Ampelmann XL

In 2011, Ampelmann had 4 of their famous walk to work systems operating with success when they visited Vuyk. The Ampelmann needed to be modified from a gangway length of 20 to 25 m and the upward maximum angle needed to increase from 20 to 45 deg. No problem for our engineers. However, as for most of Vuyk’s projects, there was a catch: The heart of the system, the stewart platform (hexapod) was not to be touched.

Simply increasing the length means an increase in weight and worse, an increase in moment on the hexapod. Therefore, Vuyk started the project with a concept study in optimisation of the existing gangway construction and gangway luffing cylinder arrangement, with the aim to reduce weights and moments.

Vuyk generated several concepts for the cylinder arrangement from which a non-obvious choice came out to be the best solution. It did not only mean a more favourable weight distribution but also a better gangway interface load introduction.

The gangway luffing cylinders were moved from in front and underneath the transfer deck to aft of the gangway on top of the transfer deck. The weight of the cylinders was now counteracting the weight of the gangway and the load introduction on the gangway became more favourable. The luffing cylinders were now connected directly to the railing and therefore introduced the luffing load better into the gangway construction.

To help weight reduction, the transfer deck was also reduced in size and the control cabin reduced in weight. With the new cylinder arrangement came new arrangements of the control box and with the new gangway, a new telescoping equipment arrangement was the result.

The above meant a completely new structural design checked with ANSYS calculations, 3D mechanical designs and 2D basic design and manufacturing drawings.
At last Vuyk assisted during building of the Ampelmann XL.

The project was started in January 2011 and finished with a new Ampelmann XL ready for offshore work at the beginning of May 2011. Managing the mentioned scope in such a short time span would not have been possible without the dedication of both the Ampelmann and Vuyk project teams working closely together, effectively and pleasantly.