ready for smart – does that make sense in offshore applications?

Richard Habering | 26. May 2020

Offshore – where service work costs millions: is that really necessary? Energy supply at drilling rigs, construction machines and shore power applications – cold, wet, dirty and heavy. Real stress for thick cables, hard hoses, but also for sensitive bus and data cables. Too much stress leads to breakages – which usually cost a lot of time and money. $50,000 to 100,000 for helicopter or ship are quickly used up. Also, management is not happy about the involved production downtimes.
The system will last longer with the new e-loop. Thick plastic modules protect it and prolong the time to the next maintenance. In case of an emergency, cables and chain parts can be replaced individually. This results in a significant reduction of unexpected service costs. If in addition there were a technology that prevented the package from being damaged during tilting or that notified users whenever the cable service life reached its end, the service of drilling rigs or large construction or agricultural machines could become a relaxing job.

left: e-loop with cables and strain relief
right: single e-loop element

With the CF.Q system, we already brought a monitoring system to the market in 2016 under the name CF.Q “intelligent cable”, which determines the mechanical condition of the cable through additional elements and informs the user.
Admittedly, the additional elements usually require a special cable; therefore, we have been measuring the condition of Ethernet cables since 2018 by analysing the used wires in the CF.D concept. In the beginning, an industrial PC was inserted into the cable. This was replaced by smaller units in 2019.

In our laboratory, cables are testes up to “the end of their life”, so that AI or machine-learning elements are not necessary for determining their condition. This reduces the required calculation effort and hence allows for more cost-effective technology approaches.
Sea, storm, swaying, ice, snow – all of this can cause a lot of trouble. If the service loop gets caught in the construction, the high drive forces can destroy the entire system in just a few seconds. This does not have to be the case. With the EC.PR system, we measure the forces at the moving end, depending on their position. As soon as they are exceeded, the plant is informed within milliseconds and shuts down. System stopped quickly, danger averted – clear blockage and carry on.
Is the system connected to an ICOM module, the service technician or other authorised people are informed via intranet or internet and can clear the blockage remotely in many cases.

So, whoever feels “ready for smart” should contact an igus® colleague now and order a test system.

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