MacGregor releases fiber-rope retrofit option

June 16, 2016

MacGregor launched a fiber-rope retrofit option for its subsea cranes. The modular upgrade replaces the crane's original steel wire rope with high-performance synthetic fiber rope, using the same technology as MacGregor's fiber-rope crane, the FibreTrac 1500. 

These cranes combine MacGregor's offshore crane technology with the fiber-rope tensioning technology by Parkburn Precision Handling Systems.  

Fiber rope's advantage when used in this context is that it weighs virtually nothing in water, regardless of the length of rope paid out; it does not add anything to the load experienced by the crane. This is in complete contrast to wire rope, where the increasing weight of wire paid out progressively and seriously limits the load permissible in relation to depth.  

"By employing this fiber-rope technology, a crane is able to use its full lifting capacity at maximum depths, so a smaller crane and vessel can be used for more assignments," said Gaute Sjusdal, director of advanced offshore solutions, global lifecycle support at MacGregor. “The fiber rope crane can lift loads at practically any depth that is required, allowing these vessels to bid on a wider range of contracts."  

Effectively, a 100-tonne fiber-rope crane has the same lifting capacity as a:

  • 150-tonne crane with steel wire rope, lifting at a depth of 2000m
  • 200-tonne crane with steel wire rope, lifting at a depth of 3000m
  • 250-tonne crane with steel wire rope, lifting at a depth of 3500m 

The retrofit system is designed in modules for rapid installation. It includes a deepwater capstan traction device, delivered in partnership with Parkburn Precision Handling Systems, which replaces the crane's original main winch and overcomes the problems traditionally associated with handling fiber rope. The system also includes a low tension fiber-rope storage drum.  

The fibre rope can be inspected for wear, internally and externally. The ability to splice in new sections adds great flexibility to the system. "While the entire rope can be replaced if necessary, damaged sections can easily be replaced and the length can be increased as required," said Sjusdal. "Transportation is simple and requires no special equipment. In contrast, 3000m of steel wire rope poses some significant challenges and has special transportation, handling and spooling requirements. With its low weight, a synthetic fiber rope can be shipped in a normal container; there is no need for a drum. Also unlike wire rope, fiber rope does not require lubrication, eliminating a source of pollution. 

"The crane will be continuously connected to a monitoring system, which delivers real-time data used to detect conditions that could lead to a breakdown. We will distribute operational parameters to our customers, to ensure that the equipment works to its best potential," said Sjusdal.

Image: Fiber-rope retrofit system/MacGregor

 

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MacGregor develops fiber-rope crane



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