As part of the Maersk Group of companies, Svitzer A/S is the largest towage and salvage company in the world, operating more than 430 vessels and employing over 4,000 associates globally and has adopted Samson Ropes. From Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia to Australia, North America, and South America, Svitzer’s fleet is composed of large, high-capacity tugs (80mt bollard pull or greater), midrange tugs (50mt–70mt bollard pull range), and legacy tugs, used mostly for utility work.
While Svitzer’s high-capacity tugs are obvious candidates for the latest in ultra-lightweight, high-strength, 100% Dyneema® fiber ropes such as Samson’s Saturn-12™, midsize tug towing lines have traditionally been treated as a commodity.
Until recently, Svitzer’s midsize tugs utilized traditional fiber ropes, usually all polyester—either jacketed or single-braid. To meet the strength requirements of towage operations, these ropes are large, heavy, and difficult to handle. When wet, the weight problem is even greater. In addition, large polyester ropes don’t always spool well on winch drums.
1) The jackets part, compromising the strength of the line.
2) Jackets can mask damage to the core.
Repairing the damage often leads to long splicing sessions, taking the tug out of service for as long as a day. In the long run, it’s cheaper to replace the ropes.
“In much of the tug industry, rope has been regarded as a commodity—if it breaks, throw it away and replace it,” said Mark Gambell, EMEA technical sales manager for Samson. “We try to help the crews recognize that their ropes are highly complex, engineered pieces of equipment, just like the winches, drive systems, and other equipment they rely on daily. When a rope breaks, we take it very seriously and we want to understand the cause of the failure.”
Svitzer wanted a rope that could withstand the strain of standard operations encountered by midsize tugs, eliminating the headaches of undetected damage that can lead to early failure, but without the investment in high-performance, all-HMPE (high-modulus polyethylene) ropes. Samson ropes research and development team went to work.
The answer was Samson ropes Fusion-12. As a hybrid rope, it blends the strength and performance of Dyneema® HMPE with polyester fiber into a single-braid construction that is significantly stronger than other polyester ropes, yet lighter, more flexible, and easier to handle. Fusion-12 spools well without polyester’s tendency to dive/bury on winch drums. On-board inspection is a simple process and on-site splicing takes a fraction of the time required for jacketed constructions. Additionally, Fusion-12 has reduced elongation and better resistance to abrasion compared to traditional polyester lines. Best of all, it bridges the investment gap between high-performance 100% HMPE and traditional fiber ropes.
Read the full case study here.
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