Too many accidents occur when handling lashing materials, because lashers still need to use their body weight to loosen and tighten turnbuckles. This increases the risk of injuries to back, wrists and elbows.
At PSA Antwerp, we decided to set up a project team with representatives from our operations and safety departments to re-evaluate the approach to lashing. Our team of specialists came up with a brand new lashing equipment and called it PULSE (PSA's Unique Lashing System Enhancement).
The PULSE team decided to focus on automating the turnbuckle so that manual rotation can be replaced with a semi-automatic loosing or tightening rotation. They went back to the drawing board and came up with a Nex-Generation turnbuckle that can be propelled by an external device, such as a battery driven torque wrench.
It became immediately clear that this innovation has great potential for industry wide use. And, as safety is our number one priority, our Senior Management Council approved worldwide patent application to protect our innovation.
We have now asked an industrial design agency to work on the final design of our Next-Generation turnbuckle. By the end of 2016, we should have a turnbuckle that is easy to handle, easy to use on existing vessels and new builds, and at about the same price.