DAMEN Shipyards Gorinchem focuses on design and construction of ships and pontoons in various sectors. DROMEC has developed a special spud pole drive system for a large crane pontoon (L x W = 76 x 32 metres), so that the pontoon remains on location in various weather conditions.
Using four systems, each on every corner of the pontoon, the spuds are driven into the seabed with a force of 85-160 metric tons. This means that the crane pontoon is anchored to the bottom and can carry out lifting and maintenance work. The 2 spud poles with a length af 30 meters each, are interchangeable in the systems, so that the pontoon can be anchored in each desired position. The spud poles of approximately 85.000 kg each are lifted into the system using the onboard 625 mT crane.
For this project DROMEC used electric rack & pinion drives. The system is equipped with a floating mode that allows the pontoon to move along with the waves.
Jan-Willem (system engineer):
‘The system is special because of the high forces that occur. By driving the poles into the ground with 160 tons, the pontoon is stable in all weather conditions. Because the customer can exchange the spud poles, he can work very efficiently.’
The entire system is powered, controlled and monitored from a central control below deck. Each spud can be operated separately via a local control unit near each spudpole station on deck. The crane operator receives all crucial values and alarms in the cabin, so that the system can be used safely during “in” and “outfeed” of the poles. DROMEC has equipped the system with absolute encoders in the drive line. This makes it possible to measure and monitor the exact pole length and position. In addition, all important data such as forces, speeds, positions etc. are constantly monitored and logged. Reading and online support can be realized remotely from the Netherlands and that is unique!