Fred Zabala, Author at Kemplon Engineering

Top Recent Developments in Welding

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Welding is a Fundamental Technology – Image Courtesy of the United States Air Force Retrieved From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GMAW.welding.af.ncs.jpg

Radically Shifting Welding Landscape

Welding is a fundamental technology without which the manufacturing industry cannot operate at the current levels of sophistication. Properties of weld joints, rather than those of the welded materials, often determine the performance of a structure.

Like most other technologies, welding is steadily evolving. Research has significantly altered the landscape of welding with transitions over the past two decades being particularly noteworthy. Read More

Ocean Eagle 43 Trimaran Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)

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A Wonder Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)
French shipyard Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) launched the first of the three Ocean Eagle 43s in January this year and conducted sea trials in February. CMN will now deliver the vessels to Mozambique. H2X Shipyard at LA Ciotat, France built the hull.

In a €200million, September 2013 deal, the Mozambican government ordered three Ocean Eagle 43s, 24 fishing vessels, and three HSI 32 Interceptors from CMN to guard the facilities around its recent offshore gas and oil discoveries.

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Satellite Map of East Africa (Source: Furgo NPA) (Retrieved From: http://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2014/06/east-africa-rays-of-a-new-dawn)

These days, navies have to undertake diverse missions including low intensity ones. Combining aerial surveillance with follow-up surface action is important to protect against a range of threats. And, navies have to do so within tight budgetary constraints.

Currently, the Mozambique navy is powered only by a couple of Namacurra Class Harbor Patrol Boats donated by South Africa, one Conejera Class Patrol Craft (Pebane) donated by Spain, and about ten small patrol crafts including Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs).

Mozambique & East Africa: Sitting Atop Resource Gold
A former Portuguese colony, Mozambique gained independence in 1975. The joy was short lived for a civil war erupted in 1977 and lasted till 1992. The country held its first multiparty elections in 1994 and has been stable since. The government then embarked on reform programs but the country remains poor and underdeveloped.

With offshore oil and gas discoveries, things are looking bright for Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. In 2012, operators in Mozambique hit 100Tcf of natural gas. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates Mozambique and Tanzania’s reserves at 250Tcf gas and 14.5billion barrels of oil.

Although politically stable, East Africa is plagued with deficits in infrastructure, regulatory framework, and skills. The political leadership has its task cut out to address these if it has to retain foreign investors, exploit resources, and use the proceeds for development.

Ocean Eagle 43 Trimaran OPV: Technical & Other Details
Back in 2012, specialist designer-operator of sea based projects ProLarge and air-marine service company Sea Team Aviation joined forces with CMN to create a light, fast, and yet reliable patrol trimaran employing innovations in ocean racing crafts. Soon, Nigel Irens, the designer of multi hulls such as Brigitte Bardot and Ilan Voyager, joined them.

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Ocean Eagle 43 Trimaran Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) (Source: http://cmn-group.com/products-and-services/military-vessels/tsm/ocean-eagle-43/)

Ocean Eagle 43 OPV comes with a creative trimaran design specifically built for patrolling shallow waters. It coasts along at 15 knots for 238 nautical miles while using up a meager 1 ton fuel.

Combining a very slender hull with two floats lends the craft exceptional stability, fantastic fuel economy, incredible speed, and autonomy with reasonable comfort levels in moderate to rough seas.

Special features:

  •  Fantastic Fuel Economy: the craft can cover 238 nautical miles at 15knots consuming only 1 ton of fuel. At the same speed and using the same amount of fuel, a mono-hull OPV will cover only 50 nautical miles
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: substantially raises the line and range of sight
  • High Modularity Levels: make the vessel compatible with diverse maritime surveillance missions
  • Exceptional Operational Viability
  • Simple Maintenance and Top Reliability: you can change the main propulsion engine within 24 hours

Ocean Eagle 43 Trimaran OPV Data Sheet

KE - table

Adaptable for special operations support, side scan sonar operations, coastal oceanography, and surveying, the Ocean Eagle 43 can undertake:

  • state action at sea
  • sea policing
  • safety at sea
  • combating smuggling, piracy, illegal immigration, and trafficking
  • search and rescue (S&R)
  • convoy escort
  • defense of offshore installations and vulnerable vessels
  • safeguard against asymmetric threats, boarding of terrorists, and speedboats
  • overseeing marine environment
  • inspection of fishing zone and exclusive economic zone

Asymmetric Threat is an unfair threat. It comes from weaker forces that do not try and match the size of its larger adversary but exploit its adversary’s weaknesses. These asymmetrical forces are small, mobile, efficient, elusive, high tech, and inventive. Guerilla warfare for example is asymmetrical warfare.

For conducting missions, the craft is loaded with:

  • 1 x electro-optical observation system
  • 1 x 20mm remote-controlled gun turret
  • 1 x radio direction finder
  • 2 x 12.7mm side gun
  • 1 x rotary UAV
  • 1 x C2 system

Main equipment and auxiliaries:

  • RHIB: stern ramp-mounted, 7m outboard RHIB for transshipments, policing intervention, or naval special operations
  • 4 x diesel engines
  • 2 x main generators
  • 2 x CPP

Finally
Through a ‘what’s needed when its needed’, the Ocean Eagle 43 undertakes a whole range of missions. Just what the Mozambique navy ordered.

Access a wealth of knowledge on latest ships and watercrafts with cutting edge technology at our blog at http://kemplon.com/blog/. Visit Kemplon Engineering at http://kemplon.com/ for the latest in marine and industrial engineering.

Study: Blue Whales ‘Play Dead;’ Unable to Avoid Ships

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A Stanford study reveals that blue whales may not have evolved to avoid ships. Their behavioral response? To “play dead,” which makes them even more vulnerable to deadly collisions. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at this insightful discovery.

Blue Whales are the biggest of the ocean’s creatures. Their imposing size have kept them from becoming prey for millions of years, sparing them from predatory attacks. Though this helped them survive for a long time, a new study suggests they did not evolve to have defensive behaviors or evasive responses, which would protect them, say, from deadly collisions with the cargo ships now traversing their ocean territory.

In a study directly observing blue whale behaviors with cargo ships – the first of its kind – it appears they have not yet developed an evasive response to this particularly modern threat. Scientists used GPS and dive-logging equipment attached to blue whales to track them, and cross-referenced the information with ship traffic. Their findings indicate blue whales resort to a “startle response;’” essentially, ‘playing dead.’ This reaction makes them vulnerable to getting struck, as it keeps them from diving quickly enough away to avoid collision.

The study is set for a second round of tests, and will be expanded to other species of whales. It is hoped that the information gleaned from the study can improve existing methods of protecting whales from collisions. Currently, methods being employed include the re-routing of ships away from breeding or feeding fields, and setting speed limits.

We at Kemplon Engineering, have been providing engineering services to the maritime community for over a decade. Like many clients we’ve served throughout the years, we have a great respect for our world’s majestic waters and the wonderful and mysterious creatures living within it. While it’s admirable that humanity’s great vessels allow us to take to the high seas, unfortunately, some of our encounters with marine life end poorly for these creatures. We hope that by sharing studies like those mentioned above, we can help disseminate information that would be useful in promoting practices that would allow the sea to be a safe place for everybody.

Learn more about Kemplon and our marine and industrial engineering services here: http://kemplon.com/about-us/. You may also reach us at info@kemplon.com, or by phone at (877) 522-6526.

References:
^ Carey, Bjorn. “Blue whales lack the ability to avoid cargo ships, says Stanford biologist.” Stanford News, 04 May 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/may/whales-ships-collisions-050415.html
^Cuthbert, Lori. “Blue Whales Not Equipped to Avoid Ships: Study.” News.Discovery.com, 05 May 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://news.discovery.com/animals/whales-dolphins/blue-whales-not-equipped-to-avoid-ships-study-150505.htm
^Laursen, Wendy. “Blue Whales “Play Dead” for Ships.” The Maritime Executive, 07 May 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/blue-whales-play-dead-for-ships
^Stallard, Brian. “Massive Whales Lack Caution, Explains for Ship Collisions, Say Experts.” Nature World News, 05 May 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/14523/20150505/massive-whales-lack-caution-explains-ship-collisions-experts.htm

Cruise Packages & Itineraries For Alcohol Aficionados

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For many merry tourists, cruise vacations are the time to let loose – not to mention a time to enjoy some moderate amounts of ‘booze.’ For some aficionados, however, alcohol isn’t just a perk, but the main attraction of an itinerary. Luckily for these discerning tourists, there are now several alcohol-themed cruise options for them to choose from. Kemplon Engineering takes a look at some of these itineraries available in the cruise market today.

Image “Give Beverage For Some Business On White Background” courtesy of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The American Queen Steamboat Company recently announced plans for a Bourbon-themed itinerary aboard the American Queen, on a nine-day trip between St. Louis, MO and Cincinnati, OH. “The Insider’s Bourbon Trail” includes seminars, lectures and tastings onboard; distillery tour options from iconic producers including Jim Beam; and Bourbon-enhanced menus served daily. Fares start at $2,699 per person based on double occupancy, and tours kick off this summer.

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering all-you-can-drink on short sailings of the Norwegian Sky from Miami to the Bahamas. For passengers of drinking age, alcoholic beverages of up to $11 come at no extra charge. Minors on the other hand, can get unlimited juice and soda. The all-inclusive drink approach is seen as a means of attracting new cruisers interested in short sailings, and to edge out competition that is heating up in the short sailing segment. The offer takes effect in January, 2016.

Un-Cruise Adventures offers four cruises on the SS Legacy geared toward wine lovers. Sailings include onboard wine tasting, activities and presentations, and visits to wineries by the Columbia River. Avalon Waterways, on the other hand, will be catering to fans of craft beer with onboard tasting, lectures and brewery tours on select European cruises.

These are just some of the few and exciting ways alcohol aficionados can merge their passion with traveling. Visit the company websites for more exciting offers and information.

We at Kemplon Engineering have been providing engineering services to the maritime community since 2005. Like many clients we’ve served throughout the years, we have a great love of the water and a great admiration for the magnificent vessels that traverse its endless routes. Among these impressive technological marvels are the world’s cruise ships, practically little cities floating at sea. We are always delighted to share news on the cruise industry, and look forward to sharing more developments on this very dynamic segment of the maritime community.

Learn more about us, and our marine and industrial engineering services here: http://kemplon.com/about-us/. You may also reach us at info@kemplon.com, or by phone at (877) 522-6526.

References:
^ “American Queen to Sail New Bourbon-Themed Itinerary.” Travel Agent Central, 23 Apr 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://www.travelagentcentral.com/river-cruises/american-queen-sail-new-bourbon-themed-itinerary-51141
^ “Food, Wine & Beer Theme Cruises.” Cruise Critic. Web. Accessed 16 May 2015. http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=1018
^ Forgone, Mary. “Norwegian to include unlimited free drinks on Bahama cruises next year.” Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-trb-norwegian-cruise-all-inclusive-20150425-story.html
^ Kimberl, Maggie. “American Queen to Have a Bourbon-Themed Cruise.” Louisville.com, 05 May 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://www.louisville.com/content/american-queen-have-bourbon-themed-river-cruise-
^ Marchetti, Nino. “Replica Steamboat Readies For Bourbon Country Voyage.” The Whiskey Was, 28 Apr 2015. Web. ^ 16 May 2015. http://thewhiskeywash.com/2015/04/28/replica-steamboat-readies-for-bourbon-country-voyage/
^ Sloan, Gene. “Love bourbon? This cruise is for you.” USA Today, 05 May 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2015/05/05/american-queen-bourbon-cruise/26909857/
^ Sloan, Gene. “The ultimate booze cruise? New all-you-can-drink sailings coming to Miami.” USA Today, 27 Apr 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2015/04/27/norwegian-sky-miami-drinks/26442355/
^ Tuttle, Brad. “Unlimited Free Booze! Tropical Cruise Includes Alcohol, No Extra Charge.” Time.com, 24 Apr 2015. Web. 16 May 2015. http://time.com/money/3834595/cruise-free-alcohol-norwegian/

Wartsila’s Innovative WSD 4628 Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) Design

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Another Stunner from Wartsila

Wartsila launched a fresh, innovative Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel design at the Sea Asia Exhibition held at Singapore from April 21 to 23, 2015. The company predicts the design to slash fuel use by up to 20-25% vis-à-vis traditional diesel mechanical four engine systems with a proportional trim down in emission levels.

Sea Asia is the premier maritime event in Asia that witnesses the convergence of a cross section of the global shipping community. Sea Asia 2015 was hugely successful with 16,185 participants from 85 countries. Once again, this importance of Singapore as a leading global maritime center stood emphasized.

Efficient and simple, the vessel uses less fuel and leaves behind lower environmental footprint. It is particularly compatible with large and medium AHTS equipped with a 2-speed gearbox. Such a gearbox is a crucial part of large-medium AHTS for it slashes the cost and complications without cutting back on operational safety.

Kemplon - Boat 2

WSD 4628 AHTS Vessel Design (Source: http://www.wartsila.com/media/news/21-04-2015-wartsila-launches-new-innovative-ahts-vessel-design-at-sea-asia-exhibition)

AHTS vessels tow an oil rig to and from its destination and transport supplies to and from rigs. Sometimes, they serve as Emergency Rescue and Recovery Vessel (ERRV). The winches of AHTS vessels tow oil rigs. Once the rig is in position, the AHTS’ anchor handling equipment drops the rig’s anchor and keeps the rig steady.

Technical & Other Details

Designed for a bollard pull of 180tons, the WSD 4628 AHTS vessel comes with options for 150tons or 220tons of bollard pull. The design boasts of a hybrid propulsion system and a 2-speed gear box built in accordance with American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Safety of Life at Seas (SOLAS) norms.

Hybrid diesel-mechanical and diesel-electric propulsion system with 2-speed gear boosts efficiency when operating at fluctuating loads. Directly driven mechanical parts lose less power during transmission at higher loads. Generating power from both main engines and gen-sets with load-optimized engines is advantageous at low loads.

On account of optimization of engines for various loads, this design consumes 17% less fuel as compared to

Data Sheet of the WSD 4628 AHTS

Data Sheet of the WSD 4628 AHTS

twin-engine, diesel-mechanical propulsion system. Special hull contours hike fuel savings to 25%. Engine-Load optimization results from:

  • electric boost during high bollard pull mode
  • smooth load sharing with 4 medium-speed engines and mode selection in Power Management System (PMS)
  • electric propulsion during low power mode
  • steaming on both main propellers from one main engine or gen-set

Design Features:

  • Based on Proven Technology
  • Lower Fuel Consumption and Emissions with optimization of engine with loads
  • Economical
  • Safe and Easy Operations via seamless load sharing through four medium-speed engines and mode selection in PMS
    WSD 4628 design does not require the crew to possess special electrical skills
    The hybrid, 2-speed gearbox PTI (Power Take In) feature enables smooth changeover between different operational modes with equal efficiency in all modes
    The design also ensures zero loss in PTO (Power Take Off) power during change in propeller speeds
  • Higher Redundancy and Reliability without addition of extra parts
  • Minimum Risk through integration of products with design
  • Flexible Selection of AHTS suppliers and equipment

The 2-speed gearbox:

  • Wartsila 6L32 Technical Data

    Wartsila 6L32 Technical Data

    saves fuel via low rpm operation of the CPP

  • diminishes propeller speed without affecting PTO speed and/or nominal engine speed
  • possesses twin screw AHTS with bollard pull up to 220tons
  • has a power range of 2-13MW

Wartsila 6L32 Engines

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Wartsila 6L32 Engine (Source: http://www.kitmondo.com/wartsila-6l32/ref482291)

Compliant with IMO Tier II exhaust regulations, Wartsila 32 engines were developed because the market required 320mm cylinder bore engines. The engines incorporate latest combustion technology for simple, efficient, and infrequent maintenance.

These engines offer great fuel flexibility, fast starting, high power-to-weight and power-to-space ratios, and high reliability.

Finally

Greener and cost-effective shipping is the order of the day and Wartsila has once again delivered the goods. You can hardly expect otherwise from an operator with over half a century of experience.

Tugboat Seized with $756 Million in Drugs

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Our waters see vital traffic of billions’ worth of goods from all over the world every day. The affordability, convenience and efficiency of shipping makes it the go-to transport for all types of cargo. Unfortunately, the same advantages it offers to legitimate commercial activities may also be extended to more nefarious purposes, like the transport of illicit goods and the trafficking of drugs.

The vast expanse aof oceans are hard to police completely, and so illegal substances make their way to different markets on all too many occasions. Thankfully, there are also success stories of massive busts that prevent further drug distribution. Recently, the United Kingdom facilitated one such bust—their largest A-class drug seizure, worth about £500m or $756m. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at the news.

Image “Stop Drugs Represents Warning Sign And Cocaine” courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The UK’s biggest drug seizure was discovered on an ocean-going tugboat in the North Sea, in a joint operation by the National Crime Agency (“NCA”), Border Force and the Royal Navy. There was a crew of nine Turkish nationals on the Ukrainian-owned vessel MV Hamal when three tonnes of cocaine – with a staggering potential street value of $756 million—was discovered following a painstaking search. The seizure is believed to be the largest class-A haul in the United Kingdom, where “class-A” drugs are defined as among the most dangerous.

Following an intelligence tip from the NCA, the tugboat MV Hamal was intercepted off the coast of Scotland by the Royal Navy’s HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant, and taken to Aberdeen harbor for a search. The Hamal had come from the Canary Islands and was registered in Tanzania.

The crew of MV Hamal, ranging in age from 26 to 63 years old, have been charged with drug trafficking. The investigation is still ongoing.

References:
^ “Britain seizes record haul of hard drugs from tug boat traveling from Canary Isles.” The Japan Times, 01 May 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/01/world/crime-legal-world/britain-seizes-record-haul-hard-drugs-tug-boat-traveling-canary-isles/#.VU8kKmeSw_j
^ Hartley-Parkinson, Richard. “Royal Navy just picked up Britain’s biggest ever drugs haul.” Metro.co.uk, 30 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://metro.co.uk/2015/04/30/royal-navy-just-picked-up-britains-biggest-ever-drugs-haul-5175306/
^ Stone Kathryn. “Tug Seizure Marks UK’s Largest Drug Bust.” The Maritime Executive, 01 May 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/tug-seizure-marks-uks-largest-drug-bust
^ Taylor, Matthew. “Cocaine worth £500m seized from ship in UK’s biggest class A haul.” The Guardian, 30 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/30/cocaine-500m-seized-ship-uk-biggest-class-a-haul
^ “Update: Over 3 Tons of Cocaine Found on Arrested Tug.” World Maritime News, 01 May 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/159540/update-over-3-tons-of-cocaine-found-on-arrested-tug/

USCG Lists Top 10 Cruise Ship Infractions – 2014

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Hundreds of thousands of tourists enjoy going on cruise vacations every year, on destinations all over the world. Thankfully most cruise voyages are both fun and absolutely safe. But unfortunately, sometimes unexpected situations arise which endanger passengers. When these incidents happen, we want the best possible safety measures in place on the vessel, to make sure as many passengers as possible emerge from the incident alive and well.

Safety should always come first, which is why regular ship inspections by the proper authorities are of paramount importance. Also important? Information sharing, so that both the industry and the public are aware of risks. In this article, Kemplon Engineering shares the top 10 cruise ship infractions of 2014, as recently reported by the United States Coast Guard (“USCG”) Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise.

The USCG issued 329 cruise ship deficiencies in 2014, and announced the top 10 most common ones. Fire safety is the most common issue. On 31 occurrences, Fire Screen Doors were not operating properly, with damage to sequencing bars, to the doors themselves, or to the pressure differential between spaces. Blocked Means of Escape was noted in 26 occurrences. On 25 occurrences, there were shortcomings in Crew Training and Drills. There were also deficiencies in Lifeboats and Rescue Boats (21 occurrences) and Improper Use of Spaces (17 occurrences) to round up the top 5.

The other common infractions were deficiencies in Fire / Smoke Detection; Fire Suppression Systems; problematic Pollution Prevention Equipment; Emergency Lighting and Oil and Fuel Leaks in engine room spaces.

Many of the violations were addressed even before the examiners were able to finish the exam. For deficiencies that cannot be immediately addressed, depending on the violation, the USCG may require corrections to be made before the vessel leaves the port, within the next 30 days, or upon entry at a following US port after coming from a foreign port.

The Coast Guard did not provide information on which cruise lines have been cited for violations, but a representative did note cruise lines are often quick and responsive to addressing deficiencies.

References:
^ “Fire screen doors top list of cruise ship deficiencies.” MarineLog, 30 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=9104:uscg-fire-screen-door-problems-top-list-of-cruise-ship-deficiencies&Itemid=229
^ Masek, Theresa Norton. “Coast Guard Lists Most Common Cruise Ship Infractions.” Travel Pulse, 29 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/coast-guard-lists-most-common-cruise-ship-infractions.html
^ “Top 10 Cruise Ship Deficiencies of 2014.” The Maritime Executive, 30 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/top-10-cruise-ship-deficiencies-of-2014
^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “United States Coast Guard Top Cruise Ship Deficiencies of 2014.” USCG.mil. Web. Accessed 10 May 2015. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/csncoe/docs/Top%20Defs/Top%20Cruise%20Ship%20%20Deficiencies%20of%20%202014.pdf
^ Walker, Jim. “USCG: Top Cruise Ship Deficiencies for 2014.” Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News, 28 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2015/04/articles/fires-1/uscg-top-cruise-ship-deficiencies-for-2014/

MSC Cruises: Suspends 2015 Stops in Egypt and Ukraine

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Going on a cruise is one of tourism’s great delights. From mighty ships to smaller vessels and from adult-themed excursions to family friendly trips, there is something for every taste and something to fit most budgets. One of the best things about cruising is that it gives so many people an opportunity to go on exciting itineraries and see the world’s most captivating places. Clusters of ports in all corners of the globe expose tourists to different cultures, and also offer many countries vital tourism revenues.

Sadly, our conflicted world with its myriad of complex security concerns is discouraging people—not to mention the cruise companies responsible for their safety—from visiting certain areas. MSC Cruises, for example, has recently announced they are replacing 2015’s remaining stops in Egypt and Ukraine amid security concerns. Kemplon Engineering reports.

MSC Cruises has recently announced it is pulling their remaining 2015 stops in Ukraine and Egypt. It should be noted that there is political unrest in the two countries. In the alternative, the cruise line is offering various Mediterranean calls which echo the “spirit” of the original plans. The company emphasized that the company’s priority is the safety of their passengers and crew. Affected ships include autumn 2015 to winter 2016 travels for MSC’s Sinfonia, Opera, Fantasia and Musica.

While the cautious actions of cruise companies like MSC are understandable and even laudable, it’s also unfortunate that there are some truly stunning locales that cruise-goers might miss out on, and that countries cannot get much-needed economic boost from, because of safety issues. We at Kemplon Engineering hope that the security situations improve in these canceled stops and in many other conflicted corners of our beautiful world, so that we can all continue to share in the beauty of different cultures in an atmosphere of friendship and safety.

References:
^ Bergman, Jamey. “MSC Cruises Cancels Sailings in Egypt and Ukraine.” Cruise Critic, 23 Apr 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=6321
^ Christoff, Janeen. “MSC Cruises Replaces Autumn and Winter Calls in Egypt and Ukraine.” Travel Pulse, 23 Apr 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/msc-cruises-replaces-autumn-and-winter-calls-in-egypt-and-ukraine.html
^ “MSC Cruises Drops Calls in Ukraine and Egypt amid Safety Concerns.” World Maritime News, 24 Apr 2015. Web.04 May 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/158926/msc-cruises-drops-calls-in-ukraine-and-egypt-amid-safety-concerns/
^ “MSC Cruises Replaces Egypt and Ukraine Calls.” Travel Agent Central, 23 Apr 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/msc-cruises-replaces-egypt-and-ukraine-calls-51148

Overcoming Challenges in Underwater Welding

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Kemplon Engineering 1

Porosity @ Welded Joint (Source: http://www.thefabricator.com/article/arcwelding/22-possible-causes-of-weld-metal-porosity)

Meticulously Slow Developments
Underwater welding has attracted many researchers over the past fifty years. The process is however loaded with numerous inherent limitations that slow down the pace of advances to a trot.

Above water or below it, technicians prefer welding over other joining methods because welding offers better joint efficiency and mechanical properties with greater application impact. Today’s welders have to confront the twin challenges of providing higher quality welds while cutting costs.

Research focuses on improving the output of conventional underwater welding processes, checking the performance of new processes, minimizing the effect of wet environs on weld-joints, testing the behavior of fresh materials, and ushering in greater automation, mechanization, and improved inspection techniques.

Underwater Welding Developments: Processes, Materials, & Hazards
Welding underwater is tougher than in air because of higher pressures, higher cooling rates, and hydrogen content in weld-joints that destabilize the arc, introduce porosity in weld-joints, and lower the toughness of weld-joints.
Wet Welding uses direct current (DC) only. Alternating current (AC) can electrocute diver-welders. Plus, maintaining underwater AC arcs is tougher. DC power sources with 300-400 ampere rating are best for wet welding while motor-generator welding machines are most suitable for all underwater welding.

Microscopic View of Hydrogen Embrittlement (Source: https://abduh137.wordpress.com/page/4/)

Microscopic View of Hydrogen Embrittlement
(Source: https://abduh137.wordpress.com/page/4/)

Advanced Underwater Welding Techniques:

  • Friction Resistance Welding (FRW)
  • Laser Welding

Conventional Underwater Welding Techniques:

  • Wet Welding: Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) / Stick Welding and Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
  • Dry Welding: Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) or Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
  • Local Cavity Welding: Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

Apart from providing a shield, flux-coated electrodes in SMAW generate bubbles that displace water from the weld-pool to provide better welds. Technicians use straight polarity DC for wet SMAW. Ferrite electrodes with iron-oxide-based coating resist hydrogen cracking.

FCAW is semi-automatic and used for high deposition rate welding. Burnback and Porosity are FCAW’s downside. Burnback is the fusion of the electrode wire with the current contact tube due to sudden lengthening of the arc.
Recent advancements have improved the wet weld-ability of FCAW and provided halogen-free flux formation for nickel-based flux-cored filler materials and stainless steel flux-cored wires.

Frictional Resistance Welding Schematic (Source: http://www.researchtrend.net/pdf/17%20HARISH%20GARG.pdf)

Frictional Resistance Welding Schematic
(Source: http://www.researchtrend.net/pdf/17%20HARISH%20GARG.pdf)

GTAW or TIG Welding offer less porous welds and more stable arcs for underwater dry welding. TIG with AC is economical for welding sheets up to 5mm thick. Welding plates over 5mm thickness requires TIG with DC.

FRW joins parts using heat generated by friction resulting from the relative motion between these parts. Welders apply additional pressure after temperature rises substantially. FRW is now used to repair underwater cracks on pipelines and marine structures

Rotational time, pressure, and welding time are the three control parameters in FRW. Flashes occur on the outside perimeter of the weld. Flash characteristics indicate if the three control parameters are correctly applied.

FRW is expensive and requires complex equipment, but:

  • provides excellent welds in short cycle times without using flux, filler metal, or shielding gas
  • offers fine-grained forged welds without weld-inclusion or weld-dilution
  • are free of hydrogen embrittlement because there is no weld pool
  • can join dissimilar metals, even aluminum with ceramic
Kemplon Engineering 4

Laser Welding Schematic (Source: http://www.researchtrend.net/pdf/17%20HARISH%20GARG.pdf)

Laser Welding is the most important operation among laser joining processes because of recent developments and the immense volume of work involved. Lasers are extremely coherent energy sources and offer quick, high quality welds with minimum heat affected zone (HAZ).

Hazard Management:

  • Electric Shocks: minimized through proper insulation, limiting open circuit voltage of welding sets, shutting-off power supply immediately after extinguishing the arc, using double-insulated cables and single/double circuit breakers
    Open circuit voltage is the voltage at the output terminals of the welding power source when welding is not being executed
  • Explosion: nullified by preventing the buildup of explosive hydrogen and oxygen gas pockets
  • Nitrogen Narcosis: the drowsiness due to inhaling air under pressure below 100feet depth when nitrogen enters the bloodstream. Decompression chambers, emergency air supply, and stand-by divers slash this hazard

Materials: Underwater welding normally joins low-alloy steels, carbon steels, and duplex and austenitic steels:

  • high-strength steels with over 0.4% carbon equivalents demonstrate worst weld-ability
  • cold or hydrogen cracking occurs when welding high-strength-low-alloy steels and dissimilar metals
  • fully austenitic stainless steels are hot-cracking-prone

Elimination of cracking requires minimizing:

  • Amount of Diffusible Hydrogen using consumables that generate less hydrogen and adjusting weld parameters to reduce hydrogen pickup by weld-pools
  • Hard Microstructures in Heat Affected Zones (HAZ) by controlling the zone’s cooling rate
  • Residual Stresses in Weld Joint using edge preparations that reduce weld deposit, small weld deposits, and choosing consumables whose thermal expansion coefficients are compatible with the base material

Finally
With the number of underwater welded structures rising by the day, the future importance of underwater welding cannot be overstated. Despite the advances over the past five decades, a lot still remains to be achieved.

The International Maritime Org’s Ferry Safety Conference, 2015

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The International Maritime Organization Conference on the enhancement of safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages, was held in Manila, Philippines last April 24th. The Conference adopted the “Manila Statement,” which calls for States to check and update their national regulations on passenger ferries, and to apply guidelines that would counter the unacceptable levels of lives lost, as well as loss or damage to property and the environment. Kemplon Engineering reports.

The International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) is a specialized agency of the United Nations concerned with safe, secure and environmentally-sound international shipping. The agency creates regulations and standards for universal adoption and implementation. Their approach to international shipping is ‘cradle to the grave’—from design and construction to equipment, manpower, operations and disposal.

The IMO is also vocal about ferry safety. According to Lee Adamson of IMO’s Public Information Services, ferry deaths in Southeast Asia are particularly unacceptable, and that this is a major issue, especially with international shipping becoming much safer.

The Domestic Ferry Safety Conference in Manila was attended by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, who stated domestic passenger safety standards should match that of international vessels. After all, “The perils of the sea do not distinguish between ships engaged on international or non-international voyages and the protection of life at sea is a moral obligation.”

The burden of that obligation is a shared responsibility between and among governments; according to the Manila Statement adopted by the conference, those involved include the authorities, owners, managers, operators and personnel of ships, institutions engaged in maritime training and education, classification societies and government compliance and certification agencies, insurers, port authorities and of course, civil society and the public.

The conference, which was hosted by the Philippine Government, was attended by 13 member states and representatives from organizations like the International Chamber of Shipping, Interferry and the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association, and the International Association of Classification Societies.

We at Kemplon Engineering are heartened by the international efforts aimed at lessening the death tolls from domestic ferry accidents. With thousands dead over the last few years, gatherings like this bring more hope for a safer future for ferry passengers.

References:
^ “IMO: Making Ferries Safer.” MarineLink.com, 24 Apr 2015. Web. 02 May 2015. http://www.marinelink.com/news/ferries-making-safer390050.aspx
^ International Maritime Organization. “Introduction to IMO.” IMO.org. Web. Accessed 02 May 2015. http://www.imo.org/About/Pages/Default.aspx
^ International Maritime Organization. “Philippines domestic ferry safety conference urges action to improve safety record.” IMO.org, 27 Apr 2015. Web. 02 May 2015. http://www.imo.org/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/16-ferryconfoutcome.aspx#.VUScBm
^ “Number of Ferry Deaths in Southeast Asia Unacceptable.” World Maritime News, 24 Apr 2015. Web. 02 May 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/158930/number-of-ferry-deaths-in-southeast-asia-unacceptable/