ACE Winches brings heave compensation technology to OSEANews // November 29, 2010
ACE Winches, a specialist in the design, manufacture and hire of hydraulic winches, marine deck machinery and associated personnel for the offshore oil and gas, marine and renewable energy markets, has announced the development of a new Active Heave Compensation Winch System, which it will be promoting at the OSEA 2010 exhibition in Singapore.
Chief Executive Officer Alfie Cheyne will be attending OSEA. It is the first time ACE Winches has attended the Singapore event.
Mr Cheyne said: “The Asian oil and gas market continues to go from strength to strength and we see OSEA as an important date on our calendar in terms of speaking to key players in the industry. Our business is focussed on delivering world class products to a world market and our visit to Singapore allows us an opportunity to also speak to the right people in the broader region.”
The ACE Winches AHC Control System is designed to ensure the constant deployment or retrieval of the winch hook load and to eliminate or reduce its movement related to external movements of the winch assembly.
The system uses a Motion Reference Unit (MRU) to sense change in position of the winch in relation to the movement of the vessel onto which the winch is mounted. The information from the MRU, via a PLC control system, drives the winch in our out to compensate for the movement.
AHC winches filter out the effect of wave movement, allowing for more accurate data readings, increasing equipment safety and reducing weather-related down times. Systems prevent unwanted undulation or heavy sea movement causing sudden slack or pull on cables making the equipment at the end of the umbilical unstable.
The ACE system includes an MRU Module and operator’s control console with PLC system interface and information screen, HPU mounted control panel with PLC computer module, winch interface and system configuration interface connection.
To be able to deal with 5m waves within an eighth of a second period wire speeds of 2.4m/sec with 1.9m/sec/sec a high power winch drive system is required. The ACE standard gearbox assembly has a high power capability combined with a very high power to weight ratio utilising Hagglunds compact motor and brake assemblies to give a very compact winch drive arrangement. This is ideal for reduction of deck space usage. The gearbox assembly is already performing in demanding marine and offshore environments.
The ACE Winches project team are currently testing an AHC winch system that has been ordered for deployment off the coast of Angola and the results are promising, according to Project Team Leader George French.