Industrial elevators for ships
Since 2017, we have been actively developing and supplying elevators for ships.
Used as servicing vessels for wind turbines situated at sea, up to several kilometres from the shore. Due to the fluctuating sea level (high/low tide) and different elevation of the servicing hatch of each wind turbine depending on the type, the vessel naturally has to be equipped for this adequately. The vessel’s tilting gangway that reaches to the wind turbine servicing hatch can therefore be adjusted to the height of each turbine mast. The gangway is accessed from our elevator, the top landing door of which is movable along with the gangway. Thus, the elevator always needs to know where the landing door is located, and stop precisely next to it.
We had to deal with this and many more requirements of our Dutch customer, which were all new to us, not only at the start of the project, but even during the manufacturing, with constant changes and additional requirements. For instance, both the landing door and the cabin door were to open automatically, which is very unusual for our elevator design. Therefore, we supplied special doors that complied with that requirement. The whole elevatorsystem is supposed to communicate with the vessel control system, so that the elevator can be controlled independently from the vessel bridge. These and other requirements were a major complication to us compared to our standard elevator design, but we handled them progressively and, in late 2017 and early 2018, our service technicians and builders installed the first elevator successfully at Ulsteinvik harbour in Norway.
The successful project in Norway was followed by more, installed in Romania, Spain and the Netherlands. To this day, we have manufactured and supplied 9 elevators and 3 more are in production. The elevator design has been standardized to some extent, but the customer has had still more new requirements, so that it can be claimed without a doubt that each of the products is unique and adjusted to the individual project requirements.
At first, we did the installation by ourselves with some minor help from our Dutch customer’s technicians. Gradually, however, the installation procedure has been stabilized so that the customer always installs one part of the elevator in its hall beforehand and delivers it to the port as a whole. Our technicians or engineers usually only arrive for the final assembly to make adjustments, commission the elevator and, most importantly, inspect the elevator operating safety, for which we are liable as the manufacturer and which each elevator operator has to observe carefully. All the elevators have to conform to technical and safety certificates for elevator units as well as DNV certification, specific to equipment working at sea.
Jan Kraft