Cavotec Specimas S.p.A. Wins Busch Innovation in Vacuum Award 2015

Maulburg, Germany The Busch Vacuum Innovation Award 2015 has been won by Cavotec Specimas S.p.A., based in Nova Milanese, Italy. The Cavotec group is known for its innovative automated and electrical power control systems in the ports sector, and especially for its MoorMaster™ automated mooring technology using vacuum technology from Busch.

Docking an oil tanker or large ferry single-handedly may at first sound like an impossible task, but thanks to innovative technology the procedure has become easier than one could ever imagine. Instead of cables and hawsers to moor the ship to the quay, vacuum pumps are used to hold the vessel in position.

The MoorMaster™ mooring technique offers many advantages. Firstly, the time taken to berth a vessel is significantly reduced. The mooring times for large freighters varies according to prevailing conditions, but can be between 20 and 90 minutes. With the MoorMaster™ system this can be performed in a matter of seconds, and casting off can be accomplished in as little as 10 seconds. These savings in time allow unloading of freighters and ferries to be performed more rapidly. The entire operation can be conducted by one person by remote control, either directly from the ship's bridge or by port personnel on land. Large freighters of up to 450,000 dwt (tons deadweight) or container vessels of up to 18,000 TEU (20 ft. containers) can be held securely without mooring lines by this vacuum-based automated mooring technology.

The use of vacuum technology in this innovative mooring system reduces the amount of time in which tugs are required. The ship is brought parallel to the quay wall, and suction pads are extended which attach to the ship's hull and pull the vessel to the quay. Even vessels that are considerably longer than the quay can be moored securely using MoorMaster™ technology.

Cavotec MoorMaster

How It Works

Every vacuum suction unit includes a power pack station, in which the electronics, hydraulic pumps and Mink claw vacuum pumps from Busch are installed. An electronic control system monitors ship movements brought about by tides, draft changes, currents, waves or wind, and compensates using a sophisticated hydraulic system.

The Mink claw vacuum pumps have the task of applying immediate high vacuum when the suction pads attach to the ship's hull, providing a strong seal with which the vessel can be drawn to the quay and held securely. A vacuum reservoir within the power pack station guarantees a permanent reserve supply – even if a power supply fails, the connection between ship and suction pad is maintained.

"Cavotec worked very hard to find the link between land and moving water. With MoorMaster™ they found a way to moor ships faster and to avoid accidents that can occur when ships are moored with ropes," said Dr. Karl Busch.

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