“RAM Octo” spreader goes into action

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The Spliethoff Group is using a new pipe handling spreader from RAM to support logistics for an offshore pipelaying vessel.

The RAM Octo is a new pipe-handling spreader specially designed for the Spliethoff Group in Indonesia. “Spliethoff Shipping approached RAM to help with a major offshore project, handling pipes between Indonesia and Australia. Working together with Spliethoff, RAM produced a universal pipe handling spreader,” RAM said.

Octo can handle one, two or three pipes at a time.

The result is the new RAM “Octo” pipe-handling spreader. The Octo is a self-powered attachment that can handle between one and three pipes at a time. Pipes can range in diameter from 16 to 60 inches (40 to 152cm) and between 11.8 and 12.7m in length. Independent longitudinal and lateral adjustments to each pair of telescopic arms allow the operator to make fine adjustments when encountering out-of-alignment pipes by lifting and correcting their alignment during the lifting process.

Spliethoff has purchased multiple units of the Octo to handle pipes at multiple points. “RAM Octo will first be deployed at the port in Batam, Indonesia, loading the offshore pipes from the quayside into the shipping vessel’s hatch. Another RAM Octo on the shipping vessel crane then transfers the pipes into a transhipment vessel near the coast in North West Australia before being transferred again into the pipelaying vessel,” RAM explained.

Octo loading pipes into the hold.

Octo features a rotational control system to adjust the position of the load underneath a crane hook. A full 360 degree rotation takes less than 1 minute, allowing for accurate positioning of the pipes without the need for ropes and slings. The pipes are handled with “soft touch grippers and pads on all contact points between ‘Octo’ and the pipes. Mechanical sensors on the soft touch end grippers send a signal to the operator’s remote control when the pipes are securely clamped longitudinally,” RAM said.

Safety features include a load weighing system. Load cells in the end gripper detect when the load is applied when the padded pipe fork engages with the underside of the pipe, sending a signal to the operator that it is safe to lift.

“We have worked with Spliethoff to provide a safe and innovative solution to load pipes. This system is one of several innovations in this project to make it safe and reliable,” RAM concluded.

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