New grab unloads vessels faster and smarter
There was plenty of reason to celebrate for transport technologist Dingena Schott and her team at TU Delft. Not only did they develop a design method for a new grab, but the grab, complied with all of the predictions generated by the models, tests and stimulations that they validated. They worked together with grab manufacturer Nemag. Their collaboration led to an innovative grab that reduces the unloading time of a vessel by at least ten per cent and could potentially unload vessels in ports all over the world more efficiently and sustainably. Nemag created the new design. Nemag even received a prestigious award, a prize given by the International Bulk Journal for the most innovative technology for cargo handling.
“Indeed, it appears that while designers have been trying out a new concept thus far with trial and error, Nemag’s new grab is the first to meet all predictions that TU Delft made based on the models, tests and simulations that it validated. That has never been mentioned before in the scientific literature. We definitely celebrated, because scientifically speaking that’s the crowning glory of our work. As a scientist, I also think it’s great that our research has led to a tangible improvement by a Dutch company that serves the global market.”
Schott’s aim is to speed up the unloading process even more in the future by creating a dynamic grab capable of adapting itself. Moreover, it’s not just about the grab, but also the crane onto which the grab and cables are attached. ‘We only changed the grab design now, because we couldn’t change anything at the top of the crane yet,’ says Schott. ‘But actually we shouldn’t only be perfecting the grab, but also its interaction with the crane.’
Currently a PhD student is developing models for other kinds of bulk materials. The properties of a material, such as the shape of the pellets, their texture and stiffness, mean that each material ‘behaves’ differently. This affects the flow inside the grab. Think, for example, of dry sand, which flows more easily than wet sand. ‘By analysing all kinds of substances, we can develop the grab even further. Ultimately, of course, we want a grab that performs optimally for all products and under all conditions.’
Read the whole story New grab unloads vessels faster and smarter
Read the press release (in Dutch) by Nemag: ‘Nederlandse grijperfabrikant Nemag wint prijs voor innovatie’.