Meeting the challenge
“This was our biggest project ever,” says Wim Boogert, Sales Manager for Large Projects at Bosch Rexroth. “We supplied all the hydraulic systems tasked with providing this immense lifting power. In total, there are 16 beams, an active heave cylinder and two passive cylinders. What makes the lifting even more of a challenge is that this vessel is always moving on the sea, so the system needed to be precise, controlled and work well with the motion compensation systems.”
The beams connect to the platform set to be lifted, and this has to be done in conjunction with motion compensation to ensure a smooth and safe connection. To ensure the best possible solution, a number of tests were carried out during the engineering and commissioning phase to ensure everything worked as expected.
Bosch Rexroth designed and provided the hydraulics and the arrangements of various components, while Allseas engineered the overall control systems. This collaborative approach resulted in a solution that has proven to be a resounding success.
Succes at Sea
There were challenges during this project, but through positive collaboration and innovation the end result is exactly what was envisioned when the idea materialized. There are a lot of customers, particularly in the oil and gas industries, that want Allseas and the Pioneering Spirit to help decommission older platforms. Some are dismantled because they’re past the operational lifetime, while others are being replaced by more environmentally friendly alternatives. With this solution, the process is fast, accurate, and most importantly, safe.
"This solution is much faster than conventional cranes," explains Boogert. "It’s better for the environment as well, as the main work is done after a single lift. This saves time and money for the end customer, and the speed also means the Pioneering Spirit can be used for more jobs, generating more income. It’s a unique concept that is really efficient."
While Bosch Rexroth has vast experience in providing this kind of technology, this scale and size was entirely new. The engineers, sales teams, designers and customer all needed to collaborate to decide what was required, and then Bosch Rexroth had to manufacture special solutions to fit this specific application. This success has shown what’s possible when all stakeholders share the same ambitions and attitudes.
"It’s so huge and impressive when you actually see it," says Boogert. "We’re really proud of this project, as we all worked so well as a team. Precision is at the heart of this system, and that precision ran through every part of the project. The design of the Pioneer Spirit started off as a dream, and we helped to make that dream a reality."