Manufacturing key pieces of equipment for use in the marine environment places a number of demands on the various components, not least those of reliability and durability. For one such manufacturer, the need for winch drives, hydraulic motors and control valves has led to a long working relationship with Brevini, a leading supplier to the OEM sector.
The use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), either to assist divers or to work on their own, is increasing; especially with the increase in deep water oil and gas exploration. However, for every ROV there has to be a launch and recovery system (LARS) on the host ship to provide the necessary power as well as a means of transferring the ROV to and from the water.
Hydramec Offshore Hydraulic Systems Ltd. has been designing and manufacturing LARS for over 15 years. Its bespoke systems have been used across the world by the offshore hydrocarbon industry as well as the military and scientific communities for a range of applications. A major component of any LARS is the winch mechanism and the hydraulic controls that enable precise manoeuvring of the ROV; for the past 10 years the majority of these vital elements have been supplied by Brevini Power Transmission and Brevini Fluid Power (BFP).
The LARS is usually designed as an A-frame lifting mechanism that is well suited to long term shipboard operation and capable of working in deeper waters, with up to 3,000 metres of armoured umbilical held on the winch drum. An alternative design using a more compact crane system, is well suited to mobile rig work where the unit may need to be transferred from one rig to another.
Karl Hawkins, General Manager at Hydramec, comments: “We offer a range of systems that can be manufactured to suit the exact requirements of the customer. We work closely with several manufacturers of ROV systems and we must ensure that the LARS will deliver the required performance, while also meeting the specifications required by Lloyds Register and Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV).
“The engineers at Brevini use the basic request from the customer to help create the specification of the hydraulic winch system and necessary control valves. The selection of a matched hydraulic motor gearbox offers a reliable and cost effective solution compared to using a large direct drive hydraulic motor”
In most cases the design consists of the Brevini PWD or SLW rotating case winch drive unit which is a compact planetary gearbox that mounts inside the winch drum. This is driven by a BFP axial piston hydraulic motor supplied with double acting over centre valve. The complete winch drive is a marine spec unit with marine seals and DNV type approval across the range.
To control the system Brevini Fluid Power uses its HPV range of proportional hydraulic valves, which is compact in design while also providing the high level of control and functionality required in these types of applications. By combining the individual components to produce a matched package, Brevini is able to tailor every solution whilst also ensuring compliance with all of the marine certifications.
Dave Brown, Sales Manager for Brevini UK Ltd., comments: “We’re aware that engineers are often frustrated by having to source components from different specialist suppliers and then trying to integrate them into a single powertrain design. Fortunately Brevini Power Transmission and Brevini Fluid Power operate extremely closely, meaning that components from the two brands integrate seamlessly with each other.
“By working closely with our OEM customers and understanding the requirements of the various applications, we are able to supply engineered solutions that meet the standards for reliability and safety that are required for the Marine and Offshore markets. This is complemented by the comprehensive after sales support that offers worldwide coverage to ensure maximum productivity.”
With many years of experience working within the marine and offshore industries, a large part of the Brevini product range has DNV type approval and can be certified as required by other approval bodies, such as Lloyds and ABS. Brevini has an extensive history of supplying reliable and innovative solutions for deck machinery, including winches, cranes, tensioners, carousels and drilling equipment.