Simplex compressors keep Canadian ships moving

By Murray Pollok19 January 2010

Montreal rental company Location d'Outils Simplex (Simplex) has rented out 15 compressors to prevent water freezing in locks on the St Lawrence River, helping to maintain shipping through to the Great Lakes.

A mix of Atlas Copco compressors - XAS 1600s, XAMS 1050s and XAMS 850s models - were supplied for three weeks in December and will be again in April to extend the shipping season. The compressors, which are used at four locks along a 220 km stretch of the river around Montreal, supply up to 4000 cfm per lock. Air is pumped directly into the water to prevent the water freezing and to improve the stability of the ships in the lock.

Simplex has been supplying compressors for this purpose since 2005, then using a mix of Atlas Copco and other compressors, but now 100% Atlas Copco.

Simplex workshop manager, Stéphane Castilloux, said; "With temperatures hovering between -10ºC to -20ºC, it is essential that all the compressors include the Atlas Copco 'cold weather' package and that we maintain constant checks".

The rental company, which has a fleet of 100 portable Atlas Copco compressors, checks oil levels and all functions daily, with a mechanic visiting each site twice a day.

Simplex is based in Montreal and has 38 depots around the Quebec province.

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