MacGregor completes first fibre-rope offshore crane
Cargotec subsidiary MacGregor says it has completed the construction of the first fibre-rope offshore crane to enter the market. According to the company, the new crane enables users to exploit its full lifting capacity in subsea operations because “fibre-rope weighs virtually nothing in the water.”
MacGregor’s FibreTrac crane uses existing, proven technologies like Lankhorst ropes with Dyneema fibres and a Parkburn capstan, combined in a new application that offers deep-water load handling operators extra lifting capacity by unlocking the full potential of the crane. According to MacGregor that creates “a simple pathway to some of the most significant cost-saving advantages seen in decades.”
The new offshore crane has a 150-tonne safe working load which it can fully use thanks to a special deepwater rope created by Lankhorst Offshore, the 12×3 braided Lanko Deep AHC fibre rope which is based on a special Dyneema fibre grade that helps reduce the tension required when bedding in the rope, as well as, reducing internal heating and abrasion.
In contrast to steel wire ropes, this special fibre rope does not add any additional load to the crane, regardless of the length of rope used during load handling operations.
“In practical terms, this means that a smaller crane and vessel can be used for more assignments, and owners are able to bid on a wider range of contracts,” says Høye Høyesen, VP Advanced Offshore Solutions at MacGregor. “The ability to use smaller vessels for deep-water projects will also drive down the cost of these operations and give our customers a stronger competitive edge.”
The crane also uses a novel capstan developed by Parkburn as a traction winch. It consists of two interlocking drums slightly angled and offset in relation to each other, creating a natural and stable helix without generating any fleeting forces. This prevents the rope from twisting on the drum as it is gently de-tensioned. The winch also has an open design for better rope cooling to further eliminate heating and degradation problems associated with on-load fibre ropes stored on winch drums.
The crane’s full potential is being validated and its capabilities have recently been demonstrated at an event in Kristiansand, Norway.
“Feedback from the event was extremely positive,” Høyesen continues. “We were able to present the finished crane to demonstrate how the shift from steel-rope to fibre-rope in offshore cranes is technologically possible and how the crane delivers substantial cost benefits to owners, particularly for deep-water projects. We strongly believe in the advantages that it will deliver to our customers.”
The use of fibre rope wires versus steel rope wires will be one of the key topics of the Project Cargo Summit, a two-day international conference about the transport of large and heavy cargoes, which is organised by Promedia Group on the 11th & 12th of September, 2019 in Rotterdam. For more information about this dedicated project cargo and heavy-lift event, please visit www.projectcargosummit.com.