Jan De Nul orders advanced crane simulator

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The new crane simulator will be used to train personnel to work with giant cranes on two next-generation offshore installation vessels. [ Photo copyright Jan De Nul Group]

The Jan De Nul Group has ordered a high-end crane simulator to support its two next-generation offshore installation vessels, Voltaire and Les Alizés.

The crane simulator will be based on real physics and the actual vessel models, enabling Jan De Nul to train its crewmembers and realistically simulate — in a completely safe environment — complex offshore installations under the most severe conditions. Its partner for the development of the simulator is the Norway-based company OSC AS (previously known as Offshore Simulator Center).

Arriving this fall, the jack-up installation vessel Voltaire and the heavy lift vessel Les Alizés will be a serious size larger than their look-alikes currently available on the offshore installation market. Thanks to their size and unrivaled lifting capacity, both vessels will be able to install future wind turbines at sea. Current offshore wind turbines go up to 15 MW. What will come next – and very soon, as the industry is evolving at a rapid pace – are turbines up to 20 MW.

“No other vessels on the market today can handle these giants,” says Jan De Nul. “That first is reserved for Les Alizés and Voltaire.”

The jack-up installation vessel Voltaire will be equipped with a 3,000-tonnes leg encircling crane (LEC), the heavy lift vessel Les Alizés will have a 5,000-tonnes tub mounted crane (TMC).

The crane simulator has been ordered to train future operators, deck crew, superintendents and bridge crew to work with these giant cranes in a safe and realistic environment.

“This crane simulator will not only be producing extraordinary graphics and close-to-reality sensations like any random video game,” says Tom Maes, manager electrical and automation department at Jan De Nul Group. “The simulator will be based on real physics and the actual vessel models, offering a digital twin of both vessels and tools. In other words, a priceless engineering tool, fully at the service of our clients to advise them in their plans for the future.”

“With our expertise in digital twins and real-time simulation of demanding offshore operations, we aim to deliver first-rate engineering and training tools for marine operations,” says Mathieu Edet, head of projects at OSC. “The commissioning of a high-end simulator for Voltaire and Les Alizés is a project that is in accordance with our philosophy: delivering cutting edge and multipurpose simulation solutions for engineering teams and mission crew readiness. We are thrilled to be onboard this journey with Jan De Nul Group and aspire to provide an industry-leading simulator that will gather all operation key stakeholders.

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