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Down the ways, right on time

Illustration | Allseas Group
Marginal Column

Above: This specially designed ship moves platform superstructures in one piece so that disassembly can take place on land.

Image: Allseas

Allseas - an operator of special-purpose ships - puts its faith in binding project processes.


When building special-purpose ships, delays can cause painful financial losses. Process reliability and a dependable contractor were thus vitally important when Allseas started planning the world’s largest construction vessel, scheduled for launch in 2014. It will be able to lift and transport offshore platforms’ topsides up to 48,000 tons and jackets up to 25,000 tons in weight.

In 2008, when seeking solutions for the topsides lift system, drive and control systems, and the components for the hoisting system, Allseas once again turned to its trusted partner Bosch Rexroth. Because of the singularity and complexity of the requirements, they agreed to develop the topsides lift system in a joint effort and then to work down, step by step, to the details.

The result was a contract covering system engineering and the flanking simulation effort. Specifications called for multiple assembly groups, which in turn gave rise to three sub-projects – detailed engineering, the construction phase, and the procurement phase. Each triad was implemented for the central power supply unit, the horizontal drive and the vertical drive. The result: multiple process chains that were to run in parallel and influence each other.

A special challenge for Rexroth’s international team – charged with development, quality assurance, project management, and procurement – was completion within a limited period of time. This was particularly critical during the construction phase. There it was necessary to draw up perfectly timed but nevertheless realistic planning for manufacturing capacities all around the world. The horizontal drive is an ideal example of Bosch Rexroth’s expertise in this field.

To choose the perfect system for the horizontal drive, the Rexroth engineers drew up a matrix showing 16 drive types. Technical, financial and maintenance aspects were entered here. That may seem complex, but ultimately it meant a clear advantage for the customer, who will receive the best possible technical solution. Unnecessary repetition of process loops in later phases of the project will be prevented by following binding project management processes. So in the end, there will be another successful project and another satisfied customer on the reference list.