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"Offshore Cargo Rack for Use in Transferring Loads between a Marine Vessel and an Offshore Platform" in Patent Application Approval Process (USPTO...

"Offshore Cargo Rack for Use in Transferring Loads between a Marine Vessel and an Offshore Platform" in Patent Application Approval Process (USPTO 20150375897)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Weekly News -- A patent application by the inventor NESS, Danny (

Metairie, LA
), filed on May 5, 2015, was made available online on January 7, 2016, according to news reporting originating from
Washington, D.C.
, by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to cargo racks for transferring goods between marine vessels and offshore platforms such as oil and gas well drilling and production platforms. More particularly, the present invention relates to an improved cargo rack that enables a user to load the rack with multiple load modules (e.g. fluid containing vessels or tanks), palletized loads, bulk bags (or other loads) and to then transport the entire rack using a lifting device such as a crane or a forklift from one locale (e.g. marine vessel) to another locale (e.g. marine platform). Additionally, the entire rack can be moved on land or on the platform with a crane or forklift. When supporting fluid holding vessels or tanks, a specially configured manifold can be used to empty a particular or selected tank or vessel. Lifting fittings are placed at the top of intermediate columns and inner reinforcement members (e.g. inner braces or walls) transfer load from one intermediate column to another intermediate column.

"In the exploration of oil and gas in a marine environment, fixed, semi submersible, jack up, and other offshore marine platforms are used during drilling operations. Fixed platforms are typically used for production of oil and gas from wells after they have been drilled. Drilling and production require that an enormous amount of supplies be transported from land based storage facilities. Supplies are typically transferred to offshore platforms using very large marine vessels called work boats. These work boats can be in excess of one hundred feet (30.48 meters) in length and have expansive deck areas for carrying cargo that is destined for an offshore platform. Supplies are typically transferred from a land based dock area to the marine vessel using a lifting device such as a crane or a mobile lifting and transport device such as a forklift.

"Once a work boat arrives at a selected offshore platform, supplies or products are typically transferred from the deck of the work boat to the platform using a lifting device such as a crane.

"Once on the deck of a drilling platform or production platform, space is at a premium. The storage of supplies on an offshore oil well drilling or production platform is a huge problem.

"Many cargo transport and lifting devices have been patented. The table below lists some patents that relate generally to pallets, palletized racks, and other cargo racks.

"TABLE-US-00001 TABLE 1 ISSUE DATE PAT. NO. TITLE (MM/DD/YYYY) 2,579,655 Collapsible Container 12-25-1951 2,683,010 Pallet and Spacer 07-06-1954 3,776,435 Pallet 12-04-1973 3,916,803 Loading Platform 11-04-1975 4,165,806 Palletizing System for Produce Cartons 08-28-1979 and the Like 4,403,556 Drum Retainer 09-13-1983 4,828,311 Metal Form Pallet 05-09-1989 5,078,415 Mobile Carrier for Gas Cylinders 11-07-1992 5,156,233 Safety Anchor for Use with Slotted Beams 10-20-1992 5,292,012 Tank Handling and Protection Structure 03-08-1994 5,507,237 Lifting Apparatus for Use with Bulk Bags 04-16-1996 5,906,165 Stackable Tray for Plants 05-25-1999 6,058,852 Equipment Skid 05-09-2000 6,357,365 Intermediate Bulk Container Lifting Rack 03-19-2002 6,371,299 Crate Assembly and Improved Method 04-16-2002 6,422,405 Adjustable Dunnage Rack 07-23-2002 6,668,735 Pallet with a Plastic Platform 12-30-2003 6,725,783 Pallet for Stacking Planographic Printing 04-27-2004 Plates Thereon"

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The present invention provides a cargo rack having a frame with front, rear, and upper and lower end portions.

"The lower end portion of the frame provides a base with a floor providing multiple load holding positions, each configured to hold a separate load module.

"A plurality of load modules are supported with the frame during use.

"The frame includes a plurality of side walls that attach to and extend upwardly from the perimeter beam base and including at least left and right side walls, the frame having four corners with a corner column at each corner.

"At least one intermediate column is positioned in between two corner columns.

"A plurality of gates are movably mounted to the frame, including a pair of gates at the front and a pair of gates at the rear of the frame, each gate being movably mounted to the frame between open and closed positions, each gate spanning in a horizontal direction from a corner column to an intermediate column.

"A plurality of lifting eyes are attached to the upper end port of the frame, each lifting eye attached to the frame next to an intermediate column.

"Inner walls or braces separate the base into the load holding positions, the inner walls spanning between intermediate columns to define a transverse support that is generally aligned with a pair of lifting eyes.

"In one embodiment, there are four load holding positions.

"In one embodiment, there are a pair of gates at the front of the frame.

"In one embodiment, there are a pair of gates at the rear of the frame.

"In one embodiment, at least a part of the floor is inclined.

"In one embodiment, the floor attaches to an upper end portion of the perimeter beam.

"In one embodiment, there is a drain opening in the floor.

"In one embodiment, the floor attaches to an upper end portion of the perimeter beam.

"In one embodiment, clamps are movably attached to the upper end of the frame between clamping and release positions for restraining vertical movement of a load that is placed on the floor.

"In one embodiment, raised portions extend above the raised floor for providing a level surface to engage a load placed on a load holding position of the frame.

"In one embodiment, the cargo rack provides a frame having a perimeter, a front, a rear, and upper and lower end portions.

"The frame includes a plurality of side walls extending upwardly from the frame perimeter and including at least left and right side walls, four corners that each provide a corner column and an intermediate column at the front and rear of the frame in between the corner columns.

"A plurality of gates are movably mounted to the frame, including a pair of gates at the front of the frame and a pair of gates at the rear of the frame, each gate being movable between open and closed positions, each gate extending between a corner column and an intermediate column.

"The frame has a raised floor that provides a plurality of load holding positions.

"Another embodiment provides a cargo rack having a frame with a floor, a front, a rear and upper and lower end portions.

"A plurality of load modules are supported within the frame and upon the floor during use.

"The frame includes a plurality of side walls extending upwardly from the perimeter beam and including at least left and right side walls, the frame having four corners and a corner column at each corner.

"A plurality of gates are movably mounted on the frame, including a pair of gates at the front of the frame and a pair of gates at the rear of the frame, each gate being movable between open and closed positions, the gates enabling the load modules to be loaded laterally to the floor by accessing either the front or the rear of the frame.

"The frame has positioning beams that segment the floor into a plurality of load holding positions, each having positioning beams that laterally hold one of the load modules in position once a load module is placed on the floor and in a load holding position.

"The gates expose a majority of the width of the floor for loading a tank to a selected load holding position on the floor, either at the front or at the rear of the frame when the gates are opened.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"For a further understanding of the nature, objects, and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, read in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and wherein:

"FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 is a top, plan view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;

"FIG. 3 is an end view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

"FIG. 4 is an end view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention, taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;

"FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 1;

"FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention, taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 1;

"FIG. 7 is a sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention, taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 2;

"FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is an end view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

"FIG. 10 is a fragmentary view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

"FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

"FIG. 12 is a fragmentary perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

"FIG. 13 is a fragmentary perspective view;

"FIG. 14 is a sectional view showing an alternate manifold arrangement;

"FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along lines 15-15 of FIG. 14;

"FIG. 16 is an elevation view illustrating a stacking of two cargo racks;

"FIG. 17 is a fragmentary elevation view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

"FIGS. 18-23 are fragmentary views illustrating details of the gates and gate closures;

"FIGS. 24A, 24B and 25A, 25B are perspective views of an alternate embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention; and

"FIGS. 26-71 are other photograph views of the alternate embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: NESS, Danny. Offshore Cargo Rack for Use in Transferring Loads between a Marine Vessel and an Offshore Platform. Filed May 5, 2015 and posted January 7, 2016. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=6632&p=133&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20151231.PD.&OS=PD/20151231&RS=PD/20151231

Keywords for this news article include: Energy, Patents, Oil & Gas, Oil And Gas, Legal Issues.

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