Aiming for better care of the river, a new system was recently installed in the Buitrago Port. Under the name of "Spill Plate", this system is intended to contain the material that could be spilled during the unload from the vessels to the ore dock.
The main element of this addition is an anti-spill plate that is fixed to the bottom of the UC03 crane. "It works as a kind of curtain that tilts downwards so that the coal and iron that could be lost remain in the structure to then be dumped in the hopper or fall back into the hold of the vessel," explains José Sarco, Shift Supervisor.
The crane has a telescopic boom that supports a clamshell bucket, which descends towards the hold of the vessel or barge to collect the material. Since the clamshell bucket does not provide a hermetic seal, it might lose a percentage in the transport to the hopper, a device in which the content is deposited and then transferred to the ore deposit.
"As to comply with the Prefecture regulations, tarpaulins were used to connect the vessel to the port, with little retention capability", mentions Javier Krause, Project Leader. "However, because tarpaulins are heavy and tend to get torn, they were not enough to avoid losses," describes Rogelio Tecco, Port Coordinator.
The Spill Plate is here to solve this problem permanently with an easy process for the crane operator, who is in charge of handling the platform by means of a control panel in the operator's cab. This is how Tecco describes it. Additionally, he says: "This innovation will contribute to the operation time by avoiding manual shoveling and allowing the vessel to sail sooner."
Measuring 6.5' long and 26.2' wide, the system plate is activated by electromechanical cylinders that allow its movement. "It works exactly like an automatic gate in a garage when open and closed, but in this case, the cylinders are made on a large scale with a lifting force of 25 t", reveals Krause.
Spill Plate in action: the new environmental investment that protects the Paraná River.
In order to promote a safe operation, the personnel was trained by the Maintenance Management. "Training was aimed to all crane operators, including maintenance and safety employees", explains Claudio Peruchena, Head of Automation.
Among the most important safety measures implemented for the use of the Spill Plate, Peruchena highlights the safety locks: three control devices that activate or deactivate its operation to avoid collisions.
From the Environmental Department, Ivana Miotti, Environmental Engineer, concludes: “With this new system, we add one more protection to the Paraná River, this time at the beginning of the steel production process. This project comes with the environmental investment plan that was announced a few weeks ago”.
Some members of the team who worked in the project.