MacGREGOR pioneers new generations of container lashings
Quality hatch covers from partner plants attract overseas customers
Shipbuilders in Europe and South Korea as well as Chinese yards are now sourcing from large production facilities in China dedicated to the fabrication, assembly and testing of all types and sizes of MacGREGOR hatch covers
Since 1996 MacGREGOR Hatch Cover division has developed its partner plant production concept in China, nowadays producing hatch covers from two partner plants one located in Nantong, on the river Yangtze about 120km north-west of Shanghai, and the other plant in Fuling, in the Chongqing area, also on the Yangtze, says Markku Mattila, general manager of the Hatch Cover division.
Co-operation between the partners sought the efficient production of high quality hatch covers of all types and sizes, with MacGREGOR Hatch Cover division on-site production management and quality control supervisors assuming control of the delivery process, and partner plants providing the fabrication capacity, manpower and other facilities. The turn-key service to customers extends from project definition and design through manufacturing to commissioning and after sales support.
MacGREGOR took responsibility for the factory layout, the selection and supply of key production equipment, development of new production technologies and extensive personnel training (at management and shopfloor levels) carried out in Europe and Japan. Advanced systems are installed for cutting, welding, painting, assembly and testing processes, the equipment sourced from leading European and Japanese specialist companies.
Large-scale continuous production started in 1998, and the first deliveries from partner plants in January 1999 called for five 2+2 panel high-stowing folding hatch cover sets for an ABS-classed multipurpose cargo ship ordered in China by COSCO. Subsequent commitments included folding hatch cover sets for bulk and general cargo carrier newbuilding projects at Jiangdong Shipyard for Beluga Shipping GmbH and at the Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering (NACKS) yard for COSCO.
MacGREGOR reference list is detailed in the table. Among the contracts for Chinese yards are lift-away hatch cover sets for two 5,250 TEU container ships building at NACKS for COSCO Container Lines. Each package for this post-Panamax pair headed into service in September by Cosco Antwerp comprises 46 lift-away panels arranged as single-, twin- or triple-panel sets to serve the 16 hatches. All the hatches except Nos 1, 2 and 14 offer a clear opening 12.6m long x 36.42m wide. The covers are strengthened for container stack weights of 81.3 tonnes/20ft units and 101.6 tonnes/40ft units.
Projects for overseas yards include lift-away sets for two 4,100 TEU ships booked at Daewoo by Contship Containerlines: a breakthrough contract for MacGREGOR in supplying hatch covers embracing complete steel structures for Panamax container ships ordered in South Korea. The 14-hatch design calls for 41 lift-away panels arranged as twin- or triple-panel covers, yielding 12.6m-long clear openings with widths of 18.1/13.0m (No 1 hatch), 23.1/18.1m (No 2), 28.1/23.1m (No 3) and 28.1m (Nos 4-14). A third vessel in this class will be supplied by MacGREGOR with the cover design and key components.
Another notable reference marking the first complete hatch cover deliveries from China to Europe are piggy-back and lift-away covers for Germany J J Sietas yard. Lift-away sets are also being supplied for 2,500 TEU container ships ordered from the German yard Aker MTW by Neptune Orient Line and NSB.
* see attached reference form for MacGREGOR hatch cover deliveries from Chinese partner plants
Covers from China, with confidence
Full support is offered to shipowners worldwide wishing to source complete MacGREGOR hatch cover deliveries from China for local and overseas newbuilding projects: an option increasingly taken by European customers.
Initial planning of the ship concept and hatch cover system can be executed in the owner home country, normally in association with the local MacGREGOR company. An agreement on project management is then arranged between MacGREGOR and the customer (shipowner), with MacGREGOR taking responsibility for fulfilling the agreement in the country of manufacture.
The customer can meet and discuss the project in his home country or in China with all the MacGREGOR personnel involved, such as the sales manager, naval architect, designer, contract manager, production supervisors, quality controllers and commissioning engineers.
Complete deliveries can be made by MacGREGOR from Europe and China to anywhere in the world, thanks to global logistics agreements ensuring that the hatch covers are delivered in good condition and on time to the right place.
Consistently high quality in both materials and manufacture is underwritten by MacGREGOR global quality management procedure, which is approved and certificated by DNV to ISO 9001 requirements. This procedure is followed for every project. Quality can thus be guaranteed for the hatch covers delivered, no matter where the newbuilding is commissioned.
Some 20 staff of the Hatch Cover and Global Service divisions in MacGREGOR Shanghai office are primed to provide a full service to customers, from sales and initial concept design to guarantees and all after sales support (spares, repairs, inspections, modernisations and conversions).