November 2015 - Kemplon Engineering

Taking a Broad View of the Welder Shortage in the United States

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^ An Old Image of Welding for Aircraft Construction – Image Courtesy of Everett Historical at

Sectoral Issue with Wider Implications

Remarking on A. J. Baime’s book: The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War, witty comedian and television host Jay Leno said that we defeated Hitler because we could build planes faster than the Nazis could shoot them down.

Now, welding is an integral part of making an airplane. Between 1900 and 1950, manufacturing built the economy of the United States. And as is usually the case, its economic impact left a mark on the social fabric. Read More

The Hazards of Welding

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^ Carefully Welded Joints are as Strong as the Base Metal(s) – Image Courtesy of LightCooker at

The Good & Bad of Welding

In many ways, welding is a unique operation. For one, it connects the base material(s) at the molecular level. This makes the weld joint as strong as the base material, and sometimes stronger. Nothing even remotely superficial about it!

A truly versatile process, it finds application in multiple industries viz. automotive, aerospace, wind power, building-construction, transportation, marine structures, and the like. Quite an impressive list, wouldn’t you say?

Welders operate underwater, in confined spaces, over ground, indoors, and outdoors to join materials in multiple positions viz. horizontal, flat, vertical, and overhead. And there are numerous sub-positions under each of these four major positions. Read More

Trans-Caspian International Trade Route (TITR): Silk Route of the Present Day

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^ From China to Turkey – Image Courtesy of Jim Vallee at

A Novel Concept

August 3, 2015 was a day of celebration for the delegates gathered in Baku, Azerbaijan. These representatives from member countries of the Trans-Caspian International Trade Route (TITR) has gathered to welcome the Nomad Express.

A container train, the express began its journey in Shihezi in Northern China and arrived at the Alyat Port in Baku, Azerbaijan after traversing 4,000km along the TITR that included crossing the Caspian Sea. This was the first successful transit along the TITR.

Exactly two months later, the second container train arrived in Georgia via Azerbaijan. Shortly thereafter, on October 15 to be precise, the TITR Coordination Committee set up a consortium to promote this project in a serious bid to attract customers to this route. Read More

Rembrandt V5.0 Ship Maneuvering Simulator

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^ Rembrandt V5.0 Ship Maneuvering Simulator in Action – Image Courtesy of BMT Group at

The Need for Deft Ship Maneuvering

In 2014, as many as 2,773 sailors lost their lives in maritime incidents. And although a strong regulatory environment has cut down shipping losses since 2005, any loss of human lives is deplorable. You can never overdo the efforts to cut down such unfortunate incidents.

These are the findings of the report Safety and Shipping Review 2015 by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. The report also noted a 32% decline in the number of total ship losses – 75 in 2014 vis-à-vis 110 in 2013. Read More

An Incisive Analysis of Ship Collisions

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^ MV Dona Paz berthed at Tacloban in 1984 – Image Courtesy of lindsaybridge at – Retrieved From

The Tragedy of the MV Dona Paz

December 20, 1987 was an unfortunate day for many onboard the ill fated MV Dona Paz. For, the vessel was the scene of the worst ever peacetime maritime disaster that killed an estimated 4,386 people. Nearly three decades later, the notorious record remains unbroken.

Yes, you read it right. The sinking of the RMS Titanic is not the worst non-military maritime catastrophe, it is the most famous. The Dona Paz collision killed thrice as much as did the Titanic tragedy.

Although designed to carry 1,518 passengers and 66 crew members, the Dona Paz was carrying more than twice this number. The upcoming Christmas season had pushed up the demand for ferries. The few who survived recount how the weather was calm but the sea was not.

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The Mechanics of Electropolishing

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^ Electropolished Parts: Smooth & Glossy – Image Courtesy of ozguroral at

Old Process, New Applications

Are you tempted to believe that your Sheaffer pen is made from silver? It is so glossy and so smooth. The same goes for surgical instruments and those shiny pipes they use these days for gas exploration. And those shiny containers in the food industry? What makes them so lustrous?

Chances are, their makers have electro-polished them to provide such a brightly catchy and reflective look. Also known as electrolytic polishing or electrochemical polishing, electropolishing is a metal finishing process that chemically removes metal ion by ion in a controlled manner. Read More

Hull Design with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Hydrodynamics, & Aerodynamics

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^ Planing of a War Boat: Note the Rise of the Bow  – Image Courtesy of Royal Navy Official Photographer at the Imperial War Museum Retrieved from

Green Advances on the Blue Frontier

Structurally, technically, and economically, hulls are and have been the most important design parameter for ships. Gobbling up around 20% of a ship’s total cost, hulls demand a lion’s share in the resources allocated for shipbuilding.

With the runaway juggernaut of Global Warming and Climate Change threatening to endanger our planet like none has done before, the eminence of hulls has jumped further. Even as we speak, ship design is getting more and more environment friendly.

It has to. Exhaust emission norms are tightening by the day even as rising fuel costs hike operational expenses and falling charter rates and freights cut down profit margins to a bare minimum. All this add to the already critical importance of ship efficiency. Read More

The Mechanics of Hull Design

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^ Parts of a Ship  – Image Courtesy of A12 at Lod Schema.png  Retrieved From

Necessity of Better Hull Design

Boat engineering is among the earliest forms of engineering thanks to water covering over 70% of the earth’s surface. Historical evidence points to the use of boats and waterborne vessels as far back as 4000 B.C.

Until 150 years ago when steam propulsion took root, the evolution of water vessels moved at a pace that would have made a snail look like a champion runner. And it was only some 120 years ago that we started to use steel hulls.

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More Cruise Brands Headed to the Chinese Market

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 ^Image “China” courtesy of Gualberto107 at

The world’s second largest consumer market – China – continues to be an exciting source of potential opportunities for the cruise industry, in spite of the country’s recent economic woes. Kemplon Engineering has been following news of how the big names are making big plays here (see related articles, “Cruise Shipping Miami 2015: Highlights”; and “MSC Cruises’ Debut in China”), and in this latest development, Carnival Corp. & PLC steps up its presence in the country via the introduction of two more lines, and a joint venture to launch a Chinese cruise brand:

The Chinese market is appealing to the cruise industry for its prosperous and growing middle-class, a government willing to invest in related infrastructure, , and a growing demand for leisure travel. Particularly for cruising, industry watchers have noted that from the years 2012 to 2014, mainland Chinese passengers reportedly grew by 79% a year.

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