An important responsibility of GustoMSC is to ensure that technology remains at the highest level. One of the core activities is the design and supply of equipment. René de Bruijn, Equipment Manager, together with Spyros Magripis, Mechanical & Structural Engineer, and Arjan van der Spek, Technical Equipment Coordinator, shed light on how they and their colleagues carry out their activities.
The activities of the GustoMSC Equipment department comprise two main elements: design and supply of the specific offshore equipment and the servicing of this equipment in operation. For both elements, it is important that all aspects are in order to ensure that people can work efficiently and in a good and open atmosphere. We often face challenging and complex projects involving engineers, project managers and third parties. In the case of servicing equipment, a tight schedule is often added to the equation. Retrieving the right information, estimating the costs, looking at what should be put out to tender and the actual scope of supply are often the first steps in our process.
To be able to work quickly and efficiently, we need to have the right qualified personnel available at all times and deploy robust systems. This and the close cooperation with our suppliers, with whom we have developed long-term relationships, enable us to assess the relevant components, at the right costs, minimizing surprises for the client.
Besides responding to the market, we also anticipate market movements going forward. Continuous improvements and initiatives to innovate, so that our designs and equipment work more efficiently and safely, are elements determining our strategy.
A common industry theme is that prices are always under pressure and competition is fierce. This has a major influence on innovation and the development of new equipment or technologies. We have a product expert in place for each main equipment component who is responsible for making sure our equipment is technically and commercially viable for market demands. We investigate state-of-the-art materials and technologies that can, for example, make a design more robust and lighter and we take the time to brainstorm whenever there is a new idea. This not only leads to innovation but also to the improvement of existing equipment to enable our customers to work more efficiently and safely, expanding the capabilities of their equipment.
Data of our equipment generated under operational conditions help us to define the room that allows us to increase the capacity within the capabilities of the equipment and within the applicable safety standards. Our Operator Support System (OSS) is analyzing this data real-time on board of the unit. The data generated by different equipment are analyzed by algorithms, providing advice to operators on the safety level of their operations while these are being carried out. These innovations directly expand the operational envelope and enable possibilities for existing wind turbine installation units to follow the growing market demands. It is important to look at the possibilities within the standards set in which safety is key. Innovations are possible within this context. Risk assessments, failure mode and effect analysis, we do everything to ensure no issues have been overlooked.
GustoMSC distinguishes itself by not looking at equipment as a standalone item, we consider equipment as part of a total system. This way, both the design of the unit as well as the equipment can be optimized for installation, operation and maintenance. For example, if something changes on the equipment side, we immediately see what the impact is on the design of the unit and vice versa.
As an example: it doesn’t need a lot of imagination to realize that strength and safe operation of the jacking system are essential for the overall safety of the jack-up and thus for its crew, the environment, our customer and our company. This all starts with mechanical engineering and manufacturing. The goal is to lift “a little village’’ weighing more than 30,000 tons while the scale of microns can be the difference between success and failure.
In our complex environment, teamwork is crucial in every phase of a project. Internally within the project team, within the department and between the different departments, and externally with classification societies, third parties and, of course, our customers. All in order to ensure proper integration and a successful project.
For example, we have recently completed the basic design phase representing a step change in our VSD control system of our Rack & Pinion Jacking System. The teamwork with colleague engineers working on the jack-up itself and the contribution by our long-term partners that work with us during R&D, concepting and project execution are essential in this process. The target was to simplify the control system to lower the barrier for some customers, without making any concessions in regard to safety and performance. With our partner Siemens, new technology was brought in, followed by a rationalization round, leading to very significant reductions in electronic components both in type and quantities. Maybe going against the trend, the amount of data collection points was also reduced. Meanwhile, the engineers involved in our logging and remote access features started to expand these features with the capabilities available within NOV, so at the end, we will have more meaningful data for us and the jack-up operator.
Technical Equipment Coordinator
Arjan van der Spek
“Our projects, from prospect to completion can take years. It starts with a piece of paper and ends with the creation of a huge machine. This end goal drives each engineer. For this specific product, the process culminates in the jacking trials and hull-height test. Even though we know the test is going to be successful, as soon as that little jacking joystick is released after reaching full height, an important milestone is attained for all parties involved. And we create a temporary landmark showing this off to the local community. And the view is great!”
Mechanical & Structural Engineer
“In my role within the Equipment department, I know that communication is key for successful project execution. By joining forces, sharing ideas and listening to the demands, we can accomplish a wide range of tasks. The customer’s need become the ‘big picture’ which is communicated to the team, so everyone is working towards a common goal. One of the most satisfying aspects of my work is to realize how the end deliverable adds value to the operations of the end-user. Being part of this accomplishment inspires me to keep on going.”
René de Bruijn
“For me collaboration is the most inspiring aspect of my job. Working with a whole group of enthusiastic and smart people, being able to do beautiful things together in terms of design and new innovative products. The Chela and the telescopic crane are good examples. Such products are created through cooperation between many people across the company. This makes me proud to be a part of GustoMSC.”
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