The project

Jack-up barges are used for offshore activities such as drilling, exploration and construction. The lifting system of a jack-up consists of 3 or 4 legs that move vertically down from the hull of the barge and lift the hull out of the water to create a stable working platform. The growing demand for larger (and therefore heavier) wind turbines requires a higher lifting capacity. Therefore, the hydraulic systems must be modified to handle the larger pressures.

Our approach

We upgraded the hydraulic system on several jack-ups. In passive preload (where the ship’s own mass pushes the legs into the seabed), the increased weight creates higher pressures than the existing manifolds can handle.

By installing special distribution blocks between the cylinders and the existing manifolds, it is now possible to work with higher passive preload pressures.

To ensure that the new hydraulic piping and manifold blocks fit perfectly, we measured the piping on site with the mobile 3D measurement system. This system consists of a 3D camera and wireless recording system that automatically generates a 3D drawing. The piping and manifolds were then produced in our workshops in Yerseke and Schoondijke and measured again for validation.