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ACE Winches – offshore technology review

Published by
World Pipelines,

In honour of the Offshore Technology Conference, each year, World Pipelines’ April issue includes updates from oil and gas pipeline companies working offshore around the world. In addition to the issue’s general offshore focus, a number of companies are invited to participate in the annual Offshore Technology Review, which offers insights into global offshore pipeline activities. Read on to see what ACE Winches has been up to.


ACE Winches (UK) specialises in the design, manufacture and hire of winches, marine deck machinery and the provision of associated hire personnel for the offshore oil and gas industry. The company’s deck machinery products can play an integral part in pipelay, trenching and pipe pulling operations, with each piece of equipment playing a different role. Moreover, having the most suitable type of equipment on deck can help reduce operational time and improve efficiencies, resulting in potential cost savings. The type of vessel can have a bearing on equipment requirements, such as weight restrictions, footprint availability and compatibility with the other equipment being used.

Each project will have unique challenges for project management and operational teams to resolve. These issues are varied and include operational location, environmental conditions, sea depths, weight and space restrictions, load requirements and specific safety factors, each of which could have a bearing on the deck machinery requirements. Tailoring the equipment used on a project to match specific requirements can be beneficial, and being able to work in collaboration with an engineering team on product specifications and design can help to ensure that the equipment is fit for purpose for that specific operation. It may be necessary to use an active heave compensation (AHC) winch solution in some cases. An AHC winch filters the heave movement of the vessel, thereby keeping the load motionless in relation to the seabed or fixed installations. This increases the vessel’s operational uptime and ensures that operations continue, despite potentially poor weather conditions.

The ACE 500 t reel drive system has recently worked on several projects involving the spooling and deployment of subsea products. The latest project involved the deployment of mooring lines from a single reel. The product range has been developed for high tension spooling and the deployment and recovery of subsea products, including umbilicals, risers, flowlines, flexible pipelines, power cables and mooring lines.

ACE Winches’ four track tensioner has been used for the deployment and retrieval of products. With a maximum line pull of 50 t, it supports varying types of reel spooled products. A separate control station is used to operate the four track tensioner, with the electrical controls hardwired to electrical junction boxes that are located on the tensioner framework. The four track tensioner utilises caterpillar track type systems for hauling or veering cable, umbilical, steel pipe or similar round tubular products. They are designed for horizontal and vertical deployment, are enclosed within a lift frame, and can be operated in either a two or four track mode with track links fitted with ‘V’ shaped pads.

An ACE 50te SWL 4-Track Tensioner solution, supported by an additional winch package, was previously deployed on board the Olympic Ares for the recovery of subsea cables. The products that were recovered ranged from 160 - 344 mm using a single size of track pads. Moreover, supported and operated by a team of ACE Winches engineers, the tensioner has just completed a three month contract for deploying subsea products in Australian waters.

Looking to the year ahead

Alfie Cheyne, CEO of ACE Winches, said: “With market analyst companies forecasting a year of stability and opportunity, and with clients continuing to venture into greater depths, ACE Winches understands the need for equipment to operate in harsh conditions. While the company believes that it is well placed to support operators and contractors on several projects over the next 12 - 18 months, to ensure that it is accommodating the ever-growing needs of the oil and gas industry, ACE Winches has developed the 500 RDS.”

You can find ACE Winches at OTC 2017 at booth #1061.

Additional information can be found on ACE Winches' website.

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