Overheight frames – not only beams



Peter Stenbeck, Timars AB, Falkenberg, Sweden


The wheels of the global industry are spinning faster and faster as customers needs increase continuously. The once limited domestic trade has changed as ever more markets become accessible. This of course puts pressure on infrastructure and a challenge, for among others, the ports and operators to grow with it.

The number of containers handled is increasing annually and operators have been reporting a new trend, a significant increase in oversized or self contained goods. The reason for this is of course the nature of the goods itself but is also because lead times and the risk of damages or delays can be brought to a minimum when sharing a container with others.

A focus on efficiency and health and safety discussions has over the years minimised the number of workers near the quay-side and increased the demand on sophisticated adequate tools. In most ports it is no longer cceptable to work with chains and jump onto containers when every 100 seconds another container approach the ship.

Having a close relation with ports, Timars has followed their evolution and designed equipment in order to make handling more efficient. In some ports they are discussing the same handling time for a flat as for a container.

Let’s take Timars automatic overheight frame for handling flats and open top containers as an example. It has been designed in order to work regardless of parent spreader twistlocks ISO dimensions, twistlocks rotating direction and rotating force, and to follow the spreader extension and retraction stepless from 20-45ft.

Furthermore, the equipment must be able to operate around the clock and must be self supporting meaning no special fittings needed to connect or disconnect the  frame to the parent spreader, no need for a support base frame to store it in or no need to bring it to a power station for regular charging.

The design of Timars OHA is built on a gravity and lift principle, meaning it uses the force from the tare weight of the frame to mechanically power the turning of the twistlocks of the overheight frame.

This has minimised the risk of failure due to alterative power sources operating in different climatic conditions. Because the frame is only operated by one driver it  needs to have good visual indicators and onboard safety systems to bring down the risk of incorrect locking. 

Equipment like this include control pins, torque movement limiters, if something is partially blocking the corner casting even if the control pins are correctly affected, and interlock systems so all frame twistlocks alter at the same time or remain in position if prevented from turning.

In order bring down freight costs Timars has designed the overheight frame so it can be disassembled during transport and easily assembled on site. If one adds up all these technical benefits, it is a winwin- win situation for ship-owners, port operators and customers alike.

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