Woodside to trial Roborigger on its onshore supply bases

Woodside has contracted TENSA Equipment to supply its newly released wireless load controlling system, Roborigger, for a 3-month’s trial at its onshore supply bases. 

Woodside’s contract came after TENSA successfully showcased Roborigger’s capabilities in a live demonstration to industry stakeholders last year. Attendees included companies in the mining and energy sectors including Woodside, BHP, Chevron and INPEX , construction companies including Multiplex and John Holland, Worksafe WA, and a number of crane and lifting consultants.

Woodside has been actively supporting Roborigger development since 2017. Woodside’s partnership with Innovation Central Perth supported TENSA’s project with Curtin University to develop Roborigger’s control algorithm. This received government funding under the Innovation Connections scheme. 

According to Woodside Portfolio Technology Manager, Darren Shanahan, “Woodside was very impressed by the live demonstration and we are very keen to trial this technology in our operations. We believe Roborigger has the potential not only to significantly reduce the risk of accidents but also to lead to more efficient operations at our onshore supply facilities.”

Commercial use of Roborigger commenced on Perth CBD construction site

Roborigger, TENSA’s new wireless load orienting device commenced its first working day on a Multiplex’s construction site in Perth CBD this week.

Multiplex has been supporting TENSA’s Roborigger development as an industry partner since 2017.

“At Multiplex we are always seeking to identify safer ways of doing things, so it’s been a great opportunity for us to partner with TENSA in the research and development of Roborigger”, said Multiplex Regional HSE Manager, Darren Ridley.

Roborigger has been utilised on site for a multitude of lifting operations including lifting and orientating long scaffolding truss as well trucks loading and unloading.

An example of Roborigger’s immediate safety gains is allowing the long scaffolding truss to be installed without taglines and personnel being out of the way below the landing point until the load is properly positioned.

“It’s exciting to now see it in action with the initial trial meeting all of our expectations. We’re looking forward to further exploring how it can benefit safe operations on site”, added Ridley.

TENSA’s new crane device, Roborigger, is ready to go on site

TENSA has demonstrated Roborigger to industry stakeholders including the WA regulators and the unit is now ready for use on site.

We are preparing to deploy it on a major construction site in the Perth city within the next month. Units will also be made available for other customers to trial. Currently the 10t and 5t capacity units are available but work is well advanced on the 20t capability unit.

TENSA’s new automated rotation device, Roborigger, showcased to industry stakeholders

TENSA has successfully conducted two live demonstrations of its newly released Roborigger, an automated load controlling device for cranes.

The demonstration highlighted Roborigger’s features and showcased its lifting and rotation capabilities with actual crane operations namely, lifting and rotating a 20ft container to 90 and 180 degrees as well as lifting and rotating a tower crane mast to 180 degrees. We also demonstrated how Roborigger can provide a rotational force continuously to hold a load in position against the wind.

Of particular interest to attendees was how the lifting operations can be monitored over the internet with Roborigger’s integrated IOT platform, where lifting productivity information is made available and fully customisable to operators. Data available includes a photo plus date, time, location and weight of each lift. Productivity data for the crane includes the number of lifts, number of lifts per hour, total load lifted per day. The system also sends diagnostic information on the equipment as well as alarm messages indicating overload and impact.

Industry stakeholders from construction, mining and energy sectors attended the demonstrations, represented by companies including Multiplex, John Holland, Woodside, BHP, INPEX, WorleyParsons Advisian, Worksafe WA, CFMEU, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), and Curtin University.

New crane device, Roborigger, will make work sites safer

TENSA Equipment has been working with Curtin University to develop a better control algorithm for our automated wireless lifting and rotation device, Roborigger, which will improve workplace safety in construction and oil and gas.

The industry-academia collaboration, which was made possible through a $30,000 Innovation Connections grant, aimed to to develop a mathematical algorithm for determining the appropriate amount of torque needed by Roborigger’s motor under different conditions.

Read more about the article here:

How to better understand your heave compensation needs

As a heave compensation specialist, at TENSA, we receive a lot of client’s enquiries on the right product to choose for different lifting applications in offshore operations.

The following table outlines the key criteria you can use to decide on the right heave compensation product for your project:

Choosing the right system

Dynamic load reducer (DLR) is used with offshore cranes to reduce the dynamic loads associated with lifts from moving vessels.

Passive heave compensation (PHC) is generally used to support a stationary load or to reduce motion when the lifting system is moving, for example, when lowering subsea equipment to the seabed. It is also used to minimise loads in the splash zone.

Active heave compensation (AHC) is designed to hold a load stationary relative to earth and is particularly useful for lowering a boat supported load to the seabed or connecting load to a fixed structure.

Common misconceptions

Misconception #1: To reduce crane dynamic loads, a long stroke is needed

The optimum cylinder stroke is between 1m and 1.5m as the shock absorption is most effectively handled over a stroke of 0.5m. The extra stroke allows the system to handle a wide load range without adjusting the setup as the cylinder force increases as the rod is extended.

Misconception #2: Active heave compensation is a good technique to reduce dynamic loads in the splash zone

In the splash zone, you must use passive heave compensation as AHC  will hold a load stationary to the seabed, whereas the load needs to stay stationary relative to the water surface to minimise loading.

Misconception #3: Active heave compensation is suitable for supporting loads connected to the seabed from a moving vessel

AHC is never perfectly accurate and can fail. Hence any rigid connection between a vessel and the seabed could be overstressed. A passive heave compensation device should be included in the connecting string.

Improving port operations with telescopic gangways and motion monitoring

In the past year we’ve seen a growing interest from port operators to use gangways to increase safety and improve operations both in the port and for offshore transfers near the port. For example, Port Botany recently installed a gangway tower at their bulk liquid terminal to improve berth efficiency. There is also the plan by Kimberley Ports to acquire and install gangway to give 24/7 all-tide access to cruise ships in Broome where tidal fluctuations is common.

At TENSA, two ways which we can help port operators improve are through the use of telescopic gangways to improve access at the port and the application of motion monitoring system to increase safety and reduce risks for port assets.

Improving access at the port with telescopic gangways

TENSA offers passive heave compensated, active heave compensated and uncompensated gangways ranging from 8m to 23m long. In an offshore environment, these gangways are used to allow safe offshore crew transfer such as the one used recently by Technip to transfer personnel between tug vessels and barges during the Prelude Project.

TENSA’s aluminium telescopic gangways are lightweight and easy to install, thus imposing lighter loading on the host vessel. For port operators, this means the gangways can be located either on the wharf or on a movable base.

When combined with the Active Heave Compensated Pedestal (AHCP) we developed, the gangway base can be raised or lowered. The pedestal has been designed so that it can also be active heave compensated, allowing the gangway height to be adjusted by up to 5 metres, if, for instance, a vessel needs to be accessed at a high level to accommodate transfers to a wharf in a highly tidal region. The pedestal can be set to automatically adjust height as the tide rises or falls.

Possible applications of the gangways and pedestal system in port operations include:

  • Transfer of personnel from a vessel to the wharf in locations with large tidal variations such as Broome, Darwin, etc.
  • Transferring tourists from cruise vessels to ferry vessels in locations such as Exmouth, Broome Great Barrier Reef, etc.
  • Transferring tourists from ferry vessels to wharves where there is a limited berthing facility
  • Transferring crews or personnel from tug vessels to barges in offshore operations

With the ability to be installed and removed very quickly (less than an hour), gangways need only to be on the vessel when required.

Motion monitoring to increase safety and reduce risks for port assets

TENSA’s motion monitoring system, Dynamic Motion System (DMS) which provides vessel motion and position information system can support operations at the port by providing:

  • Vessel motions (heave, heave velocity, heave acceleration, unfiltered accelerations, angular rates)
  • Attitude (heading, pitch and roll)
  • Position and GPS data (lat, long, northings, eastings, elevation, velocity)

The DMS has very powerful logging capabilities and can log from remote wireless units and local units at the same time. The DMS is available for sale or on a rental basis.

Potential applications of DMS for port operations include:

  • Measuring vessel motions both in the port and at sea
  • Determining if conditions are suitable for personnel transfer between vessels (either with or without a gangway)
  • Determining if conditions are suitable for specific marine operations – e.g. ROV launching, seabed coring , lifting operations from a vessel
  • Increasing the operating seastate windows for offshore crane operations,
  • Monitoring the performance of existing heave compensation systems.
  • Logging the position and motions of a number of vessels simultaneously

If you have upcoming port projects in need of a telescopic gangway or a motion monitoring system, contact us for a consultation.

TENSA, gangway, AHC pedestal, personnel transfer

Can high speed boats replace helicopters and carry out routine resupply?

TENSA, gangway, AHC pedestal, personnel transfer

Example concept for 40m high speed vessel fitted with TENSA AHC Pedestal and gangway providing personnel access and resupply to offshore facilities

Having to land helicopters in high winds and on heaving and rolling vessels not only poses operational but safety challenges for helicopter transfer. Helicopters are also expensive to operate and maintain, requiring a significant amount of support both on the onshore and offshore facilities.

High speed vessels offer a viable alternative to helicopters and can provide increased safety as well as significant additional functionality at a lower cost. To make this work, TENSA has developed a safe and reliable lightweight personnel transfer system suitable for installation on high speed vessels.

This complete personnel transfer solution mounts a lightweight aluminium telescopic gangway on a heave compensated platform. On the FPSO, there is a simple adjustable height landing platform. A motion monitoring system gives clear guidance on the relative vessel motions and confirmation that conditions are suitable for gangway transfer.

This is a total system that ensures that the operation can be undertaken safely.

A key feature of the gangway is active telescoping. This was developed in conjunction with Uptime in Norway and allows the gangway to be landed on a small flat landing. The end of the gangway remains in the same position by automatically telescoping in or out even if the boats move apart or together.

Vertical motion is handled by active heave compensation of the gangway support platform. The system can also be extended to compensate for relative motions between two moving vessels by using a second wireless motion reference unit on the receiving vessel. The TENSA Dynamic Motion System (DMS) already has this proven wireless connection and differential motion functionality.

With this system, the availability in a location offshore Northwest Australia would be above 90% so that all transfers could be undertaken by boat with appropriate management.

By having the ability to transport up to two 20ft containers, the system can handle virtually all of the routine and urgent supply requirements for offshore production facilities.

The whole gangway system can be secured to the vessel deck with twistlocks so that it can be easily installed and removed in under an hour. This also allows the vessel to be fully utilised for deck cargo if required.

The benefit of this system, according to Derick Markwell, TENSA’s managing director, is that “instead of having regular vessels fortnightly or monthly from the support base and one service a week with helicopter, you can have personnel transfer and up to two sea containers of cargo by boat daily”.

A single vessel could easily service three or four offshore facilities.

TENSA is looking at a system weight of under 12 tonnes, compared to a conventional active compensated gangway system that would weigh around 35 tonnes. The system costs less than 30% of the traditional systems.

“High speed vessels are most applicable at places like Exmouth where the fields are close to shore. There is also an opportunity at the limit of helicopter reach such as the northern Timor Sea. We see it is a compelling solution for the offshore oil and gas industry as it really offers benefits in all areas”.

Photo credits: Southerly and Strategic Marine

TENSA Dynamic Motion System (DMS) aboard Dampier Spirit for helicopter monitoring

Dampier Spirit, motion monitoring, helideck monitoring

Photo Credit: Teekay

TENSA recently provided our DMS Mini motion monitoring system for use on the FSO Dampier Spirit located approximately 40 km off the coast from Karratha.

Teekay Shipping (Australia), the operator of Dampier Spirit will use the DMS for general motion monitoring and as a backup for their Helideck Motion System (HMS). Having TENSA’s DMS Mini allows Teekay to continue to maintain safe helicopter operations to the facility without any interruption. Teekay initially rented the DMS but were so impressed with the ease of use and functionality  that within a few days they decided to buy the unit.

Find out more about the DMS »

TENSA DLR adopted by Paragon Offshore for its jackup drilling rig fleet

In January this year, the US-headquartered Paragon Offshore completed its purchase of a TENSA Dynamic Load Reducer (DLR) 60L for its offshore operations in India.

Instead of renting the DLR on a project basis, Paragon Offshore saw an immediate and long term need to purchase the DLR. The DLR will be used to reduce the crane dynamic loads for its heavy lifts and to ensure uninterrupted crane operations during heavy weather due to the monsoon season in the area.

Find out more about the DLR