Agribusiness & Food, Conveyors, Transfers, Chutes

Customised radial telescopic ship loader for Ukrainian grain port

Telestack TS 550 rail mounted ship loader in operation at Illichivisk Port, Ukraine.

Telestack has recently delivered a new TS 550 radial telescopic ship loader to Ukrainian stevedoring company Transervic, which operates in the port of Illichivisk.

“The machine, which was ordered in November 2013, was despatched in August 2014 and commissioned in November 2014,” recalled Telestack sales manager Philip Waddell.

Quizzed as to why Telestack had secured the order, Waddell noted that there were several reasons.

“First up, they liked Telestack’s ability to design and supply a machine to suit their individual application and site parameters. However, we were also able to offer local service and after sales back up via our Ukrainian dealer YTS, which was certainly well appreciated. Last, but not least, we demonstrated to the client that we already had a significant number of machines handling grain in Ukraine, with large grain producing companies such as Nibulon,” he said.

Telestack supplied 13 of these customised units to Nibulon in 2010 and 2011.

“All these factors were key in Telestack winning the Transervic contract and also played a significant role in a subsequent sale, encompassing a further shiploader for the loading of grain at the Nika Tera Grain loading terminal in Nykaleav, Ukraine,” said Waddell.


The old system of grain handling

Prior to the arrival of the TS 550, Transervic had been using old Russian gantry cranes, which were very slow in terms of loading capacity. They also were costly to maintain and were unreliable due to their age. “In contrast, the Telestack system will give them better reliability, increased capacity and also lower operating and maintenance costs,” stressed Waddell.


The need for a custom design

The TS 550 shiploaders that Telestack produces are all custom-designed machine, reflecting the individual applications they are required to fulfil and also prevailing site parameters. Nevertheless, Waddell conceded that there were certain challenges in respect of the Transervic order that the company had had to overcome.

The most significant challenge was that, although the TS 550 needed to be designed to travel parallel on rails at the front end, there were no rails available at the back end. Telestack engineers had to come up with a parallel travel system with rail bogies at the front — on which ultimately the main weight of the machine would rest — and also pneumatic wheels at the rear.

“Furthermore, the rail bogies and wheels had to be synchronised to move in parallel along the jetty,” said Waddell.

The machine also had to have a radial function for trimming. This meant that the design had to reflect a need for the front rail bogies to be raised off the ground to, in turn, allow the radial wheels to engage with the ground, so that the machine could radial for purposes of trimming the vessel.

“This is a unique design, which Telestack has only supplied previously on units bought by Nibulon,” he said.

Another challenge was that the berth on which the TS 550 was to be deployed handles a variety of cargo, much of which arrives by rail. The TS 550 therefore had to be designed to be easily moved out of the way of inbound rail wagons.


Dust control

“The Transervic machine also incorporates a dust containment system, meaning it is totally enclosed, which was specified for environmental reasons,” said Waddell.

The system uses dust covers, enclosed transfer points and a Cleveland Cascade chute with a 360-degree trimmer.

The TS 550 is electrically powered, driven by a three-phase mains power supply from the jetty via cable reel, thereby cutting out unnecessary diesel fumes.


Grain being fed to the TS 550 rail mounted shiploader.
Grain being fed to the TS 550 rail mounted shiploader.


Productive capacity

In terms of productivity, it can load up to 600 tons-per-hour of grain at a density of 0.7 tonnes per cubic metre. The TS 550 will mostly be handling grain, but also some soya bean traffic, as well as cake and meal for animal feed.

The system provides luffing from 14 degrees to 27 degrees, thereby allowing it to work hatches on board a Panamax vessel.


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