Innovation Goes Global: Safely Testing Marine Bollards
A UK-based manufacturer has come up with a new solution for safely testing marine bollards and is now planning to take the innovation global. Working with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), Tyne and Wear Marine (TWM) has spent the last year developing the ‘Bollard Load Test’ (BLT), which uses a powerful hydraulic ram and specialist torque rope to recreate more than 100 tons of ‘pull.’ This breakthrough replaces the traditional method of a tug pulling against the bollard, a method that has previously caused damage to vessels and can be dangerous to the people involved in the test.
The trademark has been registered and a patent is pending, with the long-term plan to roll out the testing service to other ports across the globe. TWM have come up with a fully calibrated and easily deployable way of testing the strength of marine bollards, creating conditions equivalent to 100 tons with plans in place to increase this to 150 tons of pull in the next model. Inquiries from the Port of Tyne Harbor resulted in the development of a fully functioning, calibrated, safe and easily deployable system.
Mike Nicholson, Harbormaster at the Port of Tyne, said of the developing technology, “We have been extremely impressed with the results of the first successful trial and we are now ready to roll out a regular testing regime. We are confident that it will help guard against future bollard failures and provide greater safety and security for ships at our berths.”
Plans to seek legislation to certify the performance ratings of bollards are in motion, with the ultimate intention of ensuring that each bollard tested is identified by GPS and has the potential to cut insurance premiums for ports all over the world.
Due to the anticipated interest, Tyne and Wear Marine is currently in the early stages of building a new factory – adjacent to its current site – to give it more capacity and the ability to develop a bespoke production layout. TWM has just entered full production on the new device and, following certification by Noble Denton and approval from Port of Tyne and its Harbor Master, has launched it to the marketplace. It is currently looking for international partners to rollout the BLT service.
The Bollard Load Test (BLT) developed by Tyne and Wear Marine Ltd (TWM) and offers a safe method of testing marine mooring bollards – something which has not existed in the past, other than ‘one-offs’ where testing involved the use of tugs pulling against a bollard.
(As published in the October 2014 edition of Marine News - http://magazines.marinelink.com/Magazines/MaritimeNews)