SMD Develops Electric Winch and LARS for Shanghai Salvage

Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) has completed work on an electric drive dual-purpose winch and launch and recovery system (LARS) to accompany an order from Shanghai Salvage for a Quasar work-class ROV.

The equipment will be used for salvage operations in deep waters around the world, with an assured maximum working depth up to 6000 meters.

The dual-purpose electric drive winch will be provided with two interchangeable drums: one 6000m lightweight umbilical cable and one 3000m cable with TMS, capable of carrying heavier loads. The drums can be swapped on the vessel to suit varying operational requirements, preventing the need to return to shore and therefore saving on costs and time. The winch system is designed and certified to the latest DNV-ST-E273 standard, including the electric drive suite which allows the system to be quickly mobilised onto a vessel of opportunity as one unit via a single point lift.

The turnkey design can be fully integrated with the vessel’s electronics, meaning energy from the winch can be regenerated and used for other applications on the vessel.

The winch can operate using AC induction or advanced synchronous reluctance motors – with SynRM motor technology to maximise compensation accuracy and minimise response time. This increases the operational window and the ability to safely launch and recover in high sea states.

Paul Hatchett, managing director of deck equipment at SMD, said: “We are delighted to offer a clean, energy-efficient solution for deep water salvage systems. Thanks to improvements in technology, electric winches are becoming an increasingly viable option. The LARS we have developed for Shanghai Salvage has been tailored to work at varying depths and in challenging conditions, and at the same time remain robust and lightweight.”

SMD have developed the electric winch based on an active heave compensation system using motion reference unit (MRU) feedback, allowing the cable to remain under controlled tension during use, thus enabling safe and smooth deployment.

To accompany the LARS, SMD will be providing a PLC control system, opening up new control and monitoring possibilities. As well as auto-depth capability and power loss protection, the system is capable of condition monitoring, remote diagnostics and data logging via cloud based access.

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