A 250t capacity back tension spooling machine.

Three recent contracts awarded to the Gaylin Group of companies (of which Rigmarine is a part of) substantiated their collective status as a major global specialist provider for turnkey wire rope supply and installation packages.

Progressive development of deeper water exploration, supported by new-build state-of-the-art deep-water construction and offshore support vessels have transformed the spooling industry. From mundane spooling of 25t wire to critical logistical and operational scopes of work, the sector demands hours of planning, top of the range tensioning equipment and, of course, industry-leading knowledge and expertise.

Mike Duncan, Managing Director at Gaylin, said: “All of our international service centres are equipped to provide a varied work scope from the rental of spooling machines and operators only to a full project managed package. Typically, this is in the marine and / or lifting industries and will involve the handling and installation of anchor mooring wires, A&R [abandonment and recovery] wires, mooring systems and crane wires, all presenting their own spooling challenges, and few companies excel at this activity.”

Recently, a number of extensive fibre rope spooling and tensioning projects have been executed by the group, each of which, Duncan said, brought with them their own challenges, but also a satisfying level of achievement and knowledge to all involved.

Three projects in particular provide testament to this the point. Two case studies presented a simultaneous challenge to install A&R wire rope packages aboard vessels in Malaysia and Azerbaijan respectively. One docked at Johor Port required 109mm * 3,000m, 160t capacity rope. In Baku, aboard another, 112mm * 3,000m rope of 155t capacity was the order of the day.

Duncan reflected on the scale of both projects, recalling local mobilisation of engineers and machinery from Gaylin’s offshore marine base in Johor and Rigmarine’s Azerbaijan facility. Each location provided an engineering team of at least 12 people, including project management as well as two spooling machines of over 200t capacity.

He said: “Due to irregular reel dimensions in the Caspian, re-engineering of the 200t spooling machine was required in a short timeframe to avoid mobilisation of a specific machine from Europe. This saved the client in excess of $50k alone.”

A winch test system was provided to the same project with specific components, such as a 500t triplate, 500t wide body load measuring shackles and synthetic grommets. Both projects were completed within budget, on time and without incident, Duncan added.

Finally, and most recently, Rigmarine mobilised a team from its new UK operation, comprising a project manager, mechanical fitter, machine operator and two qualified wire rope technicians, to assist with the installation of over 6km of 90mm diameter AHTS wires, all of which were provided by Rigmarine Europe UK.

A bespoke all-weather socketing and rigging facility, in addition to a 250t self-contained back tension spooling machine, supported the team. Also part of the package was a rigging and test equipment loft, including water bags and load cells to test the vessel cranes. The project was completed ahead of schedule, allowing the vessel to depart and take up charter. Duncan highlighted the fact that this was the first of six new-builds for which Rigmarine Europe UK has the supply and installation contract.

He concluded: “As a group we offer a wide range of spooling plant from 5t to 400t capacity and in all we operate in excess of 30 units located in several key geographical regions. Having the machinery is one thing but ensuring we can provide excellent support to our clients via our experience and competency is another. Many wrongly believe it’s all about investing in the kit and forget about the ability to safely use it. All of our equipment is in accordance with European and international standards such as LOLER and PUWER, and all of our technicians go through tailored and rigorous training courses.”