Danish shipowner Norden is trialling a new belt-driven robot (pictured) which can be operated remotely to go up and down along the sides of the holds while pressure cleaning them. The robot has been created by compatriot tech firm CLIIN and features magnetic belts that stick to the sides of ships. On top, there is a holder for the high pressure cleaner which can be turned individually.
“Preliminary results with the robot are positive. The robot is easily operated and also reaches those places that can be difficult to get to. I have seen many robots in the market, but this one is a qualified suggestion for how cargo hold cleaning in the future can be done in a better, more safe, environmentally friendly and quicker way, and it’s about time. It is pretty much the same method being used to clean cargo holds today as it has been for the past 20-25years,” Jonas Warming, Norden’s senior optimisation manager commented in the company’s latest quarterly magazine.
The robot’s backers claim that as well as the safety benefits the mechanical device is also a more environmentally option to clean hulls. Until now, crews have had to complete up to four wash-downs to clean cargo holds. First salt water, then possibly a chemical solution, then salt water again and in conclusion freshwater. With the robot, it can be done with just one wash-down of freshwater as the robot is equipped to apply higher water pressure closer to the surfaces that need cleaning.