North East firm sets sail with new marine safety device

(from left) Alan Hewett (MAS), Ade Walton (Prozeus) and Jeff Main (Tyne and Wear Marine)

A North East manufacturer has come up with a new solution for safely testing marine bollards and has high hopes for its future.

Tyne and Wear Marine (TWM) have spent the last year developing the Bollard Load Test, which uses a hydraulic ram and torque rope to recreate more than 100 tonnes of pull.

This replaces the traditional method of a tug pulling against the bollard, a method that has previously caused damage to vessels and can be dangerous to the people involved in the test.

Jeff Main, Managing Director at TWM explained: “Our engineers have come up with a fully calibrated and easily deployable way of testing the strength of marine bollards, creating conditions equivalent to 100 tonnes with plans in place to increase this to 150 tonnes of pull in the next model.”

“I’m really excited about the Bollard Load Test…we are about to start using the service at the Port of Tyne and four more ports are asking us to test their bollards for them. Two people have been employed so far and this will increase dramatically as we look to take turnover from £1.2m to £4m by 2018.”

Mike Nicholson, Harbourmaster at the Port of Tyne, added: “We have been impressed with the results of the first trial and we are now ready to roll out a regular testing regime. We are confident that it will help guard against future bollard failures and provide safety and security for ships at our berths.”

The company was supported by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and consultants Prozeus who will also aid TWM in lean manufacturing and a complete feasibility study that it will use to leverage over £100,000 of funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind Flexible Enabling Fund.