/ 29.06.2016

SCB is welding "Innershield"

The Service Center Burchardkai (SCB) has had five welders trained in the Innershield welding technique. This extremely demanding process allows the block storage facilities’ crane tracks, among others, at the Container Terminal Burchardkai to be welded quickly and to a high standard of quality. Until now, this job had to be done by external companies who were not available around the clock or at the weekend. Following an additional evaluation of the processhttps://hhla.de/typo3/#_msocom_1, which is required due to the special characteristics of the tracks’ material, the welders at the terminal’s own workshop will now be able to weld a new piece of track themselves in case of a breakage.

The tracks of the eight block storage facilities currently at the Container Terminal Burchardkai are more than 12 km long in total and operate 24 hours a day under considerable continuous strain. The large block storage crane which runs on the tracks weighs around 320 tonnes alone – in addition to this are the loads that it transports. Should a new piece need to be welded after a break on the track, it is important that the entire gap between both pieces of track is welded together seamlessly and without any flaws – otherwise, the seams could be potential breaking points in future.

The process is complicated by the need to maintain a precise temperature control. The Innershield technique does not use short rod electrodes, but instead works with a continuous flux-cored wire which is then pulled from a wire feeder during the welding process to enable continuous welding. This not only makes the work much more effective, but it above all reduces a possible failure of the crane system.

A particular challenge when welding the block storage tracks is that the welder cannot initially see where they are working. “If I start with the wire at base of the track, then the top of the track blocks the view of the wire tip. It’s only when I’ve welded up to half way up the track that I can see where I’m welding. And I have to do it in one go to prevent any flaws when welding. It’s like running a marathon with your eyes closed”, said SCB employee Hendrik Möller describing the new welding task. He is one of the five experienced welders who completed an 80-hour foundation course in Innershield welding in April 2016.

All of the trained SCB employees passed the welding exam for this demanding technique and are now qualified to use the Innershield welding method. The remaining evaluation of the process will take place after a period of practical usage in autumn of this year.