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Integrated offshore access system takes walk-to-work to the next level

Thu 16 Feb 2017 by David Foxwell

Integrated offshore access system takes walk-to-work to the next level
In addition to providing safe access, K-Walk should make walk-to-work more efficient when combined with a ship’s DP and vessel management systems

Olympic Shipping is the first customer for Kongsberg Maritime’s integrated vessel gangway solution which integrates a motion compensated access system with a ship’s dynamic positioning and management systems.

Kongsberg’s K-Walk motion-compensated gangway is to be installed on the multipurpose platform supply vessel (MPSV) Olympic Orion and will be integrated with a Kongsberg information management system (K-IMS) and the ship’s existing K-Pos dynamic positioning (DP) system. The vessel is due to be upgraded in the latter half of 2017.

In addition to integration with the ship’s K-IMS system to enable mission and route planning for increased service capability in offshore windfarms, the system also connects with the DP and a planning station. In this way, says Kongsberg, the system extends vessel availability by increasing the operational weather window.

“Combining integrated mission planning, automated vessel manoeuvring and gangway hook-up, K-Walk introduces a step-change for increasing efficiency and productivity for walk-to-work operations of a type that are integral to windfarm construction and maintenance projects,” Kongsberg claimed. “While providing a completely safe, motion-compensated gangway for the transfer of personnel and materials, integration enables a more efficient approach and connection to turbines and other structures and enhances logistics.”

The system is activated prior to entering a wind turbine’s safety zone, reducing vessel speed and launching the K-Walk hook-up process during approach. Because of the integration with the DP, the gangway is able to move into position while the vessel is still moving, positioning it safely as the vessel arrives on station.

As highlighted above the system will be connected with Olympic Orion’s DP system, offering increased operability with a new operator environment, which the company says will require less manpower and has minimal training requirements.

The K-Walk solution for Olympic Orion will have an integrated lift system for the transfer of people and equipment, including electrically-driven trolleys (which are currently under design) for movement of pallets across the gangway. “Overall, K-Walk significantly enhances operational efficiency, which improves productivity, with the ability to serve more wind turbines within the same time frame,” the company claimed.

Olympic Subsea chief operating officer Bjørn Kvalsund said: “We see potential to install this integrated gangway solution on board several of our vessels to provide walk-to-work services into an expanding and interesting market segment.”

Kongsberg Maritime executive VP, global sales and marketing Stene Førsund said he believes K-Walk will enhance decision-making and management during transfer operations, and make those operations safer, more predictable, and efficient.

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