New Motion Compensated Gangway Unveiled

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 6, 2017

  • Photo: Barge Master
  • Photo: Barge Master
  • Photo: Barge Master Photo: Barge Master
  • Photo: Barge Master Photo: Barge Master

Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth have jointly introduced a new motion compensated gangway to the offshore wind market. After numerous simulations and virtual tests, the first actually manufactured gangway is currently being tested onshore at the Bosch Rexroth facilities in Boxtel, the Netherlands. On June 21 this location was transformed into a presentation area, where the visitors were informed about the partnership between the two companies, and allowed to have a close look at the complex technology on the demonstrated gangway. Soon, the gangway will be installed on the offshore support vessel VOS Start of fleet operator Vroon. This ship –with the state-of-the-art gangway- will be used to transport technical personal to offshore wind turbines.

According to Ad de Brouwer, Director Global Sales Marine & Offshore at Bosch Rexroth, who opened the event, the development of the gangway together with Barge Master was a ‘challenging job’. “The latest technologies regarding electric and hydraulic motion control are applied, and we make maximum use of the possibilities offered by the internet of things and Industry 4.0. This results in the highest reliability, lowest maintenance costs and the possibility to predict and subsequently avoid undesired errors or defects.”
Barge Master is a company in the field of motion compensation systems. Its CEO, Martijn Koppert, explained that the partnership with Bosch Rexroth was not a coincidence. “We have been in business with Bosch Rexroth already since 2008. We started in a conventional supplier/customer relation, but this has evolved since the development of the Next Generation Gangway. We formed a Joint Project Team, which results in a far better system. This is proven by the fact that this gangway is an entirely new concept.”
The two Holland-based companies Bosch Rexroth (Boxtel) and Barge Master (Rotterdam) worked in a close cooperation, using each other’s strengths. “Our solution is a unique wave-motion compensating gangway, intended for the safe transfer of people and loads from ship to, for example, offshore wind turbines or oil platforms,” Koppert said. “The gangway that is presented here today, will be mounted on a pedestal which holds an integrated elevator, used to transport both people and pallet trolleys from ship deck and levels below, to the level of the gangway – which can be literally at any height.”
During the presentations that preceded the live demonstration of the gangway, Maarten Kuijpers, Technical Manager at Bosch Rexroth, expressed the need to keep innovating. This is especially important in order to maintain a market leading position in various industries. “Innovation is in our blood. The Bosch Group is responsible for many thousands of innovations in a wide range of business segments: consumer goods, automotive, life and science, but also in marine and offshore markets. Our credo is ‘Fail early, learn fast, innovate’. For us, to succeed and to make the fastest progress, it is important to work with open standards, to enable good ideas to spread out fast.”
Boy Biemans, Sales Manager Offshore Projects at Bosch Rexroth, explains why this launch event is so important. “This day offers an excellent opportunity to introduce the system to our business relations, who are dealing with the challenges of working offshore. By showing the gangway in action, we can demonstrate our competences related to applications of this kind. We are very grateful to Vroon, the end-user of this system, that we are allowed to demonstrate their ordered gangway here today.”
“The simultaneous linear and rotary movements along multiple axes and high forces involved, makes the applied motion control technology quite complex,” according to Biemans. “The gangway consists of telescopic sections, so the length of the gangway can be adjusted to the situation offshore. This telescoping is performed by an electric winch system. This next generation gangway is equipped with extremely fast sensors and control technology. Movements of the ship can be translated into ‘counter movements’ of the gangway within milliseconds. Because of this, the system is able to compensate for wave heights up to 3 meters (Hs), resulting in an operating window that can be up to four times higher than other available systems in the market, making it truly unique.”
Koppert said, “With this solutions users are able to transfer people and goods from ship to platform 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making this solution far better than anything available at the market at this moment. I am confident that, together with Bosch Rexroth, we will optimally serve the offshore wind market with this next generation gangway.”
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