Okeanus Delivers Groundbreaking Winch and LARS to NiGK

Okeanus Science & Technology, LLC (Okeanus), an established provider of marine engineering services and oceanographic equipment, has released further details of an active heave compensated umbilical winch and skid mounted A-Frame style LARS that was delivered to Japan’s NiGK Corporation (NIGK) earlier this year.

The system underwent strict factory acceptance tests and sea trials and, following its delivery to NiGK’s end customer, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), was then deployed on two separate deep-sea mining missions to successfully recover cobalt crust core samples using NiGK’s new state-of-the-art seabed drill.

Mounted to a vessel of opportunity, the 10-ton SWL winch and LARS proved instrumental in the handling of the tethered drill. The Okeanus team were responsible for the engineering development of the skid-mounted umbilical winch and LARS, from concept through to production, and it was manufactured at Okeanus’ facility on FM-529 in Houston, TX.

The active heave compensated LARS incorporates a number of exclusive features and modes of operation, such as: a custom telescoping docking head design and assembly (with failsafe latches); full rotation maneuverability; oversized dual groove over-boarding sheave, for use with the umbilical and positively buoyant strain relief; and an operator-adjustable motion damping feature that allows for safe and efficient shipboard launch and recovery operations, even in high sea states.

“We worked in close and ongoing collaboration with our customer, NiGK, on this cutting-edge system and incorporated a number of new and exciting design features,” according to Okeanus managing director Benton LeBlanc. “The umbilical winch and LARS were successfully tested dockside in Japan earlier this year and, on the successful completion of sea trials, the system was deployed on deep-sea mining expeditions.”

This is the latest in a series of specialized engineering projects on which Okeanus was able to custom design solutions for safe and reliable deployment in the Deep Sea. Okeanus’ ability to work in phased partnership with clients from a range of industries and international markets to define fit-for-purpose equipment is further testament to the firm’s reputation for manufacturing robust, mission-critical handing systems, as well offering a leading portfolio of rental oceanic hardware.

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