Inamer S.L., an engineering company from Algeciras (Spain) with several container terminal maintenance service contracts, is attracting interest from spreader manufacturers with its Flexi-Flipper developed in cooperation with engineers from Cádiz University, writes World Cargo News.
Unlike a regular one-piece flipper on an STS crane spreader, 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 provides the necessary rigidity during normal operations, but prevents the flippers being damaged by impacts when, for example, the spreader is incorrectly grounded, landed on a container or bumps cell guides.
According to Inamer, the trials of Flexi-Flipper at TTI Algeciras, APM Terminals Algeciras, MSC Valencia and Malta Freeport have shown that while standard flippers can perform an average of 4000 cycles before they have to be repaired or replaced, the innovative 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.