12 MAY/JUNE 2017 RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD
fnding innovative ways to
cuts costs and/or improve
processes. Mortenson’s Maag
gave an example of how logistics companies must be able
to deliver taller cranes in
order to accommodate the
taller turbine towers that
have larger nacelles.
“We have to work very
closely with the crane companies to make sure that there
are going to be machines big
enough to get to those elevations,” he said.
people and cargo transfer solutions for the offshore
wind industry in Europe.
Friso Talsma, Business
Development Manager with
the company explained that
its fully motion compensated gangways exist to “make
sure people can safely get to
work on an oil and gas platform or an offshore wind
platform.” Because they are
gangways remain stable in
harsh marine environments
and are not affected by wind,
waves or currents.
The company recently announced that its E1000
motion compensated access
system, with a gangway
that transforms into a crane
boom, had performed more
than 12,000 people transfers
and 7,000 cargo transfers
safely between an offshore support vessel and wind turbines
over a ten-month period. That increase in operational man-
hours on the maintenance program for the wind farm result-
ed in Ampelmann’s contract being extended by Siem Offshore
Steven Vis, Operations Engineer at Ampelmann explained
that the company was able to fnd a more productive solution on
“During this project, we came up with a solution to further
increase operational effciencies. The manual pins were replaced
by hydraulic pin pushers, which reduced the change-over time
from people to cargo mode from ten to fve minutes. The E1000
was then able to transfer both people and cargo within 20 min-
utes,” he said.
Even though a fve-minute reduction in the time it takes to
perform an activity doesn’t seem like a huge innovation, reducing
the time involved in performing a complicated process by 50 percent no doubt adds up over time.
Tinking Big, Really Big
Talsma said that Ampelmann has now formed an internal team
devoted to solving problems or creating more effciencies within
the wind industry.
“With that team we are developing innovations based on systems we already have or on new systems specially designed for
the wind industry,” he said.
Mortenson has also formed several internal teams that are
focused on innovation, said Maag. The “innovation challenge”
asks teams of construction professionals to come up with “some
of the boldest and the best ideas to tackle a problem within our
industry,” he said.
There are seven teams working on the wind industry and
each one will come up with three ideas. Those three ideas will
then be narrowed down to one idea per team and each one will
be presented to upper management at the end of 2017. Mortenson’s upper management will then choose which ideas to pursue
for further development, potentially investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to advance them, Maag explained.
“It’s really amazing to see the creativity of our team members
when you unleash them to think freely and to come up with ideas
like that,” he said.