Voith Turbo Marine has entered into a strategic partnership with Ridderinkhof, specialist and manufacturer of winches from the Netherlands. When being quoted for a Voith Turbo propulsion system, customers of escort, terminal and harbor tugs or offshore vessels will in future also be offered a customized winch system. “This is another field where we recognize an increasing tendency towards systems suppliers. And we will comply with this trend,” states Dr. Martin Füllenbach, Executive Vice President Marine Division of Voith Turbo.
Voith Turbo Marine Engineering in Rostock has made it its goal to develop and design complete ships. Just recently, the company presented the concept of a Voith Water Tractor (VWT) with a bollard pull of 70 tons. VWTs with such a high bollard pull are used for a wide range of terminal, harbor, escort and offshore duties. Especially the worldwide growing market for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals, which are set up further and further away from coastlines due to safety reasons, is a classic application area for such vessels.
At such a distance from the coastline, the sea can be rough in heavy weather conditions, during which the LNG tankers have to be moored safely and reliably at socalled “Jetties”. Tugs take the LNG tankers in tow and maneuver them to the Jetties. “To do this, the bollard pull has to be maintained within a certain power range,” says Maarten P.M. van Meerwijk, CEO of Ridderinkhof.
The Wave Winch from Ridderinkhof is an electrically powered winch system that automatically moves the rope between tug and tanker precisely within this power range. Customer statements to Ridderinkhof have confirmed that the handling during escorting maneuvers is very much improved, especially in difficult operating conditions, during escorting and berthing in high waves.
“The Wave Winch system can definitely contribute to the high maneuverability of the Voith Water Tractor. As a result, the VWT captain can fully concentrate on the mooring maneuver of the tanker and does no longer have to keep one hand on the winch,” says Marcel Flipse, in charge of business development at Voith Turbo Marine.
The combination of the Voith Turbo VWT and the Ridderinkhof Wave Winch follows the recent findings of the project “SafeTug” of MARIN, the Netherlands Maritime Research Institute, which looks at safer ship handling. The circle of participants in the project includes a number of propulsion system manufacturers such as Voith Turbo, tug operators and large oil companies. In future, standard concepts for various Voith Turbo VWT sizes will therefore include the Wave Winch as recommended and fully compliant equipment.
“Apart from its application with VWTs, the Wave Winch can also be used for other offshore duties. In future, customers can buy all the reliable products from Ridderinkhof in countries where Ridderinkhof is not yet represented also via the national subsidiaries of Voith Turbo,” says Mark Neumann, Head of the Trading Division of Voith Turbo.
Apart from the electrical driven Wave Winch, Ridderinkhof developed a hydraulically driven version, which is still in test phase. “With the know-how of Ridderinkhof in winch concepts and the experience of Voith Turbo in the field of hydrodynamics, the operational version of this hydraulically driven winch will be improved even more”, states Klaas Zoet, Technical Director of Ridderinkhof, who envisages a number of interesting applications also in non LNG-related operations: “The Wave Winch is in fact a whole new standard”.
Voith Turbo (voithturbo.com), the specialist for hydrodynamic drive, coupling and braking systems for road, rail and industrial applications, as well as for ship propulsion systems, is a Group Division of Voith AG.
Voith (voith.com) sets standards worldwide for papermaking technology, power transmission, energy technology, and industrial services. Voith was founded in 1867. With approximately 40,000 employees, annual sales of € 4.9 billion and over 290 locations worldwide, Voith is one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. Voith is an official partner of the initiative “Germany - Land of ideas.”
Ridderinkhof (ridderinkhof.nl) is founded in 1900 and has been fully focussed on the design and manufacturing of winches since then: the company never did anything else. It is a private owned company, on a daily base managed by the owners resulting in short chains of information and command, oriented on business with a long term strategy.