Over the last 25 years B&W Mechanical Handling Ltd. of England (now part of the Aumund Group of Germany) has pioneered the application of sophisticated mobile solutions for ship loading and stacking operations in ports and terminals.
In the early days the mobile shiploader tended to be just a simple mobile conveyor used for loading small coasters in river berths at relatively load handling rates.
Over the intervening years the market has changed and the mobile solution has steadily become the preferred solution inmany locations from the artic to the equator.
B&W entered the shiploader market with their established ‘Loadmaster’ series mobile conveyors (illustrated in Figure 1), used in smaller ports and river berths for exporting free flowing material such as grains and fertilisers delivered direct to the port in tipping trucks.
This equipment could only handle free flowing materials that could be discharged from the trucks via the small ‘Grain-Door’ in the trailer tailgate such that the flow could be controlled to avoid spillage.
At the same time B&W were also producing an early variant of what is now known as the Samson surface feeder for the agricultural industry.
Known as the ‘Stormatic’ system this early surface feeder was designed to receive mainly root crops direct from farm trailers and provide soft handling and a controlled discharge rate to the following conveying installation. It was soon realised the ‘Stormatic’ concept could be applied in ship loading applications enabling the system to handle cohesive materials by accepting truck discharge from the full tailgate thus expanding the range of application to almost any material type.
To differentiate the ‘industrial’ version of the feeder from its ‘agricultural’ brother it was decided to re-brand for all markets outside agriculture and hence the Samson surface feeder was born.
An early application can be seen handling China-Clay (Kaolin) where Kaolin is received from tipping trucks using a mobile Samson feeder and discharged to an existing mobile shiploader at the Port of Parr in Cornwall (see Figure 2).
Following market demands for high capacity mobile stacking equipment B&W realised the same concept could be applied and as a result the ‘Stormajor’ was developed by combining a Samson feeder with a radial stacking boom as a complete and integrated machine (see Figure 3 handling raw sugar into temporary storage).
This concept has been further developed over the years and utilised in addition for barge and railcar loading. In the north of Russia the largest ever B&W Stormajor loads Gabbros direct from both loading shovels and tipping trucks into large river barges, typically around 5,000 tonnes and at a rate of 700 t.p.h.. In this operation the equipment is located on a large lake close to the small town of Sheleki which is between St. Petersburg and Murmansk (see Figure 4).
The Gabbros is crushed down on site to various grades suitable for use as aggregate in concrete or road building and shipped primarily to both St. Petersburg and Moscow where hard stone is not readily available locally.
With its cantilevered radial outloading boom the Stormajor is ideal for loading barges from a lake or river berth using its long outreach to span out to the barge moored to dolphins just off shore.
As illustrated in Figure 5, the Stormajor comprises a Samson surface feeder unit plus a radial and luffing outloading boom both mounted to a common mobile chassis as a single autonomous unit.