“Walk to work” is an intelligent gangway system for safe transfer of personnel and cargo from vessels to fixed or floating offshore wind turbines or power stations. “The system communicates with the vessel’s DP system to maximise operational performance and safety,” says Hugo Øyen, SVP Sales and Marketing at Uptime International.
Europe has close to 25 GW of installed offshore wind capacity. This is a dramatic increase from 18 GW in 2018 and continued rapid growth is expected.
This in turn places a growing demand on the Norwegian supply industry to develop innovative technologies for faster and safer installation, maintenance and servicing of fixed and floating offshore wind turbines.
Uptime’s autonomous, motion-compensated logistics system is safe, emission-free and cost-effective and can be installed on any type of offshore vessel. The electric-powered system features assisted landing, slip-off detection, stepless access for personnel and cargo, and various optional integrated transfer lines. An integrated crane function also allows the gangway to be used as an offshore crane for lifting up to 6 metric tons.
An operator on board the ship’s bridge controls the 30-metre-long system. The intelligent assisted landing function means that the system learns each time it performs a landing. The AI uses the data to improve the landing the next time it is performed on the same location. This automatically makes docking faster and safer the next time, while eliminating the need for manual handling.
Uptime also delivers other types of gangways, ranging from 18 to 60 metres in length.
Read more: Norwind Offshore’s first vessel ready for delivery with Uptime walk-to-work system installed
Uptime’s intelligent logistics systems make it easier and faster to service offshore wind farms. The autonomous landing function reduces risk by eliminating human error during docking, thereby enabling safe transport of service personnel and cargo to offshore installations.
In addition to keeping people and equipment safe, the system reduces operation costs, as the AI feature cuts docking time and service vessels’ fuel consumption.
“When you can improve the docking and the transfer of personnel and cargo, by even just a couple of minutes, it adds up to a lot of time saved over an annual year of operating a wind farm” says Øyen.
Uptime has supplied close to 150 gangway systems to the offshore energy sector since 1979. Its first deliveries to offshore wind projects began in 2012. Since then, its solution has evolved from a gangway system to a complete logistics system for personnel and cargo. The company has released several new products and digital applications in 2022.
“The new releases allows us to provide clients with more tailormade reporting systems and real-time access for the onshore teams working together with the offshore teams,” says Øyen.
Uptime expects to see a positive increase in demand for its logistics systems up to 2030 and beyond.
“We see ourselves as the leader in the W2W industry. Uptime aims to stay ahead in providing new types of technology and new types of solutions to efficiently solve the safe transfer of both personnel and cargo,” concludes Øyen.