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A smoothly run operation

Implementing automatic lubrication on supply ships

Around the clock, oil is drilled for in the high seas. It is a natural resource that large parts of our society rely on. Furthermore, to ensure the important industry does not grind to a halt, everything must run smoothly at all times. This begins with taking care of standard components, such as a wire rope.

Drilling for oil requires more than just a platform in the sea. Supply vessels continuously support the drilling process by providing fundamental equipment and services. They secure the oil rigs, supply them with material, or even take them to a new location. Supply vessels also work in the most extreme weather conditions as oil is drilled regardless of the time or place. This could be in blistering heat or icy waters.

Challenges for supply ships

Thor Ltd. is a shipping company that specializes in these tasks. Its headquarters are located in the Faroe Islands and its fleet is deployed throughout the world. The company’s supply ships support operations in locations such as Angola and Greenland. They are often working for weeks at a time which can be an endurance test for both man and machine.

The loads that supply ships transport are frequently heavy, making thorough care of winches crucial. At regular intervals, the crew must lubricate the steel cable to reduce friction and minimize wear. Frequent lubrication is important as the fleet often has a full schedule and cannot afford downtime. This is especially challenging when freezing conditions or rough seas interfere with work.

Automatic lubrication boosts safety

When it comes to wire rope maintenance, Thor Ltd. utilizes a tool that makes things much easier for the crew. Where once the lubricant would have to be applied manually, sometimes to ropes that are several hundred meters in length, this task is now handled by an automatic lubrication system. The system can easily be operated by every crew member from the knuckleboom crane or the winch.

These lubricators are particularly valuable for Thor Ltd. because the company places huge value on safety for the sea, the oil rig, and, above all, the crew. Crew members are no longer at risk of injury should the wire rope become defective.

Thor Ltd. ensures that safety is always to the highest standard and structures its entire company philosophy around this. Based in the Faroe Islands, the shipping company provides a comprehensive range of off-shore support services to the maritime industry. The Thor Ltd. company vision is to be the best service partner in the North Atlantic. For more information, please visit the Thor Ltd. website.

Lubricating a wire rope to a higher standard can double its service life.

Two issues one solution

Furthermore, an automatic lubrication system offers an additional benefit. When grease is applied by hand, it can be unevenly distributed. This means that the consumption of the lubricant is high and that the rope may be inadequately protected against wear. An automatic system spreads the lubricant more evenly on the steel cable. A newly-developed groove cleaner also cleans the wire rope of the used lubricant before applying the new protective coating.

Thor Ltd. has already implemented the system on five of its 11 ships. Consequently, the shipping company minimizes the potential risk to crew members with a single tool, while increasingly profitability. By lubricating a wire rope more effectively, its lifespan of can be doubled.

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