Guide blocks with all the right moves


Project: Guide blocks for dumping rocks
Application: Fall pipe vessel Stornes

Ropeblock was commissioned to design and manufacture two special guide blocks used for installing rocks at great depths. These blocks are used on board fall pipe vessel Stornes of Dutch marine contractor Van Oord.

Fall pipe vessels dump rocks on the sea bottom using special pipes. This procedure is used primarily to provide protection to underwater structures such as pipelines or cables. The Stornes is able to install rocks at great depths. The vessel recently set a world record by reaching a depth of no less than 1,277 meters. 

The guide blocks that Ropeblock developed for Van Oord are much different from standard guide blocks with fixed sheave positions. They come with a hydraulic system that allows for the sheave to move along with the winch’s spooling motions. This minimize the fleet angle, lateral deviation, an effect very detrimental to wire rope longevity.

What makes this system even more special is the way it’s positioned in the winch drum’s longitudinal direction. This arrangement entails that the system must be able to move the sheave under the full load of 55 metric tonnes of winch force. These blocks were designed and manufactured under certified conditions and fully certified by Bureau Veritas. Mind you, to Ropeblock this is standard procedure rather than exceptional.


Smart Engineering

Ropeblock’s leading market position is primarily due to a carefully thought-out way of doing things. On one hand we translate extensive engineering experience, nourished by trusted partnerships with customers and suppliers, into superior product design. On the other we deploy clever manufacturing and supply chain management processes to ensure (cost) efficient production. All along the way we refuse to make any compromise in terms of safety and quality. This entire approach can be summarized with a term that says it all − Smart Engineering. It’s bound to work for you as well.

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