Next generation motion compensated gangway


By Boy Biemans en Eelko May 
at Bosch Rexroth

Transferring people and cargo at open sea can result in dangerous situations for ships, platforms and crew. To enable safe and efficient transfer of personnel and cargo from ships to offshore platforms, wind turbines at sea or other ships, Barge Master teamed up with Bosch Rexroth to develop a next generation motion compensated gangway.

This innovative solution ensures that ships’ movements are registered and translated into “counter-movements” for the gangway, which results in a safe and stable connection between two objects; enabling the cargo to be transferred and positioned without problems, even in rough seas.

The gangway is placed on a small diameter pedestal with a hinge and a luffing cylinder to compensate the roll motions of the vessel. The gangway can translate and rotate (surge & yaw) in the horizontal plane around the pedestal by using hydraulic motors. Telescopic sections with winches in the bridge ensure smooth translation in sway direction. Extremely fast sensors and control engineering enable reliable and fast translation of the ship’s movements into “counter-movements” for the gangway.

The system can compensate the vessel motions up to a significant wave height of more than three meters (Hs). It comes with a number of optionally additional modules such as a height-adjustable pedestal with an integrated elevator. This option ensures a “step less” transshipment of pallet trolleys as well as fast and safe integrated logistics between vessel and platform.

“Due to the simultaneous linear and rotary motions along several axes, which are moreover accompanied by large forces, the activate motion-control technology applied in the system is extremely complex.” said Ron van den Oetelaar, General Manager at Bosch Rexroth.

Martijn Koppert, CEO of Barge Masters, adds: “During the development, fabrication and the delivery of the system, we work very closely together with the specialists from Bosch Rexroth.”

The companies have formed an integrated project team with specialists from both sides. This makes it very different from the classical client-supplier relationships. Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth are fully fledged partners, in which the project team takes care of the design, fabrication and timely delivery of the system and both parties continuously focus on translating clients’ wishes into a perfectly working gangway.

The small footprint, its light weight and the modular design with hoisting, elevator and many other options have led to the next generation gangway. In order to realize an attractive price setting, Bosch Rexroth has made maximum use of standard components, and the fact that Bosch Rexroth has an extremely wide product range helps enormously in this respect. Although some parts have still been custom built for this project, the end result has become ‘lean & mean’.

Martijn Koppert continued: “We are convinced that our close cooperation resulted in a gangway that clients are really looking for. We sold the first unit last month which proves we are right! It will be delivered to our client in Q2 2017.”

The BM Gangway is launched at offshore ONS exhibition, Stavanger.

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