Innovation of the year, 2014

Offshore specialist, MacGregor, last year won its second Offshore Support Journal Innovation of the Year award. The prize came following the release of the MacGregor three-axis motion compensated offshore crane which will be used on vessels for the construction of renewable energy facilities.

In March last year, a major breakthrough was made when MacGregor, a company offering integrated cargo flow solutions for maritime transportation and offshore industries, was presented with the Offshore Support Journal’s (OSJ) Innovation of the Year award.

This prestigious annual award is given for a product, system or service which is judged to have made the most significant impact on the design, build and/or operational aspects of offshore support vessels and this is not the first time that MacGregor has taken the top prize.

The offshore industry is inseparably tied to the global oil and gas and wind energy businesses and international exploration and development companies are increasingly looking for organisations with the foremost capabilities when it comes to integrated vessel packages.

The crane, a first-of-its-kind for the offshore industry, is now mounted on the Siem Moxie, a newbuild infield support vessel which is currently operating in the offshore renewable energy markets, carrying out installations, repairs, maintenance and general service duties. Specifically, the vessel will transfer containers of tools and equipment to the top of offshore windmill foundations. The vessel, and the crane, has already demonstrated its capabilities while working on offshore wind farms being developed by E.ON.

The award was delivered to MacGregor at OSJ’s fifth Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference and Awards event in London, UK, on 19 February 2014. MacGregor’s Offshore Advanced Load Handling team received the award on behalf of the company in front of more than 500 people.

Tom Svennevig, Vice President, Advanced Load Handling said when claiming the prize: “It is an honour to receive such a prestigious prize from one of the most reputable forums in the international offshore sector. It is also an important recognition of our capabilities from peers across the offshore industry.

“In 2012 we also received the OSJ Innovation of the Year award; on that occasion it was for our Chain Wheel Manipulator. Winning it for a second time is especially remarkable, particularly in the face of such notable competition from the shortlist of nominees in the category.”

Baard Alsaker, MacGregor R&D Director, Advanced Load Handling said: “MacGregor’s standard active heave-compensation technology supplied though a crane’s winch compensates for a vessel’s vertical movement, assuring accurate load handling.  However, when transferring equipment to the top of offshore windmill foundations, which are about 20m above the water and are only four m2, even more precision is required.

“As a result, our engineers developed new technology that compensates for vessel movements in the horizontal plane (pitch and roll) as well as in the vertical plane. Compensating for the horizontal motions ensures that the crane’s pedestal remains vertical in relation to the seabed, so that it will always be parallel to the windmill structure. Thanks to this three-axis compensation, the crane can perform extremely accurate load positioning operations. The crane can be used for a variety of other purposes, including ship-to-ship operations. It can also be specified for certification for personnel lifts, further enhancing its flexibility.

“We see that the emerging offshore wind sector continues to set new requirements for offshore cranes and we are constantly looking for ways of employing our expertise in the development of innovative new solutions for our customers,” Alsaker added.

The crane has a safe working load of five tonnes at a 25m outreach and a motion reference unit (MRU) is the primary sensor for calculating heave motion. In addition, a secondary sensor placed at the crane boom tip is used to verify the MRU’s accuracy and provide overall redundancy, adding to the system’s safety.

Frode Grøvan, Director, Sales and Marketing, Advanced Load Handling at MacGregor, a Cargotec company, said that Siem had challenged MacGregor to develop an innovative crane especially for the Moxie. “Siem Offshore approached MacGregor’s Competence Centre for Advanced Load Handling, Offshore in Kristiansand, Norway, to develop the crane especially for the vessel.”

Some of the most inspiring innovations in the offshore sector have been showcased at the OSJ Innovation of the Year awards and the forum welcomes guests from across the world including shipowners, senior offshore support executives, shipbuilders, designers, classification societies, industry associations and equipment manufacturers.

MacGregor was the obvious choice for the contract award from Siem and also for the award. As the world’s leading brand of engineering solutions and services for handling marine cargoes and offshore loads, MacGregor products serve the maritime transportation, offshore and naval logistics markets, in ports and terminals as well as on board ships and the company is continually investing in research and development.

Winning this award for the second time proves MacGregor’s commitment to innovation and it seems almost certain that we will see this organisation providing positive contributions to the ever-changing offshore industry in the near future.


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