Sea Discovery


New Vessel Motion Monitoring System Receives Excellent Results


Image: STL James Fisher and Sons plc group companies Fendercare and Strainstall Marine have received excellent results following work with subsea and offshore development experts Submarine Technology Ltd (STL) to test and validate their new Vessel Motion Monitoring System (VMMS). The VMMS™ was tested on STL’s “6 degrees of freedom” Motion Platform in order to evaluate its performance when subjected to the pitch, roll, yaw, heave surge and sway motions normally experienced at sea. STL has been involved in many leading edge projects within the subsea and offshore arena including: diving systems; ROV/diving bell launch and recovery systems; hyperbaric lifeboats; HP/HT valves; ship-borne space stabilized crew transfer solutions; well head control & monitoring systems and automated ultrasonic NDT. Scott Cruttenden, Strainstall Marine’s Business Development Manager, commented on the results of the testing program: “Utilizing the STL motion platform, their instrumentation/software and expertise has provided corroborative data proving the accuracy of our system. The testing replicated various ocean conditions and will provide confidence to our customers and emphasize the importance of the VMMS and its operational value. Vessel motion monitoring is not new to Strainstall Marine as variations of the system have been supplied as a bolt-on to our Hull Stress Monitoring systems for many years, however these have been engineered for much larger vessels as opposed to being specifically tailored to aid in offshore wind farm transfers”.

Fendercare Marine and Strainstall Marine have jointly developed the Vessel Motion Monitoring System™ (VMMS™) to provide accurate motion monitoring during wind turbine transfer operations offshore. Vessel motion is a key safety consideration when transferring personnel from shore to wind farm & turbines. An accurate motion monitoring system can increase the available operating window considerably by providing objective data on all motion parameters rather than relying on significant wave height as the main limiting factor. The VMMS™ can significantly improve safety levels during transfer operations and has the ability to be used as a dedicated health and safety tool by collecting data for analytical purposes as well as supporting accident investigations. The software also includes GPS, enabling the user to create log files providing current data on vessel location and the conditions. When transporting personnel from shore to the work site (or between work sites) the motion trend displays can be used to quantify vessel motions, enabling effective changes in course and speed that mitigates against seasickness and provides a more comfortable environment for passengers. During docking operations and the offloading of personnel, the displays can be used to monitor heave levels and provide warning to the master when pre-set danger limits are about to be reached. All transfers can then be halted until conditions improve in order to safeguard personnel and avoid damage to vessels or equipment.

“The VMMS™ system marks a significant step forward in the development of our marine services business, demonstrating that we have the scale, technology, expertise and reach to deliver value added solutions to the offshore wind sector,” commented Group Business Development Director, Jim Hey. “Moreover, it also exemplifies the unique and innovative approach of James Fisher and Sons based on over 165 years as a vessel owner and operator and leading provider of marine services worldwide”. The Vessel Motion Monitoring System™ is immediately available and is receiving a high level of interest and demand across the offshore wind supply chain. James Fisher has grown rapidly over the past decade as its leading divisions, including Fendercare Marine and Strainstall Marine, have been able to exploit the synergies of product, service and technology made available through the company’s acquisitions and subsequent organic growth. Fendercare Marine alone has grown its revenues in excess of ten-fold over the past decade and it is targeting significant further expansion through its ability to deliver exceptional quality of products and service, encompassing the unique skills and expertise available across the global James Fisher organization.


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