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Expert partners making lifting work easier

A fairly simple story about how more can be achieved in day-to-day lifting projects if parties come together with the right lifting expertise.

Day-to-day lifting operations are precisely where great opportunities can be found for improving safety, cost efficiency and operator experience. Buss Terminal Eemshaven, working with Hijsspecialist and Enduro Softslings, has demonstrated as much. The tonnage involved in this lifting project was not extreme, neither were the lifting movements particularly complex. This is actually a fairly simple story about how more can be achieved as part of standard, day-to-day lifting projects if parties come together to think about how to get things done using less equipment.

A ship docks at the quay near Buss for the trans-shipment of more than 80 tower sections. With each tower section 21 metres long and weighing 35 tonnes, this is logistics work for which Buss Terminal Eemshaven is ideally equipped. In his role as Terminal Operations Manager, Haaye-Paul Ravensbergen is involved with this lifting project. “This is not the only onshore project we have worked on. This year we have had at least three such contracts, and we're talking about hundreds of tower sections.”

lifting project made easier

Ultralight and extremely strong

Trans-shipment work of this kind is routine, consisting of the same repetitive operations performed over and over. Securing loads and handling them on the quayside is arduous work for the riggers. The use of traditional, cumbersome lifting equipment contributes to this. “Hijsspecialist had approached me about using new, innovative lifting equipment made of HMPE, which is ultralight and extremely strong,” says Ravensbergen. “After an initial trial, the guys on site were really positive about it.”

Oil pressure rather than blood pressure

According to Enduro Softslings, the manufacturer of HMPE Softslings, the weight savings involved are significant: HMPE slings are 40% lighter than their PES equivalent, and up to 80% lighter than steel. This makes HMPE slings much easier to handle and more manageable. This is something Thierry Roossien, the QHSE Manager at Buss Terminal Eemshaven, has also noticed: “All those heavy chains and tensioners have been a thorn in my side for years. And some operations can only be done by hand. I’d much rather see a rise in oil pressure than blood pressure. The heavy lifting and hoisting equipment takes a severe toll on the ergonomic health of our people. It is an employer’s duty and responsibility to demonstrate good employment practices by making work lighter. And doing so has financial benefits, too. Just work out what you'll save by reducing sickness absence.”

Understanding each other's business

Does your company take safety seriously? If it does, then you have no choice but to take into account those ergonomic safety risks associated with the heavy work inherent in this industry. From this angle alone, it pays to calculate the effects of HMPE on your lifting project. But we are talking about a cost price that is two to three times higher than that for conventional lifting equipment.

How does Alain Knol, Senior Sales Engineer for Hijsspecialist, view these additional costs? “You shouldn’t look for gains in terms of any short-term purchasing advantage,” he explains. “The benefits of using HMPE for lifting work go much further. But understanding this does require a level of expertise. And that expertise is founded on a good understanding of each other's business, knowledge of the product, and being acquainted with the different factors involved in a lifting project. It requires understanding from both the user’s and the manufacturer’s perspective. Bringing those two worlds together is where we come in.”

Different ways to calculate your lifting project

This is also why Knol opted for a long-term working relationship with Enduro Softslings. “Enduro understands the issues and how things work for the user. As a result, we can come together as expert partners to help parties such as Buss, giving them more than just a good price.”
Gert-Jan Buijs (salesmanager Enduro Softslings) worked with Alain Knol to give a knowledge-sharing presentation to Buss, detailing the use, properties and advantages of using HMPE softslings for lifting work.

In addition to the technical and functional aspects of the softslings, the two shared their knowledge of the different ways calculations can be made when using HMPE. By working together to examine the use and application of the same lifting slings across various projects, equipment depreciation can be rendered more favourable. This requires being able to put arrangements in place for complex, customised production work, something that distinguishes a product like the Enduro Softslings from the rest.

Dancing the conga through the canteen

For Buss Terminal Eemshaven, the result is clear to see. Both Roossien and Ravensbergen have seen what working with equipment that makes lifting lighter means in practice. Staff find working with it much more pleasant. “The riggers were dancing the conga through the canteen!” jokes Roossien. Ravensbergen adds: “The guys at the terminal are the ones who are now advertising the equipment.”

Taking things a little further, performing lifting work using HMPE also affects how your clients view you, according to Knol. “HMPE is innovative – it’s the lifting equipment of the future. By using it, you are showing that you're ahead of the game and that you've got your equipment well organised.” Ravensbergen agrees that HMPE has added commercial value. “It would be logical to think about using HMPE earlier in the process – as a QHSE argument in the tendering process, and when thinking about the engineering for a lifting plan. This would certainly be of benefit in terms of the image our clients have of us.”

About Hijsspecialist

Hijsspecialist is part of the Elzinga Group. Offering a wide range of services and products, Hijsspecialist does not position itself as the low-cost option in the market, but instead fulfils the role of strategic expert partner for the sourcing of machinery and equipment. With its knowledge of user operations and of production, Hijsspecialist provides long-term solutions for any lifting project. A core value in all of this is ‘Safety first’. The use of HMPE is fully compatible with this value where safe and responsible lifting practices are concerned.

About Buss Terminal Eemshaven

As part of the Buss Group of Hamburg, Buss Terminal Eemshaven is a forward-looking player in the offshore wind industry. Its favourable location close to the North Sea makes it the ideal starting point for wide-ranging logistics projects, storage and transport services. Buss’s strength lies in the speed and flexibility of its response to demand. This requires an ability to scale operations up or down, quickly and safely. Working in this way makes demands on equipment and these are more than met by HMPE.

About Enduro Softslings

As the manufacturer of HMPE Softslings, Enduro Softslings has perfected its production techniques over the years. The company achieves minimal length tolerances of less than 10 mm, along with maximum flexibility when it comes to supplying tailor-made solutions with rapid delivery times. This allows Enduro Softslings to meet the dynamic needs that characterise the world of lifting. Each lifting project is different, requiring its own unique approach and solution. Even when things are tight and fast action needs to be taken, you can rely on Enduro Softslings. The company’s extensive expertise and experience make Enduro Softslings ‘your timesaving forerunner’.

Expert partners

Using HMPE has advantages that affect various different aspects of any lifting project. This is why Enduro Softslings is keen to establish contact with QHSE managers, sales engineers and operation managers and work with them as expert partners. Together, we can improve the safety, cost efficiency and operator experience of lifting projects. Please contact us for an introductory chat, a no-obligation knowledge-sharing presentation, or a visit to our production site in De Goorn.