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UK terminal operator, Tilbury Container Services (TCS) recently awarded Kalmar a major contract for the refurbishment of 13 straddle carriers. This project comes on top of an existing contract whereby Kalmar is carrying out routine servicing of the entire TCS straddle carrier fleet. TCS currently operates 39 straddles at its Tilbury terminal, these being a mix of Kalmar and other brands.

Under the refurbishment programme, each of the 13 straddles was assessed individually and major repairs identified, prioritised and actioned according to need. This process, Kalmar states, provides better value for money than simply renovating each machine according to set guidelines.

Jason Smith, Contract Maintenance Manager, Kalmar Industries, described the work as ‘predictive maintenance’:

The object of such an exercise is to carry out repairs to these machines before they break down. That way, you avoid disruption to operations caused through having to retrieve a machine from the stack or the quayside but hopefully too, you will avoid the consequential damage to other components that often occurs when a machine fails in service.

Michael Quinn, Terminal Engineer at TCS, explained the background to this deal:

Our Kalmar machines are now approximately ten years old and we want them to last 15 years. It had become pretty obvious that without major refurbishment, reliability would become a real problem.

Initially, we planned to do the work ourselves and costed the project on this basis. However, in talks with Kalmar, it became obvious that their people could do the work within our budget, leaving our team to focus on cranes and breakdowns.

Each of the straddle carriers had done about 20,000 hours and so overhaul of each machine Volvo engine was the first priority, ensuring that they would be able to deliver another 10,000 hours with reliability.

TCS had also identified increasing reliability problems with the steering and braking systems and so these were renovated too as were the drive systems, the ac invertors, for example, receiving a ‘wash and brush up’ according to Mr Quinn.

About TCS

TCS is the only dedicated, direct access deepsea terminal within the Port of London. It was built initially to serve the North Europe – Australia trade, one of the first liner routes to switch to full containerisation, this being in 1969. TCS is still to this day, the UK leading facility for those trades handling large quantities of reefer cargo.

TCS is jointly owned by three major port operators - P&O Ports, Associated British Ports and Forth Ports – and offers a combined quay length of 1,185 metres, 600 of which are on the riverside.

A total of seven gantry cranes are available, six of which are located on the riverside berths. Four have an SWL of 60 tonnes, twin lifting capability, outreaches of up to 50 metres and air drafts of up to 36 metres above quay. The remaining cranes can all lift up to 35 tonnes, increasing to 40 tonnes by use of a heavy lift beam. They have a maximum outreach of 36 metres. The yard is serviced by a fleet of modern diesel/electric straddle carriers.

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The caption for the photograph reads:

Effiency and reliability have been improved at Tilbury Container Servicesfacility on the Thames near London following therefurbishment of 13 straddle carriers by Kalmar Industries. Kalmar is now also providing routine maintenance on the entire TCS straddle fleet, including a number of non-Kalmar machines.

Kalmar is a global provider of container and heavy duty materials handling equipment, automation applications and related services. It is the world's leading supplier of cargo handling equipment to ports, terminals and intermodal facilities.

Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine. The company also supplies a wide range of machines to demanding industrial customers for applications as diverse as handling steel and paper to shunting road trailers at distribution hubs.

Kalmar is also leading the way in port automation applications with its application of unmanned container handling technology, on-board smart features and remote maintenance products developed in co-operation with customers and partners.

Kalmar's product range is complemented by a large range of value added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Production plants are situated in Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Malaysia, China and the USA. Kalmar net sales were EUR 1,147 million in 2005.
Kalmar is part of Cargotec Corporation, the world leading provider of cargo handling solutions, which are used in local transportation, terminals, ports, distribution centers, and ships. In 2005 Cargotec net sales exceeded EUR 2.3 billion. Cargotec class B shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

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