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Published: 13 December 2016      

Enter the Flexi-Flipper

Spanish engineers have come up with an innovative flipper design for ship-to-shore container crane spreaders

Algeciras, Spain-based Inamer SL, an engineering company with several container terminal maintenance service contracts, is attracting interest from spreader manufacturers with Flexi-Flipper, which it developed in cooperation with engineers from Cádiz University.

As distinct from a regular one-piece spreader flipper, the patented Flexi-Flipper comprises upper and lower heavy duty steel pieces separated by and bolted to a reinforced polymer cushion.

This elastic and flexible device is said to provide the necessary rigidity during normal operations, but prevents the flippers being damaged by impacts when, for example, the spreader is incorrectly landed on a container, or subjected to impacts due to incorrect grounding of the spreader or contact with cell guides.

Flexi-Flipper has been undergoing trials at TTI Algeciras, AMP Terminals Algeciras, MSC Valencia and Malta Freeport. According to Inamer, the tests have shown that while standard flippers can perform an average of 4000 cycles before they have to be repaired or replaced, Flexi-Flippers can perform 35,000-40,000 cycles before the two-part steel body has to be replaced, while the polymer blocks can achieve up to 60,000 cycles before they reach the end of their fatigue life. Flexi-Flipper is also said to be attractively-priced.


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