When the time came to expand Dalian Shipyard’s shipbuilding and repair facilities to build next-generation LNG tankers and container vessels, they turned to long-term partner GE Power Conversion (NYSE:GE) to supply the complete drive and automation system for Goliath Crane. Over their 12-year relationship, GE has helped Dalian Shipyard to remain competitive by supplying drive and automation technology up to the latest standards, as well as by adapting its drive solutions to Dalian Shipyard’s requirements making them more customized and flexible in connecting existing components and systems to GE’s crane technology.
The shipbuilding business is continually evolving based on the increased size of LNG tankers and container vessels, the demand to build these ocean mammoths quicker while maintaining the ever-present safety requirements and the need to manage or reduce energy use. GE’s sophisticated Goliath crane and accompanying drive system combined with the company’s long-term experience and track record of supplying these systems is helping Dalian Shipyard to meet these demands.
"We’ve been working with GE for 12 years. Their ability to customize drive and automation systems for large cranes is helping support the development of our shipbuilding and repair operations," said Gao Guo Chun, project manager at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd. "GE’s technology enables two of these 600-ton cranes to work simultaneously, enabling the handling of higher loads required for building larger vessels. At the same time, GE’s drive system technology saves significant amounts of energy. Working together with GE helps us continually push the boundaries of shipbuilding."
GE’s drive technology delivers efficient and flexible control of electric power and is particularly designed to work and perform reliably under often severe environmental conditions. It brings optimized energy consumption and low pollution management by using active rectifiers. The control system is used to control both the drive and the crane. It is an innovative solution, which includes all the hardware and software interfaces for drive-related control functions such as encoder connections, brake inputs and outputs and fast inputs for safety and positioning functions. Important to Dalian Shipyard is the automatic skew control system (ASCS) control and regulation software, which ensures two gantry sides, both have a length around 200 meters, run simultaneously.
Furthermore, GE’s drive system high-overload capability, fault-tolerant design, intuitive and fast error-tracking capabilities offer robustness and increased availability of the equipment to the shipyard, helping to improve their performance in building vessels. Additionally, GE’s drive system brings reduced noise and heat emissions, has a low space requirement due to its compact design and offers high flexibility and low maintenance. It features quick replacement time of modules without the need for special tools or equipment.
"Our fully integrated crane management systems are helping our customers meet the evolving and demanding needs of the shipbuilding industry," says Pascal Cros, general industry business leader, GE Power Conversion. "Our solutions are designed using active energy management and configurations enabling simplified status, diagnostics and fault detection so the operator can monitor all functions and data to improve overall operation of the crane. We’ve been working with Dalian Shipyard for many years. We understand their needs and together we are working on solutions that can help strengthen their role among China’s shipyards."