MacGregor, the global offshore crane company (part of Cargotec), has partnered with UK-based Parkburn Precision Handling Systems to create a new fibre-rope crane. It is said to be simple to operate, eliminates heating and degradation problems associated with on-load fibre ropes stored on winch drums, and can accommodate non-uniformities resulting from splices in the rope.
The crane has been developed by combining MacGregor's offshore crane technology with the fibre-rope tensioning technology from Parkburn in a cooperation agreement.
The 150 tonne, fully heave-compensated knuckle boom crane with capability of reaching 4000m of water depth is also suitable for retrofit on existing subsea cranes. This enables upgrading the capabilities of existing construction vessel fleet without having to build new vessels, reducing costs.
"This is an important advance for handling loads at depth," said Baard Trondahl Alsaker, MacGregor VP of R&D and Technology. "The great advantage of fibre rope in this context is that it weighs virtually nothing in water, so 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 the situation with wire rope, where the ever-increasing weight of wire paid out limits the load permissible in relation to depth."