AWARDS 2021 | Best Gangway Supplier – SMST
Best Gangway Supplier – SMST
Every ship requires a gangway and the old days of a rough plank serving as one such device are long gone. Safety, ergonomics, ease of use, weight, strength and even aesthetics are all now very important factors in gangway design.
Specialising in gangway design and manufacture, SMST comfortably and effectively incorporates all these factors and more in all the gangways they produce.
“All our products are developed, designed and built in-house and go together with global installation and 24/7 worldwide service and support,” SMST told Baird Maritime. “Our motion compensated gangways, the so-called ‘telescopic access bridges’ (TABs), stand out with the lowest energy consumption and highest workability in the market.”
The company added that its gangways have a modular-based design philosophy. The system comprises modular components that turn into a gangway setup that is fit for purpose. This enables deployment for various operations, vessels, and regions and thus offers what SMST claims is maximum flexibility for its clients.
SMST also applied automation to new product offerings introduced over the previous year.
“We have launched autonomous features, such as auto landing, assisted landing and active tracking mode. With these, we continuously improve our clients’ operational efficiency and provide the safest and most efficient people and cargo logistics. Our automation is developed with the cooperation of our business partners and is incorporating vision technology and artificial intelligence.”
The company said that besides automation, it also focuses on shared controls for operating multiple systems, such as its 3D motion compensated cranes. The gangway rental fleet has also been expanded with a new type of gangway offering extended length and increased workability and cargo handling capacity of up to one tonne via a lifting winch below the bridge tip.
“Another new and innovative hoist and travel system for motion compensated lifting was introduced on another gangway, the TAB-L2 type, and is applied on DEME’s SWATH service operation vessel (SOV) Groenewind. The hoist and travel system consists of a cargo winch equipped with a travel system enabling the transfer of cargo under the full bridge length.
SMST said the system increases logistical efficiency and gives room for a broader scope of work besides allowing the load to be handled more securely with fewer movements and in higher sea states. To further increase the operational deployability of the gangway system, a landing height adjustment system was developed so that the gangway can be moved vertically along rails and thus be able to land at different heights.
SMST continued performing well in 2021 even as the Covid-19 pandemic entered its second year.
“We have been awarded several orders by various clients in 2021,” the company told Baird Maritime. “Our equipment is supplied to various areas, such as the North Sea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Qatar, and to various industries such as offshore wind and oil and gas. We endured the impact of the pandemic quite well and so we are optimistic about the future.”
SMST remarked that there is “enormous promise” for offshore wind projects and developments in energy transition all around the globe, such as new markets in the United States and China where it believes it can make additional contributions to the industry.
“In the coming years, the green sustainable energy transition will be one of great importance. We will contribute to maximise operational efficiency by being a frontrunner in developments related to energy consumption, automation, information technology, and remote services.”
Another trend that SMST believes will become increasingly important in future is the ability to provide overall efficiency advantages and cost reduction. To that end, the company is delivering a comprehensive package of offshore equipment that can be combined into walk-to-work solutions for nearly every operation. The package includes a range of gangways, 3D motion compensated cranes, and access and cargo towers. Training, maintenance, and support throughout the products’ respective life cycles is also provided.
“We will also provide customers with a service network to ensure 24/7 worldwide support, even in emerging regions,” the company told Baird Maritime. “Services will be provided quickly and adequately to ensure that our gangways and other equipment are deployed as efficiently as possible.”
SMST said that its continued support for its global customers will entail providing safe and reliable equipment as well as innovations in information technology and remote services.