The Upending Tool – developed for monopiles up to 1,500 t
The monopiles of wind turbines are getting bigger and heavier, as they will have to be installed in areas with greater water depths in the future. The Axzion Upending Tool, the largest grab in the world, was developed for these extremely heavy monopiles. Thanks to state-of-the-art control technology and variable functions, even the largest monopiles can be safely gripped and erected. The three huge grabs of the attachment tool, each with four toothed and diameter-adjusted grab jaws, bite into the monopiles, which in turn can have a maximum unit weight of around 1,500 tonnes.
The wall thicknesses of the huge monopiles are small in relation to the maximum diameters of up to 6 metres. The steel pipes have to be gripped carefully; simple hook constructions could bend the pile. The Axzion Upending Tool has three arms and reliably prevents the piles from deforming. The “star” can be swivelled hydraulically, so that both horizontal and upright piles can be gripped at the front and then easily erected with a tilting device.
Each of the arms has two grippers with hydraulic drive. In addition, the grippers are mechanically self-locking, so that gripping safety is fully guaranteed if the drive fails. The upper pair of grippers can be moved hydraulically, which allows different gripping strategies adapted to the load and also allows deformed pipes to be picked up… The Axzion Upending Tool can be continuously adjusted to pile diameters from 4.5 to 6.5 m.
State-of-the-art control with offshore suitability is mandatory. The individual movements are synchronised via a PLC control system. Operation via radio remote control is simple – intelligent lock systems prevent incorrect operation. Optionally, all functions and sensor messages can be sent from the gripper to a WLAN panel, which also enables external intervention in the control system (e.g. emergency or “catch the pile” function). Four high-performance cameras with powerful LED spotlights transmit a clear image wirelessly to the split screen so that the crane operator can see exactly the position of the individual grabs.
All drives are redundant – safe and reliable operation is mandatory. The Axzion Upending Tool has a double hydraulic drive and two powerful marine diesel generators. So if one unit should ever fail, the second system will ensure unrestricted operational readiness.
Video: Upending tool