Mooring winches are employed widely in marine infrastructure for moving, securing, and anchoring heavy objects during marine operations. Mooring winches are used to secure the end of mooring lines of the shipboard, adjustment of the mooring line length, and to provide and compensate for changes in tide and draft. ISO Standards 3730 and 7825 provide the guidelines and general requirements for shipboard mooring winches according to the different types of marine operations. Mooring winches are generally categorized by their control system type, which is either automatic or sometimes based on manual tensioning system.
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Some other types of mooring winches system are categorized by drive type, which are based on hydraulic, steam, or electric system. Mooring winches constitute of a number of drums, which are associated with each drive system. These drums are also categorized as split or undivided type. Another important part of a mooring winches systems is the brake, which constitutes of a mechanical screw, band, disc, and spring that is applied according to the type of application and marine system.
There are generally four types of mooring winches systems: automatic tension mooring winch system, manual tension mooring winch system, non-split drum mooring winch system, and split drum mooring winch system. Self-tension winches are particularly designed to perform automatic heave-in operation whenever the tension in the mooring line falls below a certain pre-determined value in the mooring system. Self-tension mooring winches are majorly employed for mooring system deployed vertical to the ship floating axis. Manual tension mooring winch system always requires a trained personnel to handle and control strong heave-in or rendering operations. Non-split drum mooring winch system consist of undivided drum winches. These type of mooring winches are generally found in smaller ships.
Stooling and stowing operations with the spool wire is difficult to perform for non-split drum mooring winch system, as the metal wires in this system are handled directly off the drum. Metal wires under tension tend to bite into the lower layer of the drum, which can cause severe damage to the wire and create difficulties in releasing the tension wire line. The non-split drum in the mooring winch system is often placed at a sufficient distance from the fairlead to reduce the damage and to ensure the proper spooling of the wire. Split drum mooring winch constitutes of a spooling drum, generally divided by the help of a notched flange into a line storage section and tension section.
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Other types of mooring winches systems include low pressure and high pressure winching drives. Low pressure winching drives are utilized to provide dynamic braking, ease of operations, and low noise level. Low pressure winching drives also provide high torque and step-less speed regulation. Low pressure winching drive system consist of a few mechanical parts, which makes it less susceptible to wear and tear. Therefore, it has very less maintenance cost. The high pressure mooring drive has an efficient low-speed performance and excellent stalling capabilities in mooring operations. High pressure mooring drives are also easy to operate, install, and maintain. Mooring winches are utilized in tankers, dry cargo ships, passenger ships, ferries, workboats, offshore vessels, fishing vessels, and naval vessels. Some specialized mooring winches are also employed in applications such as semi-drilling vessels, rigs, semi-FPSO/production rigs, FPSO, jack-up, pipe-laying barges, and drilling ships.
Increase in inter-regional trade, growing off-shore oil & gas infrastructure, improvement in shipping transportation services, growing regional & inland marine trading, and rise in long route marine trade around the globe are major factors driving the mooring winches market. Europe is the leading manufacturer of mooring winches, followed by China. China is a prominent manufacturer of mooring winches in Asia Pacific, followed by Japan and Indonesia. Expansion of the shipping sector in China is ascribed to the rise in demand for efficient mooring control, availability of adequate raw materials, and cheap labor cost.
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