World’s first combined automated mooring and shore power project on track

The world’s first battery-powered ferry was delivered recently, heralding a new era in environmentally responsible shipping. The vessel, which will serve a high-frequency route in Norway, will use our very first combined automated mooring and shore power system.

World-first: the Norled battery-powered ferry

Plain sailing: the world’s first battery-powered ferry. (Image: Norled)

The ferry, built in Gdansk, was recently delivered to Fjellstrand shipyard in Norway for outfitting and sea trials, and is set to enter service on January 1 next year. If your Norwegian is up to scratch, you can read more about the delivery, and this innovative project, here.

The project is a collaboration between ferry operator Norled, Fjellstrand shipyard, Siemens and Rolls Royce. The 80m-long vessel is designed for around 120 cars and 360 passengers, and will make 17 crossings of the Sognefjord between Lavik and Oppedal daily.

The ferry, the first of its kind, has been nominated for SMM’s ‘Ship of the Year Award’, the winner of which will be announced in September this year.

Cavotec automated AMP and MoorMaster™ systems are currently being installed at the Lavik and Oppedal berths ahead of the introduction of the ferry.

Unprecedented level of automation

The level of automation in this application is unprecedented: the MoorMaster™ units will be operated by the ship’s captain using our hand-held radio remote control units. The mooring system will signal to the AMP unit when the ship is safely moored. A laser sensor will then guide the AMP connector to a hatch in the side of the vessel, connect to the ship’s battery and start charging.

We’re pleased to report that all equipment deliveries for this project are also on schedule. We’ll keep you updated about this exciting project in the months ahead. In the meantime, here’s a link to some great footage of MoorMaster™ in action at a similar application in Denmark, and a bulk application in Australia.



Cavotec radio remotes pack a punch

Here’s news of another of our radio remote control (RRC) applications, this time with units that control the flow of explosives from tank trucks to boreholes via hoses.

Fire in the hold: 395 boreholes packed with explosives

Fire in the hold: boreholes are packed with explosives.

At this construction site in Sweden, the units ensured that 300 to 400 boreholes were safely filled with 30-40kg of explosives. Special features on these, (and on three other trucks), include an ‘AD TWIN’ system that boosts the maximum range of the units. The need for a reliable, long-range radio link is considerable, especially in these sorts of applications.

The units’ displays also provide operators with data on the amount of explosives in any given borehole, the total amount of explosives in all the boreholes, and pump pressure. All these are easily selected by the operator at the push of a button on the terminal unit.

Full control: a Cavotec MC-23 RRC unit ensures safe operations at all times.

Full control: a Cavotec MC-23 RRC unit ensures safe operations at all times.

Each truck is supplied with two identical systems which allows two operators to fill explosives simultaneously from one truck. We have supplied four trucks with this system for this customer, and are set to upgrade several other vehicles with similar equipment.

Cavotec RRCs are used at a wide variety of applications all over the world. Amongst many others, notable applications include operating traffic systems, equipment on deep sea drilling rigs and to even help clear unexploded munitions. The units are also used to operate our MoorMaster automated mooring system.

Exploring new opportunities at a packed OTC 2014

We’re at the vast #OTCHouston exhibition this week, and judging by the sheer number of visitors, you can see why it’s one of the largest trade shows in the offshore sector.

Busy, busy, busy: OTC 2014 is exceptionally well attended.

Busy, busy, busy: the Cavotec stand at OTC 2014.

According to organisers, OTC (the Offshore Technology Conference) is “the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection.”

At this year’s event we’re exhibiting our range of systems for offshore energy and maritime applications, including steel drag chains, radio remote controls (of the explosion-proof and standard varieties), MoorMaster™ automated mooring, AMP, cable chains, power connectors, slip rings and motorised cable reels.

The Cavotec team tell us that our radio remote controls – used, amongst other things, for operating machinery in harsh environments – are attracting particular interest.

“A lot of people are asking about our radio remote control systems; it’s a market where we certainly see a great deal of potential,” says Sofus Gedde-Dahl, Managing Director, Group Sub-unit Oil & Gas.

If you happen to be at OTC, do drop in to see us at stand 5235!

Leading the charge for electric vehicles

As car manufacturers race to meet growing demand for electric vehicles (EV), we’re applying our cable management expertise to help the industry develop innovative technologies that keep EVs charged and on the road.

No longer the preserve of unlikely concept cars or Hollywood stars keen to promote their “green” credentials, EVs are steadily becoming more mainstream. According to the Green Autoblog, the number of EVs is currently doubling every year.

EV schemes in cities such as Paris are becoming increasingly popular.

EV schemes in cities such as Paris are becoming increasingly popular. Image credit: Automobile Propre.

Last year BMW launched its electrically-powered i3. Renault has a range of small and mid-size range vehicles, and their compatriot rival, Peugeot, is following suit, as are Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes, Nissan, Volvo, VW and others.

And Tesla, considered by many as the trailblazer for EV cars is seeing its sales accelerate dramatically. According to the Economist, Tesla’s Model S last year outsold its nearest luxury rival, Mercedes’s (petrol) S-class, by 30 per cent in the US.

Charging towards the mainstream: the range of electrically-powered cars is rapidly expanding.

Charging towards the mainstream: the range of electrically-powered cars is rapidly expanding. Image credit: Electric Cars Report.

The flourishing EV market is being further underpinned by the continued tightening of legislation on vehicle emissions, most recently by the EU which recently announced fresh curbs that will take effect in 2021.

Cross-over power

We’re currently working closely with a number of customers on developing existing and entirely new self-retracting cable management systems for EV charging units.

We’re even advising on the design of electric “petrol” stations of the future, where petrol pumps may, one day, be replaced by fast-charging units.

Our cable management systems for EV applications consist primarily of assisted self-retracting cable management systems, based on three types of spring reel that improve ergonomics, safety and life cycle of EV charging cables and plugs.

Cavotec engineers and manufactures these systems, and assembles cable sets with EV charging plugs as defined by customer specifications.

We’re developing versions of these technologies for battery-powered passenger ferries, and now we’re bringing that knowledge to cars. If we’re doing this with cars and ships, why not buses?

EV is clearly an exciting, rapidly growing area with substantial potential that we’re delighted to be involved in.

Deft Dortmund cuts turn-arounds with Cavotec

A look at how our advanced tunnel systems are helping ensure fast, efficient aircraft servicing at Dortmund Airport in Germany. 

These systems are an excellent example of our how our Airports technologies - and especially our E3 Gate concept – are improving passenger experience and operational efficiency at airports worldwide.

E3 stands for ergonomics, economics and the environment; and it’s a concept we’ve applied to, and adapted from, the ports sector.

You can learn more about how the E3 Gate is revolutionising aircraft servicing here. You can also learn more about the launch of the fuelling element of the E3 Gate here.

Our thanks to Dortmund Airport for making this film possible. Let us know what you think about this film by sending us a message on our Facebook page or Twitter feed.


MoorMaster™ locks onto biggest project yet

With our largest project for automated mooring to date - for 13 locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada – MoorMaster™ continues to shake up the shipping industry. 

MoorMaster™ is already in use at the Seaway and in the video below, you can see how the specially designed units hold vessels securely through variations in water level of up to 14m. The St. Lawrence is the world’s first inland waterway to introduce automated mooring.

Considered to be one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, the 600km-long Seaway is made up of 15 locks that form an essential trade link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

The project is the latest in a series of major orders for MoorMaster™ – a technology that is revolutionising the way ships are moored.

In November last year we announced what at the time was our largest order for the system, and our first in Africa. And in July we won a project to develop the world’s first integrated automated mooring and shore power system for a passenger ferry service in Norway.

MoorMaster™ is a vacuum-based automated mooring technology that eliminates the need for conventional mooring lines. Remote controlled vacuum pads recessed in, or mounted on the quayside or pontoons, moor and release vessels in seconds.

Since its introduction in 1998, MoorMaster™ has performed some 80,000 mooring operations at passenger ferry, bulk and container handling, Ro-Ro and lock applications all over the world.