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Macgregor and Liebherr push the boundaries with new offshore cranes

Fri 09 Nov 2018

Macgregor and Liebherr push the boundaries with new offshore cranes
MacGregor's FibreTrac crane features a monitoring and management system to provide lift-line status information

Macgregor “confident and keen” to demonstrate new crane

Macgregor has announced its fibre-rope offshore crane is now approaching the final stages of construction.

Work started on the company’s crane range in 2016 and it has a co-operation agreement in place with UK-based Parkburn Precision Handling Systems, aligning the companies’ respective strengths in offshore crane technology and fibre-rope tensioning technology.

MacGregor’s vice president of business development for advanced offshore solutions Ingvar Apeland said: “We are so confident in the technology and keen to demonstrate the crane’s capabilities, that last year we entered into a programme to build, certify and validate it.” He added that he believes it will be one of the “most advanced fibre-rope knuckle-boom cranes that the market has seen.”

“A 150 SWL fibre-rope crane can lift loads at depths of 3,000 m that would require a 250 SWL wire-rope crane”

Designed and built to DNV GL specifications, the FibreTrac crane has a MacGregor storage winch with capacity for 4,000 m of 88 mm rope. It will have a safe working load (SWL) capacity of 150 tonnes.

Fibre rope’s main advantage over traditional wire rope is that it weighs very little in water, so the quantity of rope paid out has no appreciable impact on the load experienced by the crane. This means that a 150 SWL fibre-rope crane can lift loads at depths of 3,000 m that would require a 250 SWL wire-rope crane.

Using a fibre-rope system, smaller cranes, and consequently smaller vessels, are capable of undertaking a much wider scope of work, enabling owners to embark on a wider range of contracts.

The FibreTrac crane will also have a rope monitoring and management system in place, to maximise rope lifespan and provide clear lift-line status information for the operator at all times.

The crane is scheduled to come to market this year. Its deepwater capstan, provided by Parkburn, has been undergoing testing in the UK prior to being transferred to MacGregor’s Kristiansand, Norway, facility where the crane is being assembled.

Liebherr launches compact onboard crane

Liebherr's RL-K 2600 achieves a small swing radius by forgoing a machinery housing

The third model in Liebherr's ram luffing knuckle boom crane series has been designed specifically for use on offshore vessels and platforms with limited deck space.

The RL-K 2600 model crane has a small tail swing radius of less than 3 m, which increases freedom of movement on platforms and vessels. The company said it had achieved the small tail swing radius by designing the crane without a machinery housing, increasing the number of applications for the crane’s use.

The crane can be equipped with software called ‘developed path control’ that works to optimise crane movements. The system takes into account safety requirements and potential safety hazards and supports the crane driver when operating within restricted areas.

The crane has a lifting capacity of up to 50 tonnes and can also cover pipe-handling tasks when equipped with either a hook or a riser/gripper. This enables the crane to work on fixed platforms as well as on vessels such as drill ships.

Due to its lightweight construction, the crane can operate under harsh weather conditions, a design feature which allows it to be used in arctic environmental conditions, according to Liebherr.

Liebherr is working alongside OHT, Ulstein Design & Solution, DNV GL and Chinese shipyard CMHI on a heavy-duty lifting vessel.

Commissioned by heavy transport operator OHT, the vessel is designed for applications in wind energy, decommissioning, platform installation and heavy-duty transport.

Liebherr is providing an HLC 150000 unit, with a lifting capacity of 3,000 tonnes and a lattice boom more than 70 m long.

The 216.3 m long, 48,000 dwt vessel is semi-submersible, allowing for greater stability and meaning the crane can operate in a wide variety of environmental scenarios and weather conditions.

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