A port in a storm


29th April 2020

A few weeks ago, on a Thursday evening, we received a phone call from one of the UK's busiest ports. A geared coupling had failed on a vital route, and the gearbox was leaking oil. The gearbox had to be operational within two weeks, which was when the next ship was due to dock. If the unit wasn't up and running and the ship couldn't deliver its cargo of imported food, the port would incur a substantial penalty charge.

The unit was at the top of a 50 Metre high tower and to complicate matters further was 10 meters above floor level meaning we had to build a working platform on-site. We also discovered that some of the floor needed to be removed to allow us to work effectively. No hot work was allowed on site, presenting another challenge!

We lowered the one-tonne unit the 50 metres to the floor and transported it to our facility in Elland, where we cured the oil leak on the output shaft and undertook a bearing and seal change. As the unit wasn't manufactured by Radicon, we had to engineer new oilseal tracks and source a gear coupling, which was then bored and key-wayed and fitted half to the gearbox before returning it to the port. The other half of the coupling was fitted to the head drum back on-site using induction heating.

The unit was then bolted down and aligned using the latest laser alignment tackle.

Despite the impact of coronavirus, we managed to remove, repair and re-install the unit within just seven days of receiving the phone call!

A port in a storm radicon.fluidaa3.dyndns.org