MORELLO PLATFORM CARTS – Naval Project: On-Board Submarine Transporter
Posted on February 18, 2021
OceanX is a company based in the USA founded by Ray Dalio and his son, Mark Dalio. Their mission is to explore the deep ocean, educate, inspire, and protect the seas and bring ocean and marine life to the world through captivating storytelling.
The ship OceanXplorer carries 4 different deep-sea vehicles, will navigate seas right across the world and explore oceans to a depth of up to 6000m.
OceanXplorer is the most advanced exploration, research, and media vessel ever built. It was constructed in Norway by the Damen company. The challenge asked of Morello was to provide transfer carts capable of safely and securely moving highly advanced small submarines on the deck and in the hold of the ship.
The project was both challenging and very stimulating given the scope and mission of the OceanXplorer project. Let’s describe the project here in more detail.
Client and Location:
OceanXplorer ocean-going vessel, USA based, but with a mission of navigating all of the world’s oceans.
Morello’s direct client is the Norwegian shipbuilder Damen and the end client is OceanXplorer. For this project we dealt with the submarine operator.
|Object||Two on-board submarines which, although small submarines, were very large relative to the size of the ship|
|Working Area||Hazardous on-board operations where the roll and pitch of the relatively small ship can be quite extreme in rough seas|
|Space||The ship is a relatively small vessel with very tight spaces in which to manoeuvre the submarines|
|Weather Considerations||The Morello cart must withstand life on an ocean-going vessel and endure all types of weather conditions|
|Air Quality||Sea air, saline environment with aggressive weather conditions|
|Flooring Conditions||The surface of the vessel is not built to withstand excessive weight burdens and so the weight distribution, complicated by the ship’s roll and pitch, must be stable and dynamically balanced. The flooring will often be wet and so the risk of slippage during roll and pitch movement had to be managed|
|Location & Service||The middle of the ocean is not a friendly place to be in the case of machine breakdowns! Morello transfer carts must be exceptionally reliable machines. Breakdowns are not easily repaired; Morello’s technicians cannot be on hand 24/7 offshore|
|Vehicle||OceanXplorer needed two platform carts on-board the ship to move the exploration submarines. The carts were Battery-Powered OMNI Heavy Duty Platform Carts, with electric motors ensuring pollution-free operations. Only certified IP protected electrical components were used, with stainless steel materials preferred and a certified C5-M marine paint finish applied. The carts were built to carry submarines and other equipment up to 20 tons in weight|
|Steering||To navigate OceanXplorer’s tight spaces OMNI heavy duty platform carts were used for maximum steering flexibility. The multi-directional steering is able to drive with front and rear steering, at 90°, diagonally, rotate on its axis, etc|
|Mobility||To manage the ground pressure effect and avoid overloading at any single point, dynamic acceleration calculations were made to ensure an even load bearing in all sea conditions on an ocean-going vessel. To ensure optimal grip and surface adherence all 12 wheels were individually motorised and the hydraulic suspension ensured that all 12 wheels were continuously grounded. Specific calculations were made to measure friction levels between the materials of the vessel floor and the cart’s wheels in wet and dry conditions|
|Motors||AC brushless electric motors, no maintenance, no pollution|
|Operating Control||The vehicle is driven using a radio-controlled unit with potentiometer. The operating software is Morello’s proprietary software used globally, developed and fine-tuned over many years|
|Technical Support||Zero maintenance components were used wherever possible|
Potential failure risks were identified and minimised
Backup intervention procedures were outlined in case of need
Backup spare parts were provided to ensure 100% efficiency
Vehicle Diagnostics available on advanced HMI
Remote Assistance active with on-board monitoring software
|Project Management||Morello’s project teams have many years of experience supplying technical solutions for challenging projects such as OceanXplorer. This project was particularly challenging given the hostile ocean environments this exploration vessel would be navigating|
Morello Client Engagement Team: Amedeo Morello, Luca Tibaldi, Stefano Rizzo
We look forward to speaking with you!