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WATCH: Hapag-Lloyd tests ship painting robots

PortandTerminal.com, July 10, 2019

German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd revealed it is currently testing ship-painting robots with nine of its ships.

HAMBURG, GERMANY – With the help of robots that replace traditional application by hand, Hapag-Lloyd said it is possible to improve the quality of ship painting and shorten the docking time.

The automated painting system from the Austrian manufacturer Palfinger is made up of several automated units that travel along the side of the ship’s hull while it is in dry dock. Its job is to remove the old layers of paint from the hull with extremely high water pressure and then to evenly apply new paint.

Palfinger’s painting system is made up of several automated units that travel along the side of the ship’s hull while it is in dry dock

Overspray is no longer an issue thanks to robots, according to Hapag-Lloyd. Specifically, the thickness of the applied layer of paint is much more uniform. It is also possible to lower the amount of paint that is used.

Humans are still required to paint the difficult sections of the ship’s hull by hand

The shipyard staff works by hand on the bulbous bow, below the bilge keels, at the propeller apertures, and on the flat bottom.

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