DROMEC Winches develops Active Heave Compensation on winch systems

“Active Heave Compensation is a technology where the ship’s wave motion is compensated for. In short, that’s Active Heave Compensation. The winches on the ship work in precisely the opposite way, so that the load at the bottom of the hook remains stationary,”
says Cees Drost, CEO of DROMEC.

Offshore Technology

Reducing the effect of wave-induced heave motion on drilling and production operations is particularly important in the offshore and oil and gas industry. This technology is widely used here. Additionally, winch systems combined with Active Heave Compensation are being developed for offshore operations. At DROMEC Winches, engineers are working on winch systems that can compensate for wave motion, ensuring safety and reliability in these complex situations.

Quadruple System

For properly functioning Active Heave Compensation, you need a quadruple system. An MRU, Motion Reference Unit, which is a compass, altimeter, and inclinometer combined into one device. This system tracks the ship’s motion relative to the fixed world, the earth. Additionally, DROMEC Winches develops software capable of converting MRU data into actions in winch control. The third relevant component is the control system that can respond to the software’s input value in milliseconds. And finally, we use a winch that can respond not only to the speed of motion but especially to the acceleration of a wave. In short, it’s a demonstration of stable engineering!

Customer-Specific

DROMEC Winches collaborates with the customer to determine which MRU they would like to use. Often, there is already an MRU on board, and DROMEC can provide the necessary components to create a fully functioning Active Heave Compensation system with one or a combination of multiple winches.

Cees Drost:
“With this application, the customer has many more possibilities. This makes the system special. For example, if you want to hang an object still above the seabed while the ship is in waves. With Active Heave Compensation, you can work as if you are on still water. The object will thus remain stationary in the water. This system is also frequently used in transfer systems at sea. Operators can safely transfer from a swaying ship to a stationary platform. With AHC, the customer works safer, more precisely, and more efficiently because operators can continue working even in rough seas.

P.S. Happy King’s Day, and secretly I am proud of our stable Oranges!!”

Acquisition of POTOS by DROMEC

DROMEC Drives and Winches in Rhenen has acquired POTOS Marine Equipment in Ten Boer on March 14, 2024. With this strategic decision, DROMEC aims to better serve the maritime market in the field of winches.

DROMEC Drives and Winches specializes in the development of winch systems and drive technology. Founded in 1996, this family-owned business has established a stable position in various sectors through consistent growth. DROMEC’s core competency lies in innovating winch systems and collaborating with customers to find solutions for every movable load.

Comprehensive marine equipment solution

With the acquisition of POTOS Marine Equipment, DROMEC expands its range of winches and winch systems. This decision enables DROMEC to offer a comprehensive solution to customers in the heavier segment of the maritime sector.

Coastal and international shipping

In recent years, DROMEC has developed a range of products for inland shipping, and with the acquisition of POTOS, it can now offer the entire deck equipment program for larger vessels in addition to specialized winches. This includes anchor winches, chain stoppers, and capstans primarily for coastal and international shipping.

Future outlook

In the coming period, the development of winches for POTOS Marine Equipment will be transferred to DROMEC in Rhenen. This will allow DROMEC engineers to work on providing a comprehensive solution for customers alongside DROMEC’s specialized winches. However, the construction and assembly of winches will remain in Ten Boer. This ensures that DROMEC maintains employment opportunities in the northern Netherlands.

DROMEC builds series of Pull-In Systems

Van Oord is a leader in offshore wind farm construction. The company is responsible for the cable pull-in operation for the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm project located on the Doggersbank in the North Sea. This operation involves providing the wind turbine with power cables to transport the generated energy. In 2019, DROMEC delivered a special series of 10 user-friendly pull-in systems for this application and is now supplying another series of 10 systems.

Stefan Graat, Project Engineer at Van Oord:
“Dromec provides Van Oord Offshore Wind with equipment, support, and services that make a significant contribution to successful cable projects!”

Pull-In System

The pull-in system, developed specifically by DROMEC, is used to draw the thick power cable from the ship into the wind turbine. It is a complex tool designed for this purpose. Specific variants have been designed for different continental areas. For instance, in the waters of the United Kingdom, additional safety standards are required, such as LOLER and PUWER.

Constant Tension

Before installing the wind turbine on the platform, the pull-in operation takes place. The cables are pulled from the ship through the seabed into the platform using the DROMEC pull-in system. This system features a constant tension function, ensuring that the cable is always kept at a preset tension, even when unexpected changes in cable force occur. This prevents cable overload. This special tool has a nominal pulling force of 10 tons, which is maintained through friction between the rope and a special capstan head. The combination of the number of wraps and a fairlead ensures the safety of the pulling force up to a holding force of 12 tons.

Pieter, engineer DROMEC:
“We designed this compact pull-in system specifically for operations of this kind, and since then, the demand from various customers has significantly increased. It’s a user-friendly tool that can be installed for any pull-in operation on a random platform. The combination of its low weight and high force, along with advanced control software, provides real time savings for the customer. The system can be used both in a standing and hanging configuration. Various improvements have been made for the new series, such as the nominal pulling force and the hard-anodized capstan head. This material is more resistant to corrosion. The frame is also more user-friendly with an integrated lifting eye and an additional guide bracket, allowing the cable to wind on and off at a 70-degree angle.”

Automatic Tensioning

The system operates with automatic tensioning. A fairlead that runs in sync with the capstan head through the control system ensures a consistent tension between the fairlead and the capstan, guaranteeing the pulling force by the capstan without the need for a person to hold the loose end continuously. The system is electrically powered, compact, and lightweight, weighing 550 kg. It weighs 475 kg without the detachable fairlead. Once the operation is complete, the system is moved to the next wind turbine platform.

DROMEC Winches Supplies Winch System for FLEET CLEANER Delft

FLEET CLEANER Delft specializes in cleaning seafaring vessels in ports such as Rotterdam, focusing on efficiency during the loading and unloading processes. DROMEC Winches has supplied a winch system for the work vessel Thunderbird 4 of FLEET CLEANER, enabling environmentally friendly cleaning of ship hulls.

 

Umbilical System

Onboard FLEET CLEANER’s work vessel, a crane with a remote-operated robot, known as the ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle), is positioned. This robot is controlled remotely and connected via an umbilical cable to the system provided by DROMEC. Within this umbilical bundle, hydraulic, electrical, and data cables are integrated, along with a wastewater hose, allowing for eco-friendly water discharge. The winch is suitable for ATEX environments, enabling FLEET CLEANER to clean oil and chemical tankers as well.

 

Mechanical Coupling

DROMEC Winches’ winch system can spool up to 180 meters of umbilical cable. The fully electrically powered system boasts a pulling capacity of 2.5 tons and a holding force of 4.5 tons. The cable can be reeled in at a speed of 30 meters per minute. DROMEC Winches has specially developed a mechanical coupling on the cable guide, which is detachable, allowing FLEET CLEANER to manually adjust the cable. This feature proves particularly useful for the umbilical cable, which may not always maintain a consistent shape.

 

ATEX Certification

Jan Willem, engineer, explains,
“While this winch system has the size of a container, it is very straightforward to operate with just two buttons on the control panel for speed and winding. All components are ATEX-certified, except for the control unit located below deck. An interesting development is that DROMEC Winches now also develops winches with full ATEX certification, including control units. DROMEC has already developed a wide range of umbilical winch systems, providing us with a diverse selection of models.”

Electric buckle detector winch

Jaap Wijsman, Senior Technical Inspector at Allseas, shared his experience regarding DROMEC:

“DROMEC responds promptly and actively engages in problem-solving when presented with a question, leveraging their knowledge and extensive experience.

Moreover, they adopt a flexible and customer-oriented approach when translating ideas into a high-quality product, harnessing the power of simplicity. As a customer, you have ample freedom to incorporate your ideas into the design.

One of the remarkable aspects of Dromec is that they have everything in-house, including the entire control system. In addition to precise design, they also strictly adhere to the agreed-upon delivery date, followed by a comprehensive Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) in the presence of Allseas.

Lastly, they provide highly detailed documentation, allowing us as customer to look back on this process with satisfaction.”

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DROMEC Winches constructs winch system for megadoor Smulders UK

Smulders is an international steel construction company operating in the onshore and offshore sectors. For a new production facility in Newcastle, DROMEC Winches at the request of ASAV lifting- and hoisting technology has developed an advanced winch system for an impressive megadoor.

Megadoor

The impressive production facility stands at a height of 36 meters and a width of 47.5 meters, equipped with a megadoor operated by two powerful winches on each side. The megadoor consists of steel panels divided into sections, hanging from the steel structure. The advanced winch systems effortlessly lift the panels upward or lower them downward, ensuring perfect alignment during opening and closing. Additionally, the winches can be operated independently for added safety or in case of a malfunction. The winch system has the capacity to hoist a weight of 135 tons on a single cable.

Winch System

The two winches are strategically positioned on either side of the megadoor. The cable runs up and over multiple pulleys on one side and descends to a fixed point on the other side. The system is precisely mirrored on the opposite side. Both winches operate synchronously to maintain the desired speed during the opening and closing of the megadoor. The winch system has a pulling force of 19 tons and can handle peak loads of up to 38 tons. In situations where the winches need to bear the weight or during emergencies, the system operates at a lower speed to ensure safety.

 

Jesper Becks from Smulders:
“The installation of the megadoor was a complex process that required a combination of technical expertise and practical experience. Given our specialization in steel construction, we relied on DROMEC as a reliable partner for the supply and installation of the electromechanical components. DROMEC handled the entire process, from the engineering of the winches and lifting mechanism to the installation. Transparency, flexibility, and safety were paramount at every step. Thanks to DROMEC’s technical knowledge and flexibility, the installation of this impressive 135-ton megadoor went smoothly. The successful and safe completion of the installation is a significant milestone in this project.”

 

Controls

Both winches can be easily operated using a control panel or a button. The control system includes a switch to detect whether the doors are in the upper or lower position. Sensors acting as limit switch are installed at both the top and bottom of the door. Furthermore, the door is equipped with a wind sensor to prevent opening in strong winds. DROMEC has also incorporated a built-in functionality to seamlessly switch from the regular power supply to a generator if necessary.

 

Pieter van Roekel from DROMEC:
“The Smulders project showcases a combination of precision and weight within a timeframe of approximately 15 weeks. We have made every effort to fully support Smulders throughout the process. The installation and tensioning of the cables were carried out by our experienced team in collaboration with our partners at TWS.”

Hydraulic tugger winches for Herman SR. BV

Recently Dromec supplied two hydraulic tugger winches of type HPV-12000 to company Herman SR. BV.

Herman SR. BV supplies workboats including crew for all kind of maritime projects. Both  HPV-12000 (12 mT on layer 1) as the 15 mT variant, HPV-15000 are available from stock.

The winches are characterized by a solid and compact design and cable capacity of 104 mtr. In 5 layers. Winches are equipped with a disc braken and brake valve and plug and play to use.

As surface treatment, a 3-layer offshore coating RAL9005  is applied. Nice to see that also Dromec’s  cable spooling machine type DPW-750 is in use!

Dromec wishes Herman SR. BV many safe and pleasant jobs.

DROMEC winches. Your movement in good hands.

Dynamic and Innovative in winches, winchsystems, controls and software. With our enthousiastic team, we develop  from small till  very big & complex systems with the highest demands in terms of safety and ease of use. We also work very closely with certified body’s as DNVGL, BV, ABS, Lloyds so your winches and systems can be completely certified at our own company together with you.

It often starts with a good idea, preferably on a piece of scrap paper. After an initial consultation, we prepare one or more proposals, including a target price and preliminary drawing. Your idea or problem, always remains central in this. If the feeling on both sides is good, we start. Thanks to our own inhouse developed and written project software, your project stays in the picture and under control from start to finish, including the planning and delivery time. We are LloydsRegister ISO 9001 certified.