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More cost-effective port operations

Round slings made with Dyneema® triple productivity at Tata Steel

When the port operators for Europe’s second largest steel producer, Tata Steel, requested a new type of synthetic sling for lifting steel coils, they received a pleasant surprise: Unitex slings made with Dyneema®.

Weight increases costs

Like most companies, Tata Steel was using steel-wire slings for loading and unloading bulk cargo. Using steel-based slings, however, presents some serious disadvantages. Their massive weight hampers ergonomic handling and often means two workers are needed. “When we contacted Unitex, they indicated what was possible with the 20-ton slings. It couldn’t have come at a better time,” says Jos Molenaar, Manager Services at Tata Steel.

“In the past, we’d handle 300 to 350 rolls. With Dyneema®, we handle over 1,000 rolls”

Slings with Dyneema® increase productivity

“The lifting tackle we were using was so cumbersome and heavy that it frequently caused back problems for the workers,” notes Willem Legebeke, Team Leader at Tata Steel. “Comparing the weight of this sling to the previous steel wire sling, we naturally opted for the sling made with Dyneema®. In the past, we’d handle 300 to 350 rolls with a steel wire sling. With round slings made with Dyneema®, we handle over 1,000 rolls. That’s a significant difference.” 

Lightweight slings cause less damage

Another advantage of slings made with Dyneema® is that they don’t damage equipment or the goods they are handling. “Many customers are critical about damage to the cylinder,” says Molenaar. “But the slings made with Dyneema® barely affect the cylinder, which means there are virtually no rejects at the customer’s end.”

More effective operations at Tata Steel

Slings with Dyneema®


“We hope to see a significant decrease in [back injuries] in the future”

Lightweight slings are safer

The slings made with Dyneema® that Tata Steel use weigh as little as 13 kg, versus up to 100 kg each for standard steel wire slings – which helps improve employee safety. “Working with slings made from Dyneema® reduces physical stress for our employees and improves their safety and wellbeing,” says Thijs Terwogt, the company’s Safety Officer. “In the past, we encountered back-related injuries. We hope to see a significant decrease in that type of injury in the future.”

Slings made with Dyneema® don’t fray

The company also hopes the switch will reduce the incidence of cut injuries among employees. Whereas steel wire slings can fray, causing hand and other body injuries, slings made with Dyneema® don’t. Terwogt: “Using these slings is a huge improvement, and will lengthen the period of time that people can do this physically hard work. As Safety Officer for Tata Steel, I have no hesitation in recommending replacing steel braided wire slings with round slings made with Dyneema®.”

“I am convinced it will be cheaper per lift to use the round slings made with Dyneema®

Cost-effective two-part construction

For Unitex, the new sling takes its existing Ultralift™ round slings made with Dyneema® to a new level of performance. “We knew that our Ultralift™ round slings made with Dyneema® were extremely resistant to cuts and abrasion,” says Bart Hoeijenbosch, the company’s International Product Manager, “but working with DSM and Tata Steel we have now developed a coil sling with two parts: a round slingwith a light-duty sleeve and, over both legs, a heavy-duty sleeve.”

The best for safety, productivity, and costs

The two-part design increases the cost-effectiveness of the concept because it allows Tata Steel to easily replace part of the round sling without having to throw away the entire sling. “With the Ultralift™ core sling made with Dyneema®, Unitex offers Tata Steel the best solution for better health and safety, more durability and lower costs per lift,” says Hoeijenbosch. This sentiment is echoed by Jos Molenaar: “When you add up improved health and safety, increased loading speed, increased productivity, and costs for materials, I am convinced it will be cheaper per lift to use the round slings made with Dyneema®.”

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