Magnum-X and MagnumPlus heavy-duty round slings employed in the manoeuvring of monopiles for offshore wind turbines

The Sif-Group have enjoyed positive results with the Magnum-X and MagnumPlus heavy-duty roundslings. They are employed in the manoeuvring of monopiles for offshore wind turbines.

Lifting Round Slings

Wind turbine installations are currently on the increase. On and offshore power generation from wind has increased worldwide by 16 per cent to 370 gigawatts in 2014 according to Frauenhofer IWES (Institut für Windenergie und Energiesystemtechnik). But before the blades can begin to rotate all components of the wind turbine must be lifted, lowered and positioned during production, transportation and installation on site. A challenging task especially when it comes to the so-called monopiles. These tubular elements are utilised in the construction of offshore wind turbines in shallow coastal waters and form the turbine’s foundation. In order to anchor the monopiles to the seabed stably, they must as a rule be driven into the seabed for at least half their own length.

Lifting Roundslings

Having produced over 1,250 monopiles for the wind-turbine sector the Sif Group bv in Roermond is a specialist in offshore seabed foundations. The monopiles of thick steel plate are initially rolled and then welded into a tubular section. Finally the sections are welded together to form one long tube which with a diameter of 7 metres can be up to 60 metres in length and weigh 700 tonnes. The Dutch are planning serial production of monopiles with a diameter of 11 metres, 100 metres in length and a maximum weight of 2,000 tonnes for future wind farms in deeper water and with more powerful turbines from the end of 2016.

Magnum X Lifting

The monopiles are loaded onto barges and transported from Roermond to Vlissingen and finally onto seagoing vessels to the offshore wind farm. Technical knowledge and professional lifting equipment is needed to hoist and load the monopiles. So Sif have been using MagnumPlus heavy-duty slings made by SpanSet GmbH & Co. KG of Übach-Palenberg for the last three years. During that time the roundslings from this specialist manufacturer have stood up to the test of these particularly difficult lifting and transport manoevres.

Round Slings

Jan Donders, safety manager of the Sif group who is also responsible for the transportation of the monopiles justifies his company's decision to use textile lifting slings as follows: "Our products are subject to extremely stringent quality requirements. The partly untreated, rough surface and the extreme heavy weight of the steel tubes put an extraordinary strain on the lifting equipment. In addition the surface of the monopiles must not be damaged". The lifting equipment must therefore not only be particularly strong and robust, but must also be protective of the steel tubes. Therefore chains and wire ropes are unsuitable as lifting equipment.

Compared to the equipment produced by other manufacturers, and utilised previously, the product has a determinable longer lifespan and it pays off, as Jan Donders asserts: "SpanSet's Magnum roundslings demonstrate much less wear and tear than the slings we used to use. And since we've been using them the service life has more than doubled". Despite the slightly higher price however they are all in all more economical.

Round slings

In the meantime Sif have been employing several Magnum-X and MagnumPlus heavy-duty roundslings with lifting capacities of 100 tonnes each. Depending on the size of the monopiles between four and eight of these slings are required for each lifting operation. The Sif group's safety expert commented with regard to his experience: "Safety is first and foremost and the Magnum roundslings are always reliable even under extreme conditions".

Safety and reliability are above all a question of product quality. However after-sales service also needs to be right. For that reason SpanSet offers customers like Sif a 24 hour service, which is carried out through the local distributer network and which guarantees a quick response and continual product availability when inspections and repairs are due.

Magnum-X: Especially robust and compact

The MagnumPlus roundslings have for years been a tried and tested solution in quite extreme situations. And yet the demands on the products are constantly increasing. They must be safe, but at the same time easy to handle. Because the loads to be lifted are becoming heavier, conventional roundslings are becoming larger, heavier and more and more unmanageable. That is why in Übach-Palenberg they have developed the Magnum-X, an extremely robust and compact heavy-duty roundsling for standard lifting capacities from 10 to 450 tonnes in a straight pull.

The unique feature of the Magnum-X is its specially compact construction. Thanks to its construction comprising of a load bearing high-performance fibre core and a compact outer sleeve, the Magnum-X is up to 50% narrower and lighter than comparable conventional textile roundslings. Consequently it can be applied to loads with tighter radii while having the same load capacity and will not be crushed on smaller crane hooks and sling attachment points. As there are less creases, the abrasion behaviour is clearly improved and there is no loss of load capacity.

The Magnum-X is also, thanks to the special fibres used in the outer sleeve, more cut and abrasion-resistant than conventional roundslings and ensures optimal safety and durability even under the toughest operating conditions - for users like the Sif group an important economic factor.

Another point which helps to convince our Dutch customers is that the roundslings are equipped with a tear and abrasion-resistant label in which an RFID chip is integrated to store product details. It protects the roundslings from identity and data-loss and facilitates the storage of data for the certification service. Together with IDXpert, SpanSet's electronic product identification system the RFID transponder enables professional data recording and management. Jan Donders is definitely "heel tevreden", i.e. highly satisfied with the possibility of asset management simply by being able to read from the transponder.

View Magnum X Lifting Slings at our stand at Electra Mining Africa
12 - 16 September 2016
Expo Centre, Nasrec, JHB
9am to 5pm Daily
Hall 6 Stand B22

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