry, refrigeration and electronics are among the jobs subbed out to local businesses.
Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Tanker Trends

Fleet Growth Weighs on Product Tanker Earnings

Healthy returns enjoyed by the product tanker market in recent years are under threat as impending fleet growth is expected to reduce the sector’s earnings over the medium term,

Traders Scramble for Caribbean Crude Storage

Demand for crude storage in the Caribbean, one of the world's most important oil hubs, is rising as producers and traders try to ride out the worst price crash

Strong Returns for Sovcomflot

Russia’s biggest shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) surpassed its own expectations and went forward on both revenue and net profit in the first six months.

Workboats

The Hour of Power

Hybrid Marine Technology and Green Ports In 2015 two significant developments are going to make many operators, owners and builders of professional vessels consider hybrid marine power.

MN 100: ContainerTug B.V.

The Company: ContainerTug B.V. is a specialized Dutch naval design engineering and construction company with a strong focus on developing workboats and the evaluation

MN 100: Bordelon Marine

The Company: Founded in 1979, Bordelon Marine is a leading provider of Marine Transportation services operating in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world. The

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1377 sec (7 req/sec)