Nine months after opening its new Robotic Paint and Blasting facility, C&C Marine and Repair has blasted its 100th barge.
The shipyard said the robotic facility represents its continued commitment to adopting new technology and employing best practices, particularly as it relates to protecting the environment. The indoor facility prevents overspray, contamination and run-off of paint and blast media into adjacent waterways.
The facility’s air filtration system collects and encapsulates over 99% of all airborne particulates associated with the blast and paint process. The non-toxic steel grit blast media can be filtered, separated and reused approximately 150 times over in subsequent blasting operations.
“We knew we had the capability to blast and paint barges quickly and efficiently, but what we’ve been able to accomplish in these first nine months has exceeded our expectations in both speed and quality of blast,” C&C Marine and Repair’s owner, Tony Cibilich, said in a statement announcing the milestone.
The 83,350-sq.-ft. facility can accommodate barges up to 320’x75′ and has the capability to blast and paint a standard 30,000-bbl. tank barge or two 10,000-bbl. tank barges in seven-to-10 days.
The fully enclosed, climate-controlled facility is unaffected by inclement weather and allows for uninterrupted operation 24 hours a day, year round. “We understand that taking barges out of operation to get blasted and painted costs our customer’s revenue, so painting these barges quickly is very important,” said Mike Wade, manager of blasting operations.
As a result of the speed and efficiency of the fully-automated robotic blasting system, the time to blast two standard inland hopper barges takes 36 hours. “The benefit of blasting and painting in an enclosed, environmentally-controlled facility is tremendous, because you are insulated from weather delays and humidity,” said Wade.
The reusable steel grit blast medium, used in lieu of disposable single-use medium like “black beauty” (coal slag), provides a much cleaner blast finish. This results in an exceptional surface profile for paint adhesion and bonding. The superior profile finish and improved paint adhesion to steel, ultimately results in fewer required paint jobs during the life of the barge.
To date, C&C Marine has blasted and painted various types of barges, such as hopper barges, deck barges, and both 10,000- and 30,000-barrel tank barges. The projects have ranged in size from as small as 110’x30′ deck barges, to as large as 300’x80′ deck barges.
In addition to blasting and painting, C&C Marine offers a wide range of newbuild construction and repair services. The repair services include Integrated Shipbuilding Environment (ISE) work, topside repairs, hull damage repairs, bottom replacement, barge coatings and tank liners. “We want to offer our customers the most cost-effective approach to maintaining their barge fleet. One way is by saving them time, by performing all their repair needs at one location, under roof.” said Michael Alfortish, manager, barge and marine repair.
Newbuild construction includes 10,000- and 30,000-bbl. tank barges, dredges, inland towboats, offshore service vessels, and a variety of specialized projects.
C&C Marine recently added an additional 1,000 linear feet of dock space, for a total of 3,200 linear feet of frontage on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway just outside New Orleans. The additional mooring space compliments the two drydocks, six hydraulic transporters, and over 500,000-sq.-ft. of covered fabrication bays at the company’s 80-acre facility.
With the first 100 barges completed, C&C Marine is continuing to expand its Belle Chasse facilities to meet the needs of its new and existing customers.