SEMF attracted a finalist’s nomination at the 2012 Pace Zenith Awards for its work on the Sante Fe project, a barge with the largest payload and jacking capacity in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sponsored by Pace magazine, the Zenith award recognises excellence and innovation across the Australian process and control engineering industry. SEMF earned a finalists’ nomination in the Machine Builder category for its work on the Sante Fe jack-up barge, a hydraulically-operated four-leg vessel designed to serve as a construction platform at sea. The project was undertaken in partnership with McConnell Dowell.

SEMF navigated a series of technical and operational challenges including deep waters, payload weights in excess of 35000 tonnes, mobility issues and highly specific automation requirements, to construct the barge.

Headed up by Principal Electrical Engineer and Director, Andrew Bongetti, SEMF addressed these complexities by designing a simple programmable logical controller featuring remote input/output racks and hydraulic power packs, located on each leg. The team also incorporated a linear displacement transducer on the working catch of each leg, to measure the position of the jacking cylinders and protect the jacking teeth from damage.

Although most barges are limited by outdated screw-thread jacking mechanisms, SEMF’s innovative jacking system allows for higher operational speeds and a significantly heavier lifting capacity – a feature that makes it easy to carry out heavy-duty ocean work.

“One of the challenges was providing a fast response and offering support to the barge operators – this is complicated by the fact that the barge operates offshore and in remote coastal areas all around Australia,” says Bongetti.

 “We equipped the barge operators with the ability to dial and access the control system from anywhere in the world. Once we make the diagnosis, on-board electricians can fix the problem.”

 The Sante Fe barge was rebuilt at the McConnell Dowell Construction Yard in Batam Indonesia with final fitout and commissioning performed at Cape Lambert in Western Australia.

Posted by SEMF on 26 October 2012


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