Advanced Tension Monitoring Solution For Pipelay Vessels

April 2013, Vol. 240 No. 4

Rita Tubb, Executive Editor

MAATS Tech Ltd. is a specialist ship design organization with expertise in the provision of turnkey carousel systems and associated equipment installed in special purpose vessels used for laying flexible pipe, umbilicals and power cables.

On such vessels, the cable or pipe is fed through a tensioner before being loaded to and from the carousel system as part of the laying process. Maintaining the correct tension in the pipe or cable is crucial to achieving its successful seabed deployment, as well as for the avoidance of equipment malfunction and associated downtime.

Strainstall was able to provide MAATS with a simple and non-intrusive system comprising of bespoke load cells and amplifiers to provide real-time information on pipe/cable tension levels. Readings from the load cells are sent directly to the tensioner controls, enabling the system to increase or decrease the tension as required to ensure that the correct levels are always maintained.

As the tensioners are mounted on the deck of the vessel and are thus exposed to extremely harsh conditions, the Strainstall’s marine load cells become an important factor in meeting customer requirements. The system is designed to be able to operate in conditions involving extreme temperatures, abrasive materials, vibration, and high moisture levels, making it ideal for use in the marine environment.

“Our tension monitoring system ensures that the carousel tensioners operate efficiently by providing live tension data, enabling levels to be raised or lowered where needed,” commented Scott Cruttenden, Strainstall business development manager. “Maintaining the correct cable or pipe tension can have a significant impact on system downtime, leading to cost savings from both improved operation and a reduction in equipment damage. ”