DROMEC Winches develops umbilical winch for Seatools

Seatools is a subsea technology company that provides high-end solutions for a wide range of underwater challenges. The majority of solutions they deliver are custom-made and cater to markets ranging from aquaculture to offshore oil and gas. DROMEC Winches has developed a special umbilical winch for Seatools.

Umbilical Winch

The depth of the sea is a determining factor for placing offshore wind turbines. Foundations are realized by driving so-called pile casings into the seabed, which generates significant vibrations that can disrupt marine life. These vibrations need to be minimized as much as possible. Using a specially developed bubble curtain, where air is blown into the water through holes, the vibrations are dampened. To supply air to the system, a 150-meter-long hose is extended from the sea vessel. DROMEC Winches has developed an umbilical winch for this application.

Constant Tension

As the bubble curtain descends to the seabed, the electric umbilical winch automatically pays out the hose using Constant Tension. This CT function monitors the preset maximum allowable tension on the hose, thereby preventing damage. With a pulling force of 1500 kg and a hose width of 90 mm, it is a relatively large system. In this project, DROMEC also provided special controls so that the client can remotely operate the machine. In case of unforeseen extreme weather conditions, an “hammerlug” coupling can be used to disconnect the air hose from the winch and float it overboard. Additionally, the winch is equipped with a spooling mechanism to ensure the hose is neatly wound on the drum. An additional spool guide prevents damage to the umbilical hose. The entire system is compactly built within a shipping container frame, making it easy to transport and relocate during offshore operations.

Paul, engineer, says,
“Seatools is a great company, and there is much appreciation for their quality and expertise. DROMEC Winches aligns well with Seatools in terms of mentality, engineering, controls, and assembly, making it a pleasant collaboration!”

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.”