Today the reporter of KTR360° is heading for the company’s headquarters in Barneveld/The Netherlands. You would suspect a manufacturer of rescue systems for seagoing vessels and offshore platforms operating on an international basis to be located in Rotterdam rather than in the heart of The Netherlands. But Wuf Bouw, buyer with Palfinger Ned-Deck, feels comfortable here: “We have bundled the development and production department in Barneveld for a long time. Shipping is done via lorry and containers without problems.” A “safe haven” for ship traffic – even without a harbour.
Plug and play!
Palfinger Ned-Deck develops and manufactures so-called davits for different applications. The impressive steel cranes serve for lowering and lifting – in nautical language you would say “veering” and “hauling up” – of jolly boats or anchors. The product portfolio is as manifold as the applications of rescue equipment, including the daily lowering of working boats and jolly boats as well as reeling in fenders in the offshore range. Here Palfinger Ned-Deck mainly focuses on global high-sea navigation and special navigation. “Our solutions are characterized by getting on board quickly”, Wuf Bouw explains. “Following the plug and play principle our davits are mounted or welded immediately on deck and our customers are ready for takeoff at once.” Accordingly shipbuilders can count on Palfinger at the last minute, short time before the ship will be completed. In this case counting literally means calculating. “If the launch of an ocean liner is delayed, this may cost several thousands of Euros a day,” Bouw reminds. “And an approval will not be issued without seaworthy davits!”
Steel becomes aluminium
As everywhere, the development process is moving forward on the high seas as well. If you put emphasis on standards in a series in the past, the trend is towards project-orientated special solutions today. There is one customer request that becomes more and more significant: less weight! To meet this request, Palfinger Ned-Deck switched from steel to aluminium for the first time: “Currently the first davit made of aluminium almost completely has gone into production. This is a pleasant ease for ship designers, but a difficult job for our engineers!”
KTR helps lifting
This is where KTR gets involved: KTR non only supplies couplings and bellhousings, but also steel tanks for hydraulic power packs. Wuf Bouw adds: “Davits are moved hydraulically, for that purpose we need hydraulic tanks. In this context the quality of the type, here above all the welding seams of the tank, is vital. Instead of manufacturing them ourselves costly, we rely on an experienced specialist like KTR. I cannot think of any quality problem we have ever had with KTR, not even a single leak!”
Just as tight as our hydraulic tanks is KTR’s supplier and service network.This is definitely a benefit when quick action is vital: “KTR are always on the spot when they are needed. In case of emergency we can even pick up the customized components ourselves”, Wuf Bouw praises the smooth cooperation which has been successful for many years.
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