Class NK issued a statement of approval about Mente-san,
a hold-inspection device for bulk carriers.
February 3, 2009
Meihan Senpaku Co. Ltd. (head office, Osaka; president, Yasushi Takahashi), NYK Global Bulk Corporation (head office, Tokyo; president, Takeshi Matsunaga) and Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI: head office, Tokyo; president, Yutaka Yasunaga) recently developed a hold-inspection device, Mente-san1, for use in the holds of bulk carriers.
Class NK also issued a statement of approval about Mente-san as an alternative “permanent means of access” (PMA) that meets SOLAS Convention2 requirements.
Features of Mente-san
Mente-san is an alternative device for PMA. It can be easily assembled and installed and offers secure safety of footing by combining the multistage ladder and scaffold generally used at construction sites on land. The device is held firmly to the frame of a ship’s hull by use of steel clamps and thus dramatically improves safety for inspectors. This enables them to carry out inspection work speedily and properly, contributing to a reduced burden for inspectors who perform inspections and measurement work in high places.
In addition, Mente-san can be reassembled as a tower-type movable maintenance ladder, Rakuraku Ladder Noboru-kun1, that was previously developed by MTI. As both devices consist of some common parts such as the ladders and scaffolds, carriers will not be required to keep different devices for inspection work and maintenance work.
Background of development
The SOLAS Convention was amended with the aim of improving the safety of oil tankers and bulk carriers. It required setting up PMA for easier access to high places inside the holds to all the bulk carriers of 20,000 or more gross tons constructed after January 1, 2005. To meet this requirement, PMA such as vertical ladders that were permanently fixed inside holds were initially adopted although they caused damage by touching cargo, and caused some cargo to remain in the space between the PMA and ship structures. Consequently, other portable-yet-securable types of PMA were developed, but they had a cost issue, as they could not be diverted to other uses such as maintenance.
With all this in mind, Mente-san was designed for use in daily maintenance as well. A demonstration of the product was carried out in the presence of the five classification societies3 in May 2008. And at the IACS Survey Panel in September 2008, Mente-san was introduced and properly validated as a portable alternative PMA that meets the SOLAS Convention requirements.
Sequentially, Mente-san is going to be equipped aboard all of the NYK Group’s bulk carriers that will be in service after this spring.
Meihan Senpaku Co. Ltd., the joint developer of this device, serves as the agent in charge of sales and delivery of new orders. Prices begin at 2 million yen, excluding tax and delivery cost.
- Mente-san and Rakuraku Ladder Noboru-kun are protected by industrial property rights.
- The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
- American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Bureau Veritas (BV), Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LRS), and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK)
For further information, please contact the following:
Meihan Senpaku Co., Ltd.
NYK Global Bulk Corporation
MTI (Monohakobi Technology Institute) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org