April 2022

MDL services Brazil electric winches

MDL has performed an inspection and service of 10 electric winches on board the Seven Waves Pipelay Support Vessel (PLSV) in Brazil.

The spread included various-sized winches: from 5-tonne to 40-tonne line pull - one of 4 x identical packages delivered between 2012-2015 by MDL to equip the client’s 4 x PLSVs (also Seven Rio, Seven Sun and Seven Cruzeiro).

An MDL field service technician travelled to Brazil to perform full health and operational checks, with a particular focus on the systems’ load cells.

The expert technician identified and rectified faults in load cell readings on 4 of the winches, followed by load cell calibration checks.

Additionally, they performed inspection on the 10-tonne Overbender Tensioner (OBT), also delivered by MDL as part of the original manufacture order.

The scope was concluded with an inspection report, complete with recommendations for further improvements.

John Paterson, MDL Operations Authority, said:

“It was great to return to the vessels we know so well and to find the winches in good condition and well maintained.

“The fact that it was one of our technicians that performed the servicing ensured a smooth and efficient execution. They had intimate knowledge of the equipment, but were also very methodical, following a step-by-step fault-finding process – starting with basic readings and checks, testing different options as they went.

“They also assisted addressing queries on the client’s MDL-built 4-track tensioner that was on board at the time, delivering even more value to the client.”

A subsequent award will see MDL return to this and other PLSVs to upgrade some of the remaining winches to repurpose them for subsea deployment.

In advance of this scope, MDL engineering team carried out a FEED study to confirm the winch capacities for the proposed operation and specified the required upgrades, including software, mechanical and electrical design upgrades, and to revalidate Lloyds certification.