Arlona Engineering MD Steve Christy says, “These robust skips, which will be used for the loading of iron-ore into the hull of vessels at the port of Richards Bay, are being manufactured according to stringent Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB Oxelos-und specifications at Arlona’s fabrication facility in Durban.”
He adds that the company has completed other successful projects of a similar nature for TPT that include the fabrication of nine of the biggest skips in operation at Richards Bay. These 20-cubic-metre skips are used for pitch coke and have been trouble free since delivery early in 2006.
“Although the skips currently being manufactured for Mechgen were origi- nally designed by TPT engineers, Arlona recently completed a project for 40 eight- cubic-metre units, using the company’s own design that has set new standards for strength and durability, as well as efficient manufacture and minimal need for repair. “Another 20 skips for the same customer are soon to be commissioned.”
Special materials are used in the manu-facture of these skips to ensure high strength and extended service life. Hardox 450, which is a wear- resistant steel that is manufactured by SSAB has a lifespan of up to five times longer than ordinary structural steel. Although this material has a hardness of 450 Brinell, which is three to four times harder than structural plate, its excellent forming and welding properties make it an ideal manufacturing material for this application.
Before these skips are delive- red to Richards Bay, they will be load-tested at Arlona’s specialised proof loading facility that is equipped with a test rig certified to proof-load up to 100 t. These eight-cubic-metre skips have a safe working load of 20 t and will be load-tested and certified to 25 t.
Arlona Engineering, which is accredited by the Department of Labour as a testing station, also offers a load testing service to general industry to ensure that all lifting equipment com-plies with the Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements.