Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Container Shipping Group Testing Mooring Lines with Integral Stress Sensors

Dry Bulk Vessel Will Demonstrate New Rope Technology
Shipping News Feature
JAPAN – Container shipping giant Mitsui OSK Lines, has announced that it will start a demonstration test of a mooring rope with a built-in sensor, along with a rope status monitoring system. In partnership with MOL Coastal Shipping and MOL Information Systems, the project focuses on the mooring ropes that connect vessels to piers and other port facilities.

In general, the tension on mooring ropes is hardly ever determined in accurate measurements, except at certain ports equipped with tension monitors. So ropes may break because crewmembers do not take effective measures against external forces that are stronger than anticipated, often due to weather and sea conditions. In addition, visual inspections alone cannot always identify ropes that are damaged or deteriorating faster than expected, even if they are at the proper tension, and this may lead to premature breakage.

Broken mooring ropes pose a risk of serious accidents that may damage port equipment and facilities, not to mention vessels and indeed individuals. To address this issue, MOL, Teijin Limited, and the Tesac Corporation jointly developed a mooring rope with a built-in sensor, as well as a status display system that allows crewmembers to readily determine the tension and strength of the rope. In addition, the mooring rope adopts Teijin's ‘Technora®’ para aramid fibre, which claims to offer excellent dimensional stability.

The demonstration test will be conducted with MOL Coastal Shipping-operated dry bulk ship Cedros, which will be equipped with the ropes and monitoring system.

Based on the results of the demonstration test, MOL plans to adopt the mooring ropes and status monitoring system to enhance safety during cargo handling operations in port and on board. In the future, the company plans to leverage this experience to developing a more advanced mooring monitoring system to achieve even greater safety and effectiveness in cargo handling.