Marine crane for heavy weather

Tom Iverson
Tom Iverson
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Heavy lifting specialist Mechan is spearheading development of cranes designed for use on offshore wind turbines in high seas.

With help from the University of Sheffield, the Sheffield manufacturer has completed the design of a crane that can transfer goods to and from supply vessels.

A university mechanical engineer, Tom Iverson, has been working with Mechan on the two-year project, which comes to an end in September. He has helped create a crane with a three-metre reach that can be attached to the base of a turbine.

Richard Carr, Mechan’s managing director, said: “Although we have produced jib cranes for many hazardous applications and environments, finding a design that would work with vessels moving unpredictably presented additional technical issues we had not encountered.

“We knew the University of Sheffield would have the research skills to overcome these challenges and we are very pleased to have a finished design well within the development window.”

Tom’s project at Mechan was through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which offers businesses access to funding and academic expertise.

Richard added: “Rapid growth in offshore wind farms has brought the logistical needs of these developments to the attention of suppliers such as Mechan. We are now looking forward to producing a prototype that will enable us to showcase our new crane and demonstrate how it will improve the efficiency and safety of construction at sea.”

Mechan supplies clients from the power industry, including Areva Transmissions, Siemens and Rolls Royce.