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Movable Ladder That Makes Hold Inspections Easier Developed

January 6, 2006

Movable Ladder That Makes Hold Inspections Easier Developed

NYK Global Bulk Corporation (President: Hisayoshi Mikawa) and the Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI, President: Yoshihiro Uesu), both members of the NYK Group, recently developed a movable ladder (patent pending) together with Meihan Senpaku Co. Ltd. (President: Yasushi Takahashi) in Osaka for use in the holds of handy bulkers (bulk carriers of about 23,000 to 50,000 deadweight tons).

Handy bulkers are used to transport bulk cargoes such as grains and coal and feature several very large holds that normally exceed 20 meters in length, width, and depth (from floor to hatch cover). Furthermore, hold walls generally meet the floor surface at angles greater than 45 degrees.

To prevent contamination, holds are always cleaned prior to being laden with cargo. However, the structure of the holds makes it difficult and dangerous to carry out post-cleaning inspections of high, hard-to-reach areas.

The new ladder has been developed to make this work safe and easy. Its design combines a ladder with a wheeled platform and features the following characteristics:

  1. Ease of assembly/disassembly (a group of three people can handle this task in about 20 minutes).
  2. Ease of movement (moved by the wheeled platform within a hold; lifted and carried by crane when moved between holds)
  3. Compact size. The unit measures a mere two square meters (height: about one meter) when disassembled (ladder excluded), facilitating shipboard storage.

To date, various methods have been employed to conduct post-cleaning inspections of hard-to-reach areas prior to cargo loading; these include the use of fixed ladders, scaffolding, and baskets suspended from cranes. However, all of these methods require a great deal of time, labor, and expense. Therefore, the quarters concerned with bulk carriers are placing great expectations on the newly developed ladder.

Meihan Senpaku Co. Ltd., the joint developer of this device, serves as the agent in charge of the sale and delivery of the new ladder, which is priced at 980,000 yen, excluding tax and delivery cost.

For further information, please contact the following:

Ryoji Niwa, Assistant Branch Manager, Yokohama Branch, Meihan Senpaku Co., Ltd.
Tel.: 81-45-622-3161; Fax: 81-45-622-6066
E-mail : meihan-yk@k5.dion.ne.jp
Junichiro Shibata, Manager, Business Group No.1, NYK Global Bulk Corporation
Tel.: 81-3-3284-5402; Fax: 81-3-3284-5585
E-mail : junichiro_shibata@jp.nykline.com
Hiroshi Fujita, Technical Strategy Group, MTI
Tel.: 81-3-5222-7714; Fax: 81-3-5222-7680
E-mail : hiroshi_fujita@jp.nykline.com
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