Modulift Beams Lift Steel Coils at Argentine Port

Two Modulift spreader beams have enhanced productivity, allowing two steel coils to be lifted at the same time at the Ingeniero Buitrago Port in Argentina. The solution was devised by Rosario-based Ortiz Fischer, which designed a rig for loading finished steel product to an undisclosed logistics company.

Slings were passed through the centre of each coil before they were loaded onto an awaiting vessel.Slings were passed through the centre of each coil before they were loaded onto an awaiting vessel.The MOD 24 and MOD 34 combined in a narrow rig with slings and other rigging equipment above and below as two 12t coils were lifted together, halving the time taken to complete loading operations at the port, which serves a steel plant (formerly government property) now owned by private operator Siderar.

The MOD 24 offers up to 24t at 5m (17 ft.) and up to 8m (26 ft.) at a lower capacity; the MOD 34 offers up to 34t at 6m (19 ft.) and up to 10m (32 ft.) at a lower capacity. Ortiz Fischer also provided grade 10 chains, wire rope slings, and Green Pin shackles.

Santiago Ortiz, general manager at Ortiz Fischer, said: “We had 30t of capacity with the on-site crane and wanted to design a rigging solution that accelerated loading of the coils. Combining the beams we could rig slings through the centre of each coil and load them onto the awaiting vessel at twice the speed of alternative methods loading one at a time.”

Sue Spencer, technical director at Modulift, said: “Using two spreader beams in this type of rig configuration is not that common; however, it is a great idea for lifting steel coils in this way to speed up loading time.”

She added: “The steel coils keep the beams spaced apart, and it is a good idea if there is the headroom available to have very long slings for this type of rig to minimise the horizontal forces being transferred to the load being lifted due to having angled slings. The coils themselves are more than strong enough to withstand these horizontal ‘crushing’ forces.”

The port consists of two sections: Berth A (southern quay) is used for discharge of iron ore and coal, plus loading of coke breeze; Berth B (northern quay) serves as the commercial berth for the loading of finished steel products, where Ortiz Fischer completed its latest scope of work. On the northern quay, which is 320m long and 30m wide, the 30t safe working load (SWL) crane is joined by two 15t SWL cranes. Both quays are constructed of reinforced concrete and lie at an angle of about 230 degrees to each other.

Santiago added: “We were responsible for providing a solution for the customer to lift the coils from the dockside to the bottom of the vessel. While speed was of the essence, safety was the number one priority so we could make no sacrifices with the rig. We had complete faith in the Modulift below-the-hook equipment, based on previous experiences where it has complemented our extensive range of premium lifting gear.”

Ortiz Fischer’s below-the-hook solution was utilised by a team of 10 people onsite—four in the vessel, four on the dockside, a crane operator, and a supervisor.

The company’s headquarters are 300km to the north of Buenos Aires; it has four branches in Argentina in addition to a presence in Uruguay. Ortiz Fischer has been in the lifting business for more than 45 years and is one of the country’s major players in the marketplace.

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