Norwegian oil company Statoil’s Gudrun Platform operates in the North Sea’s Gudrun field. The platform operates cranes for around-the-clock cargo handling. As crane operators hoist supplies from ships to the platform, containers (some weighing as much as 8,000 kg) can move toward the Gudron Platform at 3 m/sec.
“Moving equipment from a supply ship onto an offshore platform in difficult conditions requires a highly engineered system of shocks and dampers,” said Tomm Kuran, sales manager for pneumatics at Servi Hydranor AS, a Norwegian distributor of hydraulic and hydraulic-related products. “The Gudrun’s crane operators move food and heavy, expensive equipment for drilling. If an operator mishandles a container, people can be hurt or equipment destroyed.”
“A mishandled container can also halt drilling operations,” said Peter Bauer, managing director for ITT Control Technologies EMEA. Flexible barriers have been used for approximately 10 year on offshore platforms in the North Sea, but they often sustain damage from containers slamming into them.
Engineers came to Servi Hydranor and ITT Corporation’s Control Technologies early in the design process of the Gudron Platform with a set of specifications (including environmental conditions) and space limitations. While offshore rig builders know how to stabilize cranes, engineers understood there were challenges for designing a dampening system for its cargo barrier.
The two companies engineered a shock and vibration isolation system that includes highly tuned dampers that absorb the cargo’s kinetic energy. Because of the design, the Aibel Barrier System handles impact energy several times higher than traditional designs. The companies completed the shock and isolation design work in 2013, and the Gudrun Platform is now in operation.
“ITT specializes in working with partners like Servi Hydranor to engineer custom solutions for the most demanding applications in the world,” said Munish Nanda, president of ITT’s Control Technologies business. ITT can customize and recommend engineering systems for projects like the Gudron Platform because it has experience with energy absorption technology for manufacturing, robotics, conveyors and overhead crane applications.
ITT Control Technology