HBC Barge Installs New Launchways-First Phase In $4-Million Expansion

HBC Barge, Inc., Brownsville, Pa., has recently completed installation of new launchways, (shown above) the first phase in the company's $4-million expansion and upgrading program.

The new launchways can handle barges up to 54-feet in width, which is 19 feet wider than the previous system permitted.

According to Ira Singleton, HBC Barge's vice president-man- ufacturing, widening the launchways provides more support for the barge's innerbottom. "This extra support reduces the chances of launch damage, which was one of the primary objectives for installing the new system." Launchings at HBC Barge are now accomplished with hydraulically operated tipping beams that are easily operated by one person. "Compared to the old system the new one launches the barges faster and safer at less expense, and we now have more control," Mr. Singleton said. The company's old launchways used the traditional sled system, which was costly and time-consuming, Mr. Singleton added.

HBC Barge's expansion and upgrading will include improvements to the work yard and plant, plus installation of additional metal working equipment.

Mr. Singleton said, "We're aiming at maximizing productivity, while expanding our capabilities with the latest equipment." The company specializes in custom design barges built to meet customer demands. "It is essential that we maintain the latest in equipment and technology because of the type of barges we build," Mr. Singleton said. He added, "We try to give each customer the type of features that meet their unique needs. That requires first-time designs more often than something from an option list.

"By expanding and upgrading our facilities, we can readily meet the demands of both new and existing customers," Mr. Singleton concluded.

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.