Sea Ports often rely on cranes and conveyor belt systems to unload the ships as they dock. Cargill are one of the largest companies operating at Seaforth Docks in Liverpool and they have thousands of metres of conveyor belt systems moving thousands of tonnes of grain around the dock every week. This is prime territory for Rope Access Conveyor Belt Maintenance.
Through the summer the port needed to carry out maintenance on the grain conveyor systems and part of this work scope was to replace conveyor rollers that had become worn or even broken. The rollers are difficult to access because they sit underneath a heavy rubber conveyor belt high up on a steel gantry which runs for hundreds of metres around the dock. The fact that you are replacing rollers spaced out along the whole conveyor systems means that scaffold would be an incredibly cumbersome and expensive way to access the work. MEWPS would be impractical because the conveyors run over all sorts of docks and plant leaving rope access as the obvious answer.
A team of three rope access technicians where able to swap rollers out with great efficiency. Moving around the steelwork using rope access aid climbing techniques the team swapped out all of the old and worn out rollers with only minor disruption to port operations whilst the conveyor was isolated for the works.
This was an excellent example of how a competent team of rope access technicians can solve industrial access problems that have had site managers scratching their heads for years. Site managers at Seaforth Docks were delighted that SAS LTD could deliver such a neat solution for a difficult access work scope that had been causing them real problems.