A new gravity-based self-unloading bulk handling system launched by Cargotec subsidiary, MacGregor, has been developed to raise efficiency, increase cargo hold capacity, and save time during unloading operations. The MacGregor GravityVibeTM will use a patent-pending vibrating unloader to reduce friction and simplify the discharge of coarse bulk materials, such as wood chips, that sometimes stick together causing system blockages.
It is a gravity-based system, but it incorporates vibrating panels that break up clumps of cargo. The panels are separate from a ship’s hull structure so that noise and vibration are not transmitted to other parts of the vessel.
Traditional gravity-based self-unloading systems usually have slope angles of 35-60° but the MacGregor system can discharge cargoes with smaller slope angles of 15-20°, the company said. This boosts cargo flexibility, raises cargo volumes, and cuts carbon emissions per tonne of cargo transported.
MacGregor’s sales manager, Self-unloading systems and Cranes, Mikael Hägglund, said: “Bulk carrier cargo holds are typically designed to handle a specific kind of material, meaning the shipowner is somewhat limited in the type of assignments they can take on. The MacGregor GravityVibe overcomes these limitations to afford owners greater flexibility when taking on new contracts, and it also boosts earning potential and environmental performance by optimising cargo capacity.”
Describing the system as the company’s most advanced self-unloader yet, Tomas Wallin, senior product owner, Self-Unloaders, added: “We developed the system according to established best practice, using textbook understanding of material behaviours in combination with a decisive innovation on how to handle cargo types with different properties. We have also tested it in collaboration with leading research centres and technology area experts.”
Owners and operators interested in the new technology can see the GravityVibe system in full-scale mock-up demonstrations at the company’s test facilities.
New self-unloading system boosts efficiency