Product: Deck Machinery & Cargo Handling Equipment

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Techcrane Designs, Builds 125-ton Crane for Midnight Wrangler

Techcrane Global Corporation is a Covington, La.-based marine crane manufacturer/distributor who recently installed Techcrane Model F250-100 onboard Torch Offshore L.L.C.'s Midnight Wrangler. This was a crane custom-designed for Torch with a maximum capacity of 125 tons at 30-ft. reach. Time lapse between design conceptions to fabrication in Covington, La., was less than six months.

The bid was awarded to Techcrane in December of 2002 for delivery in mid 2003 and is a part of the project to convert the Midnight Wrangler into a deepwater pipelaying vessel. In order to accommodate these deepwater arenas, a winch was specially designed by Lantec on behalf of Techcrane for the F250 to handle 8,000 ft. of two-in. wire rope. This winch is reeved with a single part line and lifts 60 metric tons on the top layer of the winch.

Other custom features include a state- of-the-art load sensing and payout measuring device retrofitted on the large hoist and electric motors powering the crane fitted with "Constant Tension" tugger system. "The crane was successfully load tested by using water weight of 88,000 lbs. at 90 ft. reach meeting the requirements of Torch," said Farhad Shad, president of Techcrane Global Corporation. The F250 has been in operation onboard the "Midnight Wrangler" in the Gulf of Mexico.

In other recent projects, Techcrane was awarded the bid to install crane model F200-100 and EBI model C30-60 onboard the lift boat designed by A.K. Suda for C.S. Liftboats in Erath, La. This crane has a boom length of 100 ft., capacity of 100 tons at 30 ft. reach and 23 tons at 100 ft. reach.

Working on the Caballo de Trabajo in the Bay of Campeci is Techcrane's T200 telescopic crane. This crane, constructed for Oceanographia and serving the oil company Pemex, "was the first of its kind in capacity," Shad said. 100 tons at 30 ft. reach telescopic crane using EBI's unique rack and pinion telescoping mechanism. Techcrane is currently in the midst of a design for a container handling crane to be used aboard ships.

Global Materials Services Venezuela Takes Two

There is a growing 24/7 attitude in Venezuela, particularly aboard a certain floating platform at mile 182 on the Orinoco River in Puerto Ordaz Venezuela. The Bauxilum Company mines Bauxite from their mines in central Venezuela, and the Bauxite is loaded onto barges and shipped 350 miles downstream to Puerto Ordaz, where the material is offloaded by 2 E-Cranes. The Bauxilum Company uses the raw material and processes it into alumina, which is the first step in Aluminum making. Sounds simple, but there is more to it. It takes five tons of bauxite to make two tons of aluminum oxide trihydrate (alumina). Two tons of alumina is melted into one ton of aluminum. It takes about 157,000 kWh to make one ton of Aluminum under very low current, but approx. 150,000 volts. In short, it takes enormous amounts of material and energy to produce aluminum. The Bauxilum Company contracted with Global Material Services, LLC (GMSV) of Memphis, Tenn., to handle 5.3 million tons of bauxite annually for the company. Making the project more interesting was the fact that this has to be done in seven months, since during the dry season the Orinoco is too shallow to allow barges to pass downriver.

To this end, a total fleet of 161 barges — each tow consisting of 25 barges (5x5), each barge is 195 ft. long, 35 ft. wide, 12 ft. deep, holding approx 1,830 metric tons of bauxite, move 210 days a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day continuously between the mine and Puerto Ordaz where they are unloaded to feed the plant.

GMSV was looking for a more efficient unloading solution, since the existing cranes required high maintenance and were unable to fulfill the increased production requirements.

GMSV contacted E-Crane USA for a solution. E-Crane together with their Belgian partner, Indusign NV delivered a solution in record time:

• Two 1500 series, model 11264 E-Cranes mounted on a 100 ft. wide by 400 ft.' long floating platform. Each E-Crane feeds a floating hopper that is connected with the plant's conveying system and material is put directly into the 2 million ton plant storage area.

One hitch encountered, through no fault of GMSV or E-Crane, was the conveying system. Due to the material characteristics, the conveying system could not keep up with the production capabilities of the E-Cranes and the plant requirements. GMSV opted to replace one 1500 Series E-Crane with the next larger model to offload a larger amount of "buffer" material and compensate for frequent unplanned conveying outages. There was a small window of opportunity to make this switch, since the plant operates 210 days continuously, but Indusign manufactured and installed a 2000 Series Model 18264 E-Crane in record time. The combined production of a 1500 and a 2000 series E-Crane is now more than sufficient to compensate for the unforeseen conveying "issues".

Coastal Introduces New Push Wire Real

Coastal Marine Equipment, Inc. has added a new product to its line of deck machinery. The new push wire winches developed for and shipped to Sause Bros. Ocean Towing are sized to hold 200 ft. of 1.75 in. wire rope. They develop 47,000 lbs first layer pull at 41 fpm and have a brake holding of 212, 000 lbs. The units include stainless steel catheads and brake drums. They are driven by a hydraulic motor through a planetary reducer and oil bathed spur gear set. Assembly is completed with stainless steel and teflon coated fasteners then finished with a marine duty three part epoxy paint system. Also under construction are a pair of Push Rope Winches with 400,000 lbs brake holding for Cenac Towing Co. of Houma, LA.

Patterson Receives Patent for Winch Load Release System

The United States Patent and Trade Office has awarded W.W. Patterson Company a patent for its unique load release system. It provides greater control when manually releasing loads as high as 80,000 pounds. The patented load release system has been incorporated into the company's entire line of three-shaft manual winches. A retrofit package is also available.

According to company officials, Patterson developed the load release system in response to safety concerns with standard winch release mechanisms and procedures. To improve load control and safety, the Patterson system incorporates a manual brake and load release wheel with a dog engagement mechanism. When used properly, the Patterson system prevents the load from flying out of control once the brake has been released.

The patented load release system improves ease of use. In a competitive test, operators could manually load and release up to 40,000 pounds with the traditional winch mechanism compared to 60,000 pounds with the Patterson unit.

Patterson's load release mechanism features non-corrosive, stainless steel and brass components for maximum durability. It has been designed for mooring and tow boat applications, and it has been proven in over 500 installations from coast to coast.

Western Towboat Gets New Towing Winch

Western Towboat of Seattle, WA received a second towing winch from Rapp Hydema, U.S., this fall. This winch follows a first Rapp unit of the same design, developed specifically for Western, which was delivered in 2001. The reported success of that unit aboard the Gulf Tytan inspired a second order, for the latest Western tug now under construction.

The second TOW-22041 package is rated at 41,000 lbs. of line pull and 128 ft./min. line speed. The winch is powered by a WDU-7500 hydraulic motor drive, one of several of Rapp's own models. While Western seemed less than certain of the need for a two-speed option the first time around, it proved itself and there was never any doubt about the need for two-speed the second time through. The winch features hydraulic brake release and adjustable brake tension-the latter a failsafe system in the event of shutdown or other emergency. It has both electric remote control in the wheelhouse and a hydraulic power supply. Finally, the unit also includes a capstan (13,000 lbs line pull, 90ft/min line speed), which has its own hydraulic motor drive.

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