Offshore installation specialist Jan De Nul Group has ordered a high-end crane simulator for two of its Next Generation Offshore Installation Vessels Voltaire and Les Alizés.

According to Jan De Nul, 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 complex offshore installations in a completely safe environment, in the most severe conditions. 

The partner for the development of this simulator is the Norway-based company OSC AS (previously known as Offshore Simulator Centre). 

This simulator will be installed in the new dedicated simulator center in Jan De Nul’s new office building in Belgium. The set-up includes a crane operator dome, a vessel operator station, a (de)briefing room, and an instructor station.

The crane operator cabin with the real-life Huisman operator chair including the dedicated control system will be installed in a 7-meters high dome.

The vessel operator station will have a real-life bridge desk where systems as the Dynamic Positioning (DP) system, ballast and Heeling system and jacking system can be controlled.

“This autumn, Jan De Nul welcomes two new Next-Generation offshore installation vessels: 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,” Jan De Nul said.

“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 comes next – and very soon, because the industry is evolving at a rapid pace – are turbines up to 20 MW. No other vessel on the market today can handle these giants. That first is reserved for Les Alizés and Voltaire,” the company added.

The jack-up installation vessel Voltaire will be equipped with a 3,000-tonnes Leg Encircling Crane (LEC), the Heavy Lift Vessel Les Alizés with a 5,000-tonnes Tub Mounted Crane (TMC).

“In order to train future operators, deck crew, superintendents and bridge crew to work with these giant cranes in a safe and realistic environment, Jan De Nul ordered a high-end crane simulator with OSC AS,” the company said.Crane being installed on the Voltaire vessel – Credit: Jan De Nul

Tom Maes, Manager Electrical and Automation Department at Jan De Nul Group: “This crane simulator will not only be producing extraordinary graphics and close-to-reality sensations like any random video game. 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.” 

Mathieu Edet, Head of Projects at OSC: “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. 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.”

 

Digital twins

New Crane Simulator – Credit: Jan De Nul Group

Jan De Nul said that the simulator would offer the chance to operators, deck crew, superintendents and bridge crew to train the specific skills and techniques required to operate the cranes, in a safe but realistic environment. 

“It will allow them to prepare for different work situations, such as working in extreme weather conditions, with heavy loads and strict installation tolerances. Various mission equipment, such as the motion-compensated pile gripper, including the communication and interactions between the different persons involved in lifting procedures, will also be a key aspect of the training package,” Jan De Nul said.

On the other hand,  Jan De Nul said, this simulator will be a priceless tool for Jan De Nul to use during engineering and initial feasibility studies for projects and tenders. 

“Thanks to the next generation advanced dynamic and hydrodynamic models incorporated in the software, this training device will be a digital full-scale replica of the real set-up on board, including a fully digital environment where future or existing project scenarios can be uploaded, tested and rehearsed well in advance and in a completely safe environment,” the company said.

Les Alizes – Credit: Jan De Nul

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