April 2015 - Kemplon Engineering

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: April, 2015

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It’s been another eventful 30 days for the every-dynamic maritime industry. Kemplon Engineering brings together some of the hottest topics burning up the headlines this April, in this edition of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup:

Cruise Ship Woes: Drug Smuggling and Gastrointestinal Illness
The April news cycles proved not-quite fortunate for the cruise industry this month. Hot on the headlines was another case of a cruise ship worker busted for allegedly attempting to smuggle drugs on board. The recent incident happened on the Norwegian Dawn, just weeks following reports of similar allegations involving workers from the Norwegian Sun and Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas. Experts fear an uptick in drug movements using cruise ships, while recent police investigations have even yielded the possibility that drugs were on board the infamous, ill-fated Costa Concordia when it ran aground in 2012.

On less malevolent but just as worrying cruise news, a total of over 200 people from two different ships fell ill this April with gastrointestinal sickness. 112 aboard the Celebrity Infinity came down with the contagious norovirus, a common culprit in causing GI sickness. 116 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas experienced gastrointestinal symptoms too, with the cause yet to be determined.

Lost Sailor Rescued After 2 Months at Sea
April proved much luckier for 37-year-old sailor Louis Jordan. He was reported by his family as missing in late January, when he did not return from a fishing trip. His sailing boat had capsized, injuring him and rendering his electronic and navigation tools as unusable. He survived on fish and rainwater for 66 days, before he was found drifting 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina by a German-flagged ship. Mr. Jordan was reportedly in good health.

China’s Maritime Disputes
On the other side of the world… recently released satellite footage is showing ambitious builds by China on contested territories of the South China Sea. Reclaimed land and construction of what looks to be an airstrip is alarming not just claimants to the area, but also the broader international community, given the presence of crucial shipping routes. The United States is one of the countries that have raised concerns over what could be construed as an aggressive and destabilizing move on the part of the Chinese superpower. Tensions are already high in the region over territory disputes, with the recent builds escalating maritime security concerns in Asia.

Yemen Conflict and Shipping
A far more overt conflict is plaguing Yemen, as the country struggles with a Houthi rebellion aiming to oust the President. Yemen is near sea lanes that are vital to millions of barrels of oil headed to Asia, Europe and the United States. Neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia are already getting involved, and it is alleged that the rebels are backed by Iran. In the meantime, oil prices have seen a spike, insurers are wary, and shipping companies are scaling back or suspending port calls. We at Kemplon Engineering could only hope for better outcomes for the people of the troubled country and the industries they impact.

Check in with us again in May, for another edition of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup!

For Further Reading:
On Cruise Ships:
^ Adams, Sam. “Doomed Costa Concordia ‘was carrying shipment of Mafia cocaine’ when it sunk.” Mirror, 31 Mar 2015. Web. 23 Apr 2015. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/doomed-costa-concordia-was-carrying-5432140
^ Laursen, Wendy. “Drug Bust: Cruise Ship Galley Worker Arrested.” The Maritime Executive, 18 Apr 2015. Web. 23 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/drug-bust-cruise-ship-galley-worker-arrested
^ “More than 200 fall ill on two cruise ships from San Diego: CDC.” Reuters.com, 13 Apr 2015. Web. 23 Apr 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/13/us-usa-california-cruiseship-idUSKBN0N42BF20150413

On Sailor Lost at Sea:
^ Corrales, John. “Sailor Lost at Sea Is Rescued, but Details of Ordeal Are Hazy.” The New York Times, 03 Apr 2015. Web. 23 Apr 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/us/missing-sailor-found-after-more-than-two-months-at-sea.html?_r=0&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=U.S.&action=keypress&region=FixedLeft&pgtype=article
^ “US sailor rescued after 66 days lost at sea.” BBC.com, 03 Apr 2015. Web. 23 Apr 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32172646

On China:
^ “Advance of the ‘Great Wall of Sand’: New aerial photographs show incredible scale of construction on man-made islands in disputed area of South China.” Mail Online, 20 Apr 2015. Web. 23 Apr 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3046619/Philippines-seeks-Southeast-Asian-unity-denouncing-China-reclamation.html
^ “China ‘building airstrip’ in disputed South China Sea territory.” The Guardian, 17 Apr 2015. Web. 23 Apr 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/17/china-building-airstrip-in-disputed-south-china-sea-territory

On Yemen:
^ Saul, Jonathan. “Exclusive: Shipping lines pull back from Yemen as conflict escalates.” Yahoo! News Canada, 09 Apr 2015. Web. 24 Apr 2015. https://ca.news.yahoo.com/exclusive-shipping-lines-pull-back-yemen-conflict-escalates-145115903–finance.html
^ Saul, Jonathan. “Oil prices spike as Yemen conflict threatens top oil shipping route.” The Globe and Mail, 26 Mar 2015. Web. 24 Apr 2015. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/african-and-mideast-business/oil-prices-spike-as-yemen-conflict-threatens-top-oil-shipping-route/article23635995/

Expected Oil Price Rise & Prospects for the Global Oil Tanker Industry

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Unlimited Prospects
A common investor strategy is to buy low and sell high i.e. to buy assets at low prices and sell them at high prices. Of course, this requires contago conditions wherein asset prices are appreciating or are expected to rise. With the slight rise from mid-March 2015 after the slump from mid-2014, precisely such conditions exist in the global oil market.

Falling oil prices have caused over 51,000 layoffs, plummeting stock prices, and major spending cuts. Plus the oil tanker industry was thrown into the doldrums. Already under pressure since the 2008 slowdown, it struggled to make enough to cover daily operating expenses of $20,000.

Things are changing now. With oil prices in contago and the onshore facilities in the U.S. already 60% full in March this year, investors are turning to offshore storage, particularly very large crude carriers (VLCC). Oil traders have already booked space for 40million barrels of crude onboard 20 tankers.

Tanker freight rates are rising, shipping operators are raising money from stock markets, the crude tanker order book is expanding, prices of old tankers are increasing, customers are switching orders from other types of vessels to tankers, and owners are delaying the decommissioning of old tankers.

Experts caution against the current hysteria transforming into overcapacity and playing spoilsport. The fundamentals for oil demand remain strong despite the recent discoveries of oil in the U.S. – the main reason for the price slump. It is these fundamentals that will drive oil prices upward. And with prices will rise the tanker industry.

Oil: A Strategic Asset
Asset classes include stocks, bonds, real, estate, commodities, cash / deposits, and other possessions. Oil is a strategic asset because it supplies more energy than any other resource. 31.4% of the total primary energy supply of the world in 2012 came from oil.

In 2013, the global tanker fleet comprised of 11,000 tankers with a total deadweight tonnage of 490million. Reuters reported $83,000 earnings a day by supertankers in January 2015, close to the peak of $120,000 before the slump in 2008.

End of Day Commodity Futures Price Quotes for Crude Oil WTI (NYMEX) (Source: 1. http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil.aspx?timeframe=3m 2. http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil.aspx?timeframe=2y)

End of Day Commodity Futures Price Quotes for Crude Oil WTI (NYMEX)
(Sources:
1. http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil.aspx?timeframe=3m
2. http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil.aspx?timeframe=2y)

It is this strategic significance of oil that makes nations around the world hold 4.1billion barrels or 650,000,000m3 of oil (Source: United States Energy Information Administration) as strategic reserves. Of these, 1.4billion barrels are government controlled the rest being under private control.

With 727million barrels capacity, the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world’s largest. Most of the rest is held by 26 member nations of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Shipping operators are raising money via stock issues to cash in on the optimistic prospects. If crude oil prices continue to be weak, the demand for storage will rise because investors can make better profits from higher prices in the future. Major oil companies have signed contracts with oil tanker companies.

Kmeplon Crude Oil

U.S. Crude Oil Inventories (February 2015) & Storage Capacity (September 2014) (PADD is Petroleum Administration for Defense District) (Source: http://www.businessinsider.in/America-is-quickly-running-out-of-places-to-hoard-its-oil/articleshow/46472319.cms)

Presently, the crude tanker order book, a crucial indicator of the health of this segment, has expanded to 66.3million deadweight tons and 747 vessels on order or under-construction. Then again, the January-2015 price for a 5-year-old VLCC has jumped to $80.7million, the highest since August 2011.

Fundamental Drivers & the Long-Term Scenario
Five fundamental drivers of oil demand include:

  • population growth
  • supply
  • economic growth
  • consumption patterns
  • efficiency of in-use technology

Oil prices have fallen mainly because the U.S., the largest global oil consumer, produces most of its oil. And, because OPEC refuses to cut production despite falling prices. OPEC produced 31.02million barrels-per-day (bpd) in March 2015 and will not cut supply because supplying oil is the source of its power.

In 2014, the U.S. produced 3.2billion barrels of crude. The U.S. now imports only 5.4million barrels a day, 52% less than in 2008 and currently produces 9.65million bpd. Oil exports from Africa and the Middle East now find its way to China and India, not the U.S. as earlier. This means the demand for oil will soon recover.

With falling crude prices, China too is building strategic reserves. It imported 6million barrels a day in January-November 2014 compared to 500,000 a day in the same period in 2013. Of course, the 7billion plus global population with its increasingly high-demand lifestyles will continue to propel demand for oil.

Finally
Interestingly, oil markets have always looked ahead, an indication that the market expects correction of present anomalies. Expectation is after all the lifeblood of markets for price movements are based on expectation.

While oil markets expect prices to rise in the current environment of sluggish prices, they have expected falling prices whenever current (spot) prices have soared due to supply shocks.

This has been the case during the 1973-74 Oil Shock, the onset of the decade long Iran-Iraq war in 1979-80, the start of Gulf War I in 1991, and in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 bombings. Guess the contago is very real then.

Kemplon’s 10-Year Anniversary

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We at Kemplon Engineering are pleased to announce that this April marks our ten-year anniversary as a provider of marine engineering and custom metal fabrication services in Florida. Founded in 2005 and over the years going from strength to strength, our company looks at every project and every satisfied client as a building block towards creating a legacy we can be truly proud of.

On Time and On Budget – Every Time
In 2005, co-founders Colette O’Hanlon and Jeff Kemp decided to channel their expertise as department managers onboard private yachts to a new and exciting enterprise. They had spent plenty of time in shipyards during refit periods, and came to the conclusion that the marine industry presented growth opportunities for contractors who could provide more timely, cost-efficient and a more customer service-based approach to refit and repair work. Kemplon Engineering was thus born, bearing the core philosophy of “On Time and On Budget – Every Time.”

Kemplon by the Numbers
A Growing Team. The driving force behind Kemplon Engineering’s success is a great team, powered by a Can-Do attitude and a focus on top-of-the-line customer service. Our dedication to pleasing our clients is the heart and soul of our business. It is what has allowed us to grow from a 2-person team to 32, with a management team having 80 years of combined maritime experience. Our drive is also what helps us to continue growing, as we are always actively on the lookout for talent.

An Expansive Service Line. Our commitment to meeting all the needs of our clients drove us from initially offering just marine engineering, to expanding our service range to include industrial clients for activities such as certified welding, precision machining, pipe fitting and fabrication.

An Impressive Facility. And from our humble roots at a mobile location followed by a 1,000-sq. ft. brick and mortar site, we now call our whopping 10,000-sq.ft. headquarters home, with our technicians being dispatched all over the United States.

Satisfied Clients. Our greatest achievement, however, is our ability to obtain and retain amazing clients over the years. We have had the honor of providing personalized services to large organizations such as Bombardier Transportation and Bollinger Shipyards.

Looking to the Future
For our ten-year anniversary, we are celebrating our past achievements with a company luncheon, and special gifts for the members of Team Kemplon who have been so pivotal to our success. Among them is Mr. Jeff Thomas, whom we are honoring as our longest-standing team member, having shared with us six stellar years of service.

Our ten-year milestone, however, isn’t just about celebrating the past. It is also a great opportunity to look to our future. In the coming years, Kemplon Engineering will be aggressively pursuing a vision plan which includes more growth targets for new contract clients, and more equipment and service offerings.

The past ten years have been wonderful to Kemplon Engineering, and we would like to thank our Florida community; our valued team members for their dedication; and our clients for their trust and patronage. May the next ten years, and all the decades after that, be as productive and rewarding for all of us.

IMO and Bangladesh Ship Recycling Project

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What happens to ships when they are no longer operational? These mammoth movers of the world’s commercial activities, at the end of their operational use, present big challenges in recycling or disposal. There may be health hazards from asbestos, hydrocarbons or heavy metals; they may pose safety risks for laborers working on them; and they may also present a pollution risk to the environment.

The International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) aims to minimize these dangers. Toward these goals, the IMO is working with the Government of Bangladesh in a major ship recycling project, “Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh – Phase I.” Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look.

Along with India and Pakistan, Bangladesh is reportedly responsible for 58% of ship breaking in the first quarter of this year. 262 vessels were reportedly sold for dismantling at this time, and 151 of them landed on South Asian beaches. The industry in Bangladesh has had its share of criticism, however, including issues on environmental pollution on beaching yards, and the controversial use of underage workers that had even shut the industry down in 2010.

The “Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh – Phase I” presents many opportunities for positive change. It will involve economic and environmental impact studies, cover hazardous material and waste management, reviews and upgrades of existing training practices, and will also provide recommendations.

This milestone project brings together the IMO’s Marine Environment Division and Bangladesh’s Ministry of Industries, and will also involve the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

The ship recycling and ship breaking industry is not without its controversies and dangers, but it is good to see initiatives such as this, which involve key stakeholders as they aim for better practices.

References:
^ “IMO Launches Milestone Ship Recycling Project.” The Maritime Executive, 09 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/imo-and-bangladesh-launch-ship-recycling-project
^ “IMO Starts Ship Recycling Project in Bangladesh.” World Maritime News, 10 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/157434/imo-starts-ship-recycling-project-in-bangladesh/
^ International Maritime Organization. “Recycling of ships.” IMO.org. Web. Accessed 17 Apr 2015. http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Environment/ShipRecycling/Pages/Default.aspx
^ “Over Half of Vessels Scrapped at Substandard South Asian Yards.” World Maritime News, 10 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/157445/over-half-of-vessels-scrapped-at-substandard-south-asian-yards/
^ Image “Recycle Icon On Computer Screen” courtesy of Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Knuth Inaugurates Demonstration Showroom Fiber Laser-Jet 2512

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Custom Cuts with Choice
Earlier this year, Knuth Machine Tools USA inaugurated a demonstration showroom featuring metal cutters using laser, waterjet, and plasma technologies at its facility in Lincolnshire, Illinois.

The demonstration showroom features:

  • 1 x 2kW Fiber Laser-Jet 2512 with 4’ x 8’ Cutting Table
  • 1 x Plasma-Jet 1530 with HPR 130XD Plasma Source
  • 1 x 5-Axis Hydro-Jet Eco 1313

While the laser and the plasma cutters are already operational, the 5-axis waterjet cutter will start its cutting operations later in 2015. According to the company, Knuth will then be the only company in the United States to demonstrate all three technologies.

Visiting clients can ask for time studies and test cuts. Application engineers will provide them with cutting results and cycle times employing the available cutting technologies. Sales personnel will then work out other aspects with customers to enable them to choose the most compatible cutting technology. Technicians will provide similar services to customers outside the Chicago area.

Fiber Laser-Jet 2512 SM 600: Technical & Other Details
Developed specifically for workshop operations i.e. for cutting various materials in diverse quantities and of distinct qualities, the machine comes with GPlus Cut 4000 B Control. The fiber-jet laser cutter operates at a wavelength ten times shorter than that of the CO2 laser making the beam more focused.

Fiber Laser-Jet 2512 SM 600 (Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/laser-jet-2512-sm-600.html)

Fiber Laser-Jet 2512 SM 600
(Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/laser-jet-2512-sm-600.html)

It is at its efficient best when cutting aluminum, stainless-steel, copper and copper alloys. The machine can take precise and high quality cuts in plates of up to 6mm thickness made from these materials. It cuts thicker plates of these metals with a 4,000kW laser source and cuts low-alloy and non-alloy structural steels plates of up to 12mm thick.

Metallic materials better absorb laser beams from the fiber laser source of this machine making it more effective for cutting metals. Plastics however better absorb radiation from a CO2 laser source. Knuth also supplies CO2 laser cutters.

GPlus Cut 4000 B lends the fiber laser-jet with:

Technical Data

Technical Data

  • Windows crash protection to the PLC and NC
  • modular design and innovative hardware with self-diagnostics for each module
  • large data storage for large operations
  • rapid data refresh rate (0.25ms)
  • user-friendly design for easy operations
  • automatic parameter setting through technology database
  • 3 USB ports for internet connectivity and data transfer – this also allows remote diagnosis by Knuth and remote control by the operator
  • simple operation resumption procedure after interruption

Features:

  • ultra low footprints
  • ergonomic design for rapid loading-unloading
  • exceptional cut quality with high-quality beam and rigid structure
  • controlled focus retracing with capacitive height scanning
  • automatic guided cutting control for plunge cuts, low and high radius cuts, and corner cuts
  • energy saving through diverse power options while cutting plates of varied thickness
  • minimum emissions with overhead exhaust vacuum
  • compact, space-saver dimensions
  • minimum requirements for machine installation and for set up of the site
  • low operating costs combined with longest maintenance intervals
  • optional retrofitting for cutting non-metals
  • same cutter head labels cut parts

Fiber Laser-Jet 2512 is transported in fully assembled condition. And because it operates at shorter wavelengths, it requires a sealed enclosure. The enclosure operates automatically through sensors that ensure the closing of the enclosure before commencement of the cutting operations.

Lasers are very powerful beams on account of their high coherence. Lasers of wavelength below 400nm and above 1,400nm can cause burn injuries or cataract to eye lens and cornea. Potent lasers in the 400nm to 1,400nm range may heat up the retina and destroy the photoreceptor cells that are damaged when transient temperature rises by 100C.

Company Profile
Knuth Machine Tools USA is the headquarters of Knuth Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH of Germany in North America. With 85 years experience, the brand holds a global reputation as a maker of competitively priced high quality CNC and manual fabricating machines.

Right from its inception, the brand has adhered to its philosophy of building lasting business relationships. Knuth manages more than 24 manufacturing, service, and sales facilities across the world.

Knuth has delivered over 500,000 machine tools to more than 120,000 satisfied clients through its commitment to excellence, quality, global presence, innovation, expertise, and competitive pricing.

Finally
With its versatile and cutting edge features, the Knuth Fiber Laser-Jet 2512 is a great equipment to have in the demonstration showroom and further reinforces Knuth’s already awesome reputation.

Rough Weather ‘Kicks Out’ Greenpeace Activists

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Environmental activist group Greenpeace is no stranger to controversy. The organization is sometimes admired and other times criticized for their bold—some would say aggressive or even confrontational—approach to sharing their message and advancing their agendas. Either way, what no one can deny is the organization’s zeal, and the willingness of their people to put themselves at risk for their goals.

Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at their most recent news-making stunt, where six Greenpeace activists board a Shell oil rig headed for drilling in the Arctic.

The 38,000-ton Polar Pioneer is a rig contracted to Shell, and carried by the ship Blue Marlin. Six Greenpeace activists, from Austria, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, boarded the vessel in protest of Arctic drilling. The organization has announced the boarding did not interfere with the vessel’s navigation or operations.

Following the “illegal boarding,” Royal Dutch Shell filed a lawsuit to get a temporary restraining order and injunction against Greenpeace, to keep the organization from interfering with their Arctic assets. The company believes Greenpeace’s activities might be unsafe, and could cause monetary damages if delays result from the organization’s actions and prevent the company from operating in the ice-free season. Greenpeace, however has insisted the United States have no jurisdiction where the rig is in international waters.

Ultimately though, it is bad weather conditions which forces the activists to pack up and leave the rig after camping out on Polar Pioneer for six days.

In this day and age, the Arctic presents many opportunities and challenges to the maritime industry. In many ways this is “virgin” territory, recently becoming more accessible to us because of changes in the climate. The waterways, however, are still complex and the weather harsh. Support systems and governing laws are also not yet solidly in place. These are all compounded by valid environmental concerns, as the region is a vital piece in our interconnected planet.

Opposition and concerns relating to Arctic drilling comes from several fronts, not just from Greenpeace. Though some may question the methods of this particular organization, everyone’s environmental worries do deserve consideration. We at Kemplon Engineering sincerely hope the proper authorities can come to decisions that serve both commercial and productive interests, as well as “green” initiatives that preserve the vital resources of our precious planet.

References:
^ Greenpeace. “Greenpeace climbers leave Arctic oil drilling rig.” (Press Release) Greenpeace.org, 11 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/Greenpeace-climbers-leave-Arctic-oil-drilling-rig-/
^ “Greenpeace activists leave Arctic-bound oil rig.” Business Insider, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-greenpeace-activists-leave-arctic-bound-oil-rig-2015-4
^ Johnson, Gene. “In rough seas, Greenpeace gets off Arctic drill rig.” The Seattle Times, 11 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/in-rough-seas-activists-leave-royal-dutch-shell-rig/
^ Lakshmi, Aiswarya. “Rough Seas Sends Greenpeace Home.” MarineLink.com, 13 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.marinelink.com/news/greenpeace-sends-rough389233.aspx
^ Laursen, Wendy. “Bad Weather Sends Greenpeace Home.” The Maritime Executive, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/bad-weather-sends-greenpeace-home
^ “Shell Files Complaint about Greenpeace Activists.” The Maritime Executive, 07 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/shell-files-complaint-about-greenpeace-activists

Knuth Inaugurates Demonstration Showroom Plasma-Jet DST 1530 HPR 130 XD & Hydro-Jet Eco 1313

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Another Milestone for Knuth
Knuth Machine Tools USA opened a demonstration showroom at its Lincolnshire, Illinois facility in early-2015. According to the company, Knuth will be the only organization in the country to demonstrate laser, plasma, and waterjet cutting technologies once the waterjet cuter at the facility goes operational later this year.

Technologies at the showroom:

  • 1 x 2kW Fiber Laser-Jet 2512 with 4’ x 8’ Cutting Table (operational)
  • 1 x Plasma-Jet 1530 DST with HPR 130XD Plasma Source (operational)
  • 1 x 5-Axis Hydro-Jet Eco 1313 (will go operational later in 2015)

Plasma-Jet DST 1530 HPR 130 XD

Armed with the know-how and technology of market leader Hypertherm, the plasma cutter enables total utilization of all the features of cutting-edge plasma cutters. Hypertherm is an American Corporation specializing in cutting technologies with a focus on continuous innovation.

Plasma Cutting System of the Plasma-Jet DST 1530 HPR 130 XD (Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/plasma-jet-dst-1530-hpr-130-xd.html)

Plasma Cutting System of the Plasma-Jet DST 1530 HPR 130 XD
(Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/plasma-jet-dst-1530-hpr-130-xd.html)

Standard equipment includes Industrial PC with 15” touch-screen monitor, Windows OS, USB port, and graphical user interface (GUI). Control through Hypertherm MicroEDGE Pro ensures:

  • excellent quality cuts
  • high service life for wear parts due to auto adjustment of cutting and plunge-cut height
  • automatic kerf-width compensation
  • online and offline diagnostics
  • automatic setup of cutting parameters by the offline software
  • operator manual on the operating display for torch height control, CNC, and plasma source
  • tips for optimized cutting operation
  • optimum cuts via. storage of existing cutting parameters in the control system
Technical Data
Technical Data

Features:

  • maximum cutting accuracy via highly rigid design
  • minimum tooling time and rapid cutter-head changes through quick coupling
  • high load capacity due to stand-alone cutter table and rigid steel construction
  • zero mechanical and thermal influences on the plasma cutter system on account of the stand-alone table
  • automatic torch height control
  • electro-pneumatically controlled vacuum table
  • AC servo guides on all axes with zero-backlash, maintenance-free planetary gears
  • top-class linear guides on all axes
  • optimum bed speed even for delicate cutting tight radii and fine contours
  • adjustable cutting curren
  • continuous operation through low-maintenance and low-wear helical gears

High-pressure pump with hydraulic drive, pulsation damper, pressure relief valve, pressure transmitter, and pre-filter unit – all mounted on a common base frame provide the foundation for the high-pressure system.

Hydro-Jet Eco 1313 (Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/hydro-jet-eco-1313.html)

Hydro-Jet Eco 1313
(Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/hydro-jet-eco-1313.html)

While the proportional valve automatically controls the water pressure, the quick relief valve maintains atmospheric pressure after the cutting is completed. Optional sound proofing system lowers noise and shields the high-pressure system.

GPlus 450 Cut control enables:

  • rapid program creation with marking and cutting in the same program
  • creation, import, and modification of numerous geometries/designs
  • cutting parameters easily edited
  • automatic cutter-head distance calculation
  • instant display and simulation for changes in starting cut
  • material consumption and machining time calculation through simulation
  • optimum material utilization with grid nesting
Hydro-Jet Eco 1313 in Action (Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/hydro-jet-eco-1313.html)

Hydro-Jet Eco 1313 in Action
(Source: http://www.knuth-machinetools.com/hydro-jet-eco-1313.html)

  • zoom function
  • material database
  • resumption at last position after interruption
  • online support
Technical Data

Technical Data

Features:

  • top precision and dynamics with 5-axis harmonic drive cutting kinematics
  • max. 600 chamfering
  • burr-free cuts eliminate rework
  • clean-cut edges and small kerf width
  • time and cost savings with endless rotating
  • negligible mechanical stress plus zero thermal stress, tensions, hardening, smoke, dust, or toxic fumes
  • maximum operator safety, reliability, and power
  • convenient loading of the three-side-open work area
  • preloaded ball screws-driven axes
  • mechanically-fed Z-axis
  • space-saver design
  • low maintenance

Finally
Knuth’s demonstration showroom with its laser, plasma, and waterjet cutters more than complements the group’s philosophy of nurturing long-term relationships, its 85 years experience, and its global reach.

Damaged Ship Piping Systems: An Insidious Hazard

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Uniformly Corroded & Pitted Ship Pipe: A Disaster in the Making (Source: http://www.hj3.com/markets/industrial/petrochemical-and-gas/csl-steel-pipes-slider3/)

Uniformly Corroded & Pitted Ship Pipe: A Disaster in the Making
(Source: http://www.hj3.com/markets/industrial/petrochemical-and-gas/csl-steel-pipes-slider3/)

Critically Important Piping Systems
‘When do you replace a pipe?’ an operator is asked. ‘When it bursts’, he replies strikingly. So goes a tale of caution in shipping. Tales aside, such bursting is a painfully grave business.

Some years ago, a cargo ship foundered because the engine was stopped to deal with a burst seawater cooling-pipe in the engine room. Damages of $1million were later paid as compensation to the four dead crew members. Preventive inspection and repairs would not have cost more than some hundred dollars.

Pipes form the invisible ‘steel frame’ for a ship’s operating systems conveying fluids and air to and from the equipment, machinery, and spaces. They go through most enclosed spaces, the weather deck, and the shell. Impaired pipes therefore possess unparalleled destructive potential i.e. total ship loss, fire, floods, and pollution.

Piping Systems @ Ships
Piping includes pipes, flanges with gaskets and bolts, flexible hoses, valves, pump housings, and supports. Piping systems include piping and secondary elements connected to piping viz. tanks, heat exchangers, pumps, and evaporators. Main components viz. boilers, engines, and turbines are not a part of the piping system.

Most ship pipes are made from mild steel and other ferrous material that can corrode. Supervision and maintenance are momentous considering the number of pipes and the inaccessible areas they go through.

Classification societies determine the design and installation norms for piping systems viz. materials, strength, pipe routes, testing, and inspections. Inspection criteria are different for tankers and cargo ships.

Onboard piping systems:

• Hull Piping Systems for:

  • Ballast
    Pitted Surface  (Source: http://www.standard-club.com/media/24158/AMastersGuidetoShipsPiping2ndedition.pdf)

    Pitted Surface
    (Source: http://www.standard-club.com/media/24158/AMastersGuidetoShipsPiping2ndedition.pdf)

  • Bilge
  • Cargo
  • Fire Fighting
  • Sewage

• Machinery Piping Systems for:

  • Fuel(s)
  • Engine Cooling
  • Lubricant(s)
  • Steam

Pipe Failures: Causes & Prevention

Pipes fail mainly due to corrosion-induced vulnerability. Erosion, fatigue, and corrosion – abrasive, uniform, and galvanic, attack pipes internally while atmospheric corrosion acts externally. Proactive inspection, maintenance, and repair are the only viable alternative. Causes:

• Corrosion is the gradual deterioration of materials caused by their environment:

  • Uniform Corrosion is uniformly distributed over pipes and is the most common form of metal corrosion. It intensifies with temperature, humidity, and salt and oxygen content of water. Steam and seawater pipes are particularly prone.
  • Pitting Corrosion occurs in stagnant ambiences and causes random, localized pits/cavities when the protective layer over pipes breaks down. Stainless and mild steel are particularly vulnerable. It is more hazardous than uniform corrosion as it is tougher to detect, forecast, and design against
  • Galvanic Corrosion results when the pipe made of more-active metal corrodes because of its contact with another, less-active metal through an electrolyte
  • Galvanic Corrosion @ the Joint between Dissimilar Metals  (Source: http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/3672345/more-science-joining-galvanized-and-copper-pipe)

    Galvanic Corrosion @ the Joint between Dissimilar Metals
    (Source: http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/3672345/more-science-joining-galvanized-and-copper-pipe)

    Graphitic Corrosion is inconspicuous corrosion that affects cast iron. Iron is removed leaving graphite intact particularly at bends where water gets left behind. It is lethal because pipes lose strength without dimensional change

• Fatigue Damage results from repetitive mechanical stresses such as vibrations caused by machinery and/or other pipes
• Water Hammer is the generated pressure-wave when steam enters pipes with condensed, cold water. Rapid expansion can cause pipe failure. Any sudden change in velocity or direction of flowing fluids also causes water hammer
• Abrasion and Erosion result from fluid flow. Minute debris in the flowing fluid cause abrasion giving the pipe a pitted look. Turbulent fluid flows erode internal pipe surfaces particularly where fluids change direction
• Faulty Pipe Alignment cause failure at valves and flange connections
• Extreme Temperature Ranges cause pipe-weakening contraction-expansion

Preventive Measures:
•Use seawater-tolerant duplex stainless steel
• Employ painted, plastic-coated, or galvanized pipes or those made from non-corrosive metals
• Replace excessively-pitted pipes and those with uniform corrosion at levels above or equal to design allowance
• Sacrificial pipe-sections made of more-active metals control galvanic corrosion
• Inspect cast-iron pipes regularly and prevent stagnant water conditions to restrict graphitic corrosion
• Regularly replaced pipe filters prevent abrasion
• Lower pumping rates and use large diameter pipes to nullify erosion-causing turbulence

Graphitic Corrosion (Source: http://www.testing-engineers.com/case1.html)

Graphitic Corrosion
(Source: http://www.testing-engineers.com/case1.html)

• Bellows/Compensators slash fatigue damage
• Draining fluid from steam pipes before operations eliminates water hammer
• Don’t use doublers to repair shell plating
• During maintenance, complement visual testing with pressure tests to check:

  • corrosion-accelerating leakages especially below steam-pipe insulations
  • pipes exposed to wet, damp areas
  • corrosion-indicating green color on copper pipes
  • fretting-indicators viz. rust and black-dust around clamps
  • damaged pipe-coatings
  • wall thicknesses of pipes
  • threaded joints between pipes of dissimilar metals for galvanic corrosion
  • bellows for deformation
  • pipe insides where they connect with equipment for erosion
  • bends and supports for fatigue damage

Finally
Known perils are bad, hidden pitfalls are worst. Voluminous reports and lengthy discussions on hull damage make us aware of the destructive potential of a damaged hull. Damaged piping systems can be more catastrophic.

Over 100 Sick on Cruise Ship

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Dream cruises turn sour as about one hundred passengers and crew get sick on two ships, on incidents reported just hours apart. The Celebrity Infinity and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Legend of the Seas have reported incidents of gastrointestinal sickness aboard. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at this unfortunate news.

The Celebrity Infinity was on a 15-night Panama Canal cruise which started on March 29th when 5 crew members and 95 out of 2,117 passengers experienced gastrointestinal sickness. Symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea. Initial suspicions pointed to norovirus as a cause, which is the usual suspect on onboard outbreaks. The Infinity reportedly went through norovirus incidents previously, in 2006 and 2013. This year alone, this is the 4th incident reported to the CDC, involving onboard gastrointestinal illness on cruise ships calling at an American port. The other afflicted ships were Norwegian Pearl, Celebrity Equinox, and Grandeur of the Seas.

Measures to mitigate the outbreak included extra cleaning and sanitation procedures on board the ship, and communication of hygienic hand practices to passengers. Many cruise lines already have procedures set up in response if such outbreaks occur.

The CDC is also involved, collecting specimens for testing and sending in an epidemiologist and an environmental health officer.

Shortly after the incident on the Infinity, Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas, on a March 30th to April 14th voyage, reported 114 passengers and 2 crew members were also suffering from vomiting and diarrhea. This latest incident brings this year’s reported cases up to five.

Gastrointestinal symptoms caused by norovirus can be spread by contaminated persons and from contaminated surfaces. Cruise ships are required to report gastrointestinal outbreaks involving 2% or more of those on board.

We at Kemplon Engineering hope for a speedy recovery for all those suffering from illness, and wish all cruise passengers good health and safe, sanitary conditions as they enjoy their travels.

References:
^ “Hundreds Sickened on Multiple Cruise Ships.” 2News, 15 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.ktvn.com/story/28803453/hundreds-sickened-on-multiple-cruise-ships
^ Laursen, Wendy. “100 Sick on Celebrity Infinity.” The Maritime Executive, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/100-sick-on-celebrity-infinity
^ Laursen, Wendy. “Legend of the Seas Hit by Sickness.” The Maritime Executive, 13 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/legend-of-the-seas-hit-by-sickness
^ Masek, Theresa Norton. “Two Cruise Ships Report Gastrointestinal Outbreaks.” Travel Pulse, 13 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.travelpulse.com/news/impacting-travel/two-cruise-ships-report-gastrointestinal-outbreaks.html
^ Thakkar, Emrys. “Almost A Hundred Passengers Sick Onboard Celebrity Cruise Ship.” Cruis Hive, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.cruisehive.com/almost-a-hundred-passengers-sick-onboard-celebrity-cruise-ship/6626
^ Walker, Jim. “GI Outbreak on the Celebrity Infinity.” Cruise Law News, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2015/04/articles/norovirus/gi-outbreak-on-the-celebrity-infinity/
^ Image “Woman With Abdominal Pain” courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

China’s Reclamation on Disputed Territories of Southeast Asia

By | Article, Technology | No Comments

One of the hottest topics in Asian maritime security relate to the territorial tensions between China and its Asian neighbors due to overlapping claims on disputed waters. Over the last years, we have seen tense confrontations between navies, coast guards and fishermen; we have seen aggressive actions and condemnations on all sides; and international courts and the media have been flooded with claims, complaints and rebuttals from the likes of China, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at the most recent developments.

The East and South China Seas play host to overlapping territorial claims from six countries. In several cases, like that between China and Japan over the Daiaoyu / Senkaku Islands, these disputes have been going on for over a century.

The Stakes
What’s at stake aren’t just minor waterways and a smattering of tiny islands. The disputed areas are rich in natural resources like seafood, hydrocarbons and gas, for one, not to mention sites of valuable shipping routes pivotal to world trade. Also at stake? A wealthy and assertive China is trying to find a balance between flexing its hard-won muscle and showing the world it can play “nice” as a fair and aspirational regional leader, while the United States struggles with the possibility of losing a strategic foothold on a region where they have long played an influential role. Furthermore, with tensions high and confrontations increasing, any miscalculation may lead to a larger, possibly armed conflict that would involve not just the disputing countries but also the United States, which is bound by military commitments to Japan and the Philippines.

Aggressive Reclamation Projects
Early this April, many countries watched with mounting concern as surveillance photographs revealed China’s aggressive reclamation and building of structures like ports, depots and possibly even airstrips on the Spratly Islands, to which the Philippines also lays claim. According to China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, these are for shelter, meteorological forecasting, scientific research, environmental protection, fishery services, search and rescue and navigation – builds that are “within the scope of China’s sovereignty.”

Despite the “civilian” reasons, however, the move has been criticized as threatening to other nations, and described by a US State Department spokesman as potentially “destabilizing.” President Barack Obama had also expressed concerns on China’s strength pushing other claimants into “subordinate positions.”

Territorial claims, especially ones that are centuries’ old, linked to ideas of sovereignty and nationalism, and with stakes as high as they are in these particular cases, are always complex. We at Kemplon Engineering hope that the parties can somehow come to mutually beneficial and peaceful solutions that can finally bring these tensions to rest.

References:
^ “Beijing’s South China Sea projects ‘highly disruptive’ to local ecosystems.” Deutsche Welle, 16 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://www.dw.de/beijings-south-china-sea-projects-highly-disruptive-to-local-ecosystems/a-18387012
^ “China ‘building runway in disputed South China Sea island’.” BBC, 17 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32331964
^ “China’s Maritime Disputes.” Council on Foreign Relations. Web. Accessed 17 Apr 2015. http://www.cfr.org/asia-and-pacific/chinas-maritime-disputes/p31345#!/?cid=otr-marketing_use-china_sea_InfoGuide
^ “China’s Reclamation: Coast Guard, Cruise Ships, Airstrips.” The Maritime Executive, 10 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/chinas-reclamation-coast-guard-cruise-ships-airstrips
^ “[Updated] China Defends South China Sea Reclamation.” The Maritime Executive, 09 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/china-defends-south-china-sea-reclamation
^ Wee, Sui-Lee and Ben Blanchard. “China mounts detailed defense of sea reclamation.” CNN Philippines, 09 Apr 2015. Web. 17 Apr 2015. http://cnnphilippines.com/world/2015/04/09/China-on-Mischief-structure.html