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

Introducing Our New ULX TMS

November 2, 2016

September 2015: We are pleased to announce the release of our new Ultra Long Excursion (ULX) Tophat TMS suitable for use with Work Class ROV systems.  The new unit complements the successful Extended and Compact TMS models that we already offer and can accommodate up to 1500m of 27mm high power tether giving, the ROV a 7-8km² operating area from a static vessel or platform.

The new TMS is also ideal for applications such as touch down monitoring as the long excursion enables the ROV to be mobilised on the pipelay vessel itself without the need for a second trailing ROV vessel.  This can equate to substantial cost savings on a project.

The ULX TMS delivers a class leading line speed of 60mpm permitting faster transit to and from the work site. It also employs a dynamic sheave drive assembly to manage the tether when picking up or paying out, ensuring an even wrap on the drum and minimising reverse bending and tether twist to prolong tether life.

The TMS is designed with ease of operation and maintenance in mind giving full access to all components.  Should a component need replacing, the operator does not need to remove anything other than the safety screen to gain access for fast replacement and rectification.

The TMS is fully DNV certified to 2.7-3 and has a 15t SWL stainless steel lift point giving a through frame lift of 9.5Te to cater for the largest work class ROV systems.  It can be used with all of SMD’s standard work class ROV systems including Quantum, Quasar, Centurion and Atom thus retaining the flexibility our customers have become accustomed to. In addition the unit can interface with other Work Class ROVs on the market when equipped with a suitable bullet.

The new TMS follows our modular design philosophy with respect to the hydraulic and electrical sub-assemblies.  Many of the Curvetech™ hydraulic components used on the ULX TMS are used on other SMD ROVs and TMS’, which help fleet customers who wish to capitalise on interchangeable components throughout their assets.  This also eases spare part management for clients.

The ULX TMS can be offered with a wide range of options and upgrades to suit customers’ requirements, including options for Gyros, Current meters, Pan & Tilts, Various Cameras and lighting arrangements. In addition we can offer this unit with of thrusters fitted to aid positioning of the TMS in the water column.  This solution uses a true four thruster vectored arrangement to give unrivalled positioning control.

General ROVS