Having the right equipment on deck can improve efficiency

Deck machinery plays an integral part in the cable lay, trenching, pipe-pulling and pipe-lay with each piece of equipment playing a different role. Having the right type of equipment on deck can help to reduce operational time, improve efficiency and result in potential cost savings. The vessel type can have a bearing on equipment requirements such as weight restrictions, footprint available and compatibility with other equipment being used.

Each project will have its own unique challenges for the project management and operational teams to resolve. These issues are varied such as operational location, environmental conditions, sea depths, weight and space restrictions, load requirements and specific safety factors — each of which could have a bearing on the deck machinery requirements. Tailoring the equipment to match specific requirements can be beneficial, being able to work in collaboration with the engineering team on product specifications and product design can help ensure that the equipment is fit for purpose for that one operation.

There may be a requirement to use active heave compensation (AHC) winch solution — AHC filters the heave movement of the vessel thereby keeping the load motionless in relation to the seabed or fixed installations, increasing the vessel’s operational uptime and ensuring that operations continue despite potential poor weather conditions.

The ACE Reel Drive System has recently worked on several projects both of which involved the spooling and deployment of subsea products, the latest one being the deployment of mooring lines from a single reel. The product range has been developed for high tension spooling and the deployment and recovery of subsea products including umbilicals, risers and flow lines, flexible pipelines, power cables and mooring lines.

Alfie Cheyne, CEO, ACE Winches commented: “As our clients projects continue to venture to even greater depths, we understand the need for the equipment to operate in harsh conditions and as a result, have developed the 500 RDS to ensure we are accommodating the ever growing needs of the oil and gas industry.”

The 4 Track Tensioner, engineered by ACE Winches, has been used for deployment and retrieval of products. With a maximum line pull of 50Te it supports varying types of reel spooled products. A separate PLC control station is used to operate the 4 track tensioner, with the electrical controls hard wired to electrical junction boxes located on the tensioner framework. The 4 Track Tensioner utilises caterpillar track type systems for hauling or veering cable, umbilical, steel pipe or similar round tubular products, designed for horizontal and vertical deployment and are enclosed within a lift frame. The Tensioner can be operated in either two or four track mode with track links fitted with “V” shaped pads.

The 50te SWL 4-Track Tensioner solution, supported by an additional winch package, was previously deployed on-board the “Olympic Ares” for the recovery of subsea cables including electric cable. The products recovered ranged in size from 160mm to 344mm using a single size of track pads. The track tensioner has just completed a 3 month contract in Australian waters deploying subsea products. The project and equipment was supported and operated by a team of ACE Winches engineers.

ACE Winches, based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and Norway, is a global leader in the design, manufacture and hire of winches, marine deck machinery and the provision of associated hire personnel for the offshore oil and gas, marine and renewable energy industries.