Lifting specialists improve safety and efficiency on wind turbine assembly site

Lifting specialists improve safety and efficiency on wind turbine assembly site

Towne Lifting & Testing has expanded the scope of its contract with Siemens Gamesa after improving safety and efficiency at its wind turbine pre-assembly site.

The specialist firm was brought in to ensure all equipment met stringent safety standards and was suitable for lifting operations at the Alexandra Dock facility in Hull.

Experts conducted a thorough assessment and introduced new processes and checks to ensure all lifting equipment was correctly used and complied with statutory LOLER and HSE requirements.

Hull-based Towne Lifting & Testing – which also has branches in Middlesbrough, and Newcastle – created a lifting village on the site which is staffed by its own engineers 24 hours a day.

The measures proved so successful that the firm’s responsibilities have been expanded to incorporate other areas, including container equipment, inspections and transport equipment.

Towne Lifting & Testing is hopeful that its services may now be rolled out to other Siemens sites following the conclusion of its 12 month contract.

The lifting village has ensured Siemens Gamesa has full confidence that its lifting equipment is safe to use and that defective items are quickly identified and withdrawn.

The procedures introduced by Towne Lifting & Testing, which is a member of NOF Energy and is also on the steering group of Energi Coast, the North East offshore wind supply chain group, has increased efficiency by reducing the incidents of dropped or failed equipment.

The lifting village, which includes a rigging loft and stock of lifting equipment placed at easy-to-access storage points, ensures all work on lifts is carried out using the correct equipment.

All lifting equipment must be signed in and out by the person responsible and is thoroughly examined on its return and any defective items are placed in quarantine bins.

Thomas Towne, company director, said: “We have introduced many improvements to the Siemens Gamesa site through reducing the amount of dropped or failed equipment.

“The presence of our qualified engineers has also led to less down time by creating efficient stock control.

“Siemens Gamesa has asked us to take on other responsibilities on the site, which reflects well on our expertise and growing reputation. We hope to work closely with Siemens on other projects in the future.”

Paul Livingstone, Head of Business Development at NOF Energy, said: “The breadth of expertise within the NOF Energy membership provides local, national and international businesses with a wide range of skills and services.

“The North East has a great deal of expertise in the offshore wind supply chain, including a cluster within the NOF energy membership. Companies like Town Lifting & Testing play a key role in supporting the industry’s ambitions to deliver cost effective, efficient and safe operations in the delivery of renewable energy projects.”