Ro-Ro 2000 Conference - Review
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Ro-Ro 2000 Conference - Review


Your correspondent attended the RORO 2000 exhibition and conference in the attractive Swedish city of Gothenburg 23-25 May.
A high level of papers was presented at the conference, and about 310 delegates participated. It was not possible to attend all the presentations as during the second day they were divided into two streams with commercial and technical emphasis respectively.
All with interest in the Ro-Ro sector of marine technology are encouraged to visit the conference organizers site , where the papers are listed, as well as details of how to obtain copies, or e-mail them at

The following presentations were found especially interesting:

1. Podded Drives: Benefits and Costs in Ro-Ro applications
A description of podded electric propulsion developments being jointly carried out by the well-known German firms Schottel and Siemens with specific reference to the systems application to Ro-Ro vessels. The paper was the result of a design exercise in which the consultants Gallin Marine Consultants of Baden-Baden, the shipyard Van der Giessen de Noord, and Schottel/Siemens made a thorough analysis of the cost and technical implications of changing the design of two actual Ro-Ro ships built at Van der Giessen from conventional twin screw to twin steerable pod designs, using the new SSP (Siemens-Schottel Propulsor) units with permanently excited synchronous motors and a propeller at each end.

2. IPSI – A Revolutionary Concept for Intermodal Transport
A well-presented summary of an analysis, feasibility and design solution study done by a consortium led by Hamworthy KSE for the European Union, aimed at determining what can be done in technical terms to reduce the cost of short sea and coastal freight movements. The aim is to encourage greater use of the sea mode, and relieve pressure on the European highway system. It was concluded that the Ro-Ro solution was capable of substantially greater improvements than Lo-Lo, and the Hamworthy KSE solution is a very well thought out example of combining a systems' approach with existing technology. We believe that IPSI (Improved Port Ship Interface), or something like it, is the way of the future for these trades, and that details not mentioned in the paper, such as snow and ice clearance in the AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) traffic areas, will be addressed and solved.

3. COREX – A New Car Deck Panel
The well-known MacGregor organization presented a paper on their new COREX hollow panel design. This is a truss-cored stainless steel panel designed for the most stringent point and general load ratings for service with automobiles. Portable car decks are the first application, and one vessel has been fitted, but the makers intend to market the panel for other applications. The car-deck design incorporates service modules (lights, sprinklers, etc.) within the panel thickness of 100 mm. In new vessel design, the implications are considerable, as a saving of 140 mm in overall vessel depth can be realized for each level of portable car deck.

It is hard to select from such a large number of good papers, but in addition to the above the description of Intering’s new dead-ship roll stabilization system was interesting, and would have application to other then Ro-Ro vessels. Also, Dag Engstrom’s presentation on the design development of his company’s new all-purpose vessel was an outstanding example of intelligent cooperation between owner, design consultant and shipyard, which we believe will result in a highly satisfactory vessel.

MarineTalk – by Martin Yeatman


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