QTrencher 1600 and 48Te A-Frame Delivered to Van Oord Commences First Job

August 8, 2018

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce that the QTrencher 1600 and its associated deck equipment package delivered in April 2018 to Van Oord, has commenced its first job at Borkum-2 wind farm.

Van Oord’s deck equipment for the QT1600, Dig-It, included a 48Te launch and recovery system (LARS) with A-Frame, cursor docking head, umbilical winch with snatch limiter and hydraulic power unit ensuring safe and reliable deployment of the QTrencher 1600 in higher sea states.

Paul Hatchett, Managing Director SMD Deck Equipment comments, “SMD have been delivering safe and reliable launch and recovery and cable handling equipment for over 35 years, and we have used our expertise to deliver a Lloyds Register approved system to our new customer, Van Oord. We have designed this LARS to offer flexibility and ease of maintenance to our customer. The compact design means that Van Oord are not restricted on the layout of their vessel, with the system being compact enough for operation across the beam and over the stern. Together with SMD’s QTrencher 1600 Van Oord will be able to increase their operational window, working in conditions up to sea state 6.”

The deck equipment comes equipped with a state-of-the-art cursor launch system which allows high sea state deployment using the lift winch. SMD’s cursor launch system protects the vehicle’s umbilical and ensures operational loads are within safety factors at all times, even when the air weight of the vehicle exceeds the safe working load of the umbilical.

Furthermore, the integration of the snatch limiting device means the system is able to handle transitions through the splash zone, from heavy-in-air to light-in-water without transferring shock loads to the umbilical. This function prevents the umbilical from becoming overloaded, and also handles slack umbilical to prevent damage during vehicle recovery which can be caused by vessel motion in high sea states.

The QT1600, Dig-It, has commenced cable installation work which should be finished in July 2018. Once completed in 2019, the Borkum-2 offshore wind farm will deliver green energy to an equivalent of 460,000 households. The offshore wind farm is located 54 kilometres off the coast of Lower Saxony, Germany.

General Trenching Deck Equipment

SMD Design and Build Innovative 6000m Electric Winch and LARS for Shanghai Salvage

September 7, 2017

Dedicated deck equipment engineers at Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) have successfully completed work on an electric drive dual-purpose winch and Launch and Recovery System (LARS) to accompany an order from Shanghai Salvage for a Quasar Work Class ROV. The equipment will be used for salvage operations in deep waters around the world, with an assured maximum working depth up to 6000m.

The dual-purpose electric drive winch will be provided with two interchangeable drums: one 6000m lightweight umbilical cable and one 3000m cable with TMS, capable of carrying heavier loads. The drums can be swapped on the vessel to suit varying operational requirements, preventing the need to return to shore and therefore saving on costs and time. The winch system is designed and certified to the latest DNV-ST-E273 standard, including the electric drive suite which allows the system to be quickly mobilised onto a vessel of opportunity as one unit via a single point lift.

By making use of electric motors powered via a Low Harmonic Variable Speed Drive application, rather than hydraulics, SMD can offer an environmentally-friendly energy-efficient launch system. The turnkey design can be fully integrated with the vessel’s electronics, meaning energy from the winch can be regenerated and used for other applications on the vessel.

The winch can operate using AC induction or advanced synchronous reluctance motors – with SynRM motor technology to maximise compensation accuracy and minimise response time. This increases the operational window and the ability to safely launch and recover in high sea states.

Paul Hatchett, Managing Director of Deck Equipment at SMD, commented, “We are delighted to offer a clean, energy-efficient solution for deep water salvage systems. Thanks to improvements in technology, electric winches are becoming an increasingly viable option. The LARS we have developed for Shanghai Salvage has been tailored to work at varying depths and in challenging conditions, and at the same time remain robust and lightweight.”

SMD have developed the electric winch based on an active heave compensation system using motion reference unit (MRU) feedback, allowing the cable to remain under controlled tension during use, thus enabling safe and smooth deployment.

To accompany the Launch and Recovery System, SMD will be providing a PLC control system, opening up new control and monitoring possibilities. As well as auto-depth capability and power loss protection, the system is capable of condition monitoring, remote diagnostics and data logging via cloud based access.

Engineered to operate at a wide range of temperatures from -20 to 45°C, the winch drive and motor package system is air cooled, meaning there is no need for liquid cooling. The system comes with increased breaking capacity and the winch structure is fully DNV-ST-0378 approved.

Deck Equipment