21 February 2020

Shoreham Port’s skilled Engineering team carried out essential preventative maintenance on the critical infrastructure of the Port’s Prince Phillip lock gates this week. Opened in 1958, the Prince Phillip lock is the larger of the Port’s two lock entrances, which facilitates the entry of large cargo vessels to the Port, and it is, therefore, essential that it is well maintained to continue Port operations.

As part of the programmed preventative maintenance, Shoreham Port’s Engineering team replaced two I beams and one crosshead on the Prince Phillip Lock. These components are vital to the opening and closing of the lock gates; the I beam attaches to the gate at one end, at the other it connects to the crosshead and hydraulic ram via a pin. The crosshead sits on two guides so that the ram, crosshead and I beam are all kept in alignment when the ram extends to close or retracts to open the lock gate.

Due to the harsh environment and physical work these parts are exposed to, they can seize up, become worn and heavily corroded, putting a strain on the hydraulic system. To ensure that the movement of these parts is fluid, it is key to replace these parts as required to maintain the frequent cargo vessel movements at Shoreham Port.

The team completed the maintenance in one day, working either side of low water to ensure that there was no disruption to planned vessel movements and marine operations.

Richard Smith, Engineering Manager (Mechanical & Electrical) commented “Our team worked efficiently this week to safely replace the I beams and crosshead, despite challenging weather and time constraints. Now that all four crossheads, I beams and hydraulic rams have been replaced over a period of a few years, and with a maintenance programme in place, should we ever have an emergency situation these parts will be a lot simpler to replace, reducing the downtime the Prince Phillip lock could potentially be out of action.”

Gary O'Neill, Senior Engineering Manager commented “From lock gate maintenance, to dive work, to installing electrical equipment, our Engineering team tackle a variety of projects to ensure that the Port runs smoothly. This week, the Prince Phillip lock was also tended to by our engineering dive team, who carried out a routine sweep and removed a loose fender. Meanwhile, as part of larger project preparation for new electrical supplies at Brighton Terminal, engineers have undertaken the installation of electrical kiosks and service ducting."

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