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Renovating Giants


It would be understatement to say that ships have come a long way since the day when early man used a tree trunk to transport himself. It is interesting to consider what direction the development of ships would have taken if compressed air had not been available.

Ships are built of pre-fabricated sections. Large segments of the hull or superstructure are built in different parts of the yard and assembled together on the slipway. Apart from the structural components of the ship, pipes, electrical cables and equipment are fitted into the pre-fabricated blocks.  This block construction approach reduces the amount of effort required to assemble parts within the hull once it is built.

When the hull has been assembled, it must be cleaned of dirt and rust by sandblasting, preparatory to spray painting. The paint protects the ship from corrosion. It is the compressed air that is mixed with sand and that transports the sand through a nozzle from which it is directed at the hull to clean it. And it is the compressed air that sprays protective paint on the hull once sandblasting is completed. Apart from powering sandblasting units, compressed air is also used in the manufacture of steel which is the main component for building ships. Often it is used to drive the grinding wheels that work on weld lines.

Pipavav shipyard in Gujarat, the major shipbuilding and offshore fabrication company, uses Elgi’s tandem compressors for renovating their huge ships. Pipavav shipyard is rated as the world's sixth largest shipping facility and is equipped with 500,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT). The tandem compressors are highly competitive in terms of energy saving. Available in capacities ranging from 100 – 215 HP with 405 to 1085 cfm, the compressors are widely used for all kinds of cleaning, shot blasting, sand blasting and interior fitting of the ship through pneumatic operations.  The compressor and dryer are assembled on the same platform to enable easy transportation of the unit along with the huge ships from one bay to another. Delivering highly reliable and energy-efficient compressors, Elgi has proved to be a competent partner for the shipbuilding industry.

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