Pintsch Bubenzer has installed a new type of brake on the two 10,000-metric ton cranes of Heerema’s Sleipnir, the world’s new largest crane vessel. The manufacturer claims it provides 35 per cent more torque than other brakes of this size. ‘All industries are trying to get larger to be more cost-effective and we need to align our manufacturing capability and technologies with that trend,’ says Sales Manager Mike Sparks.

Sleipnir is Heerema’s new giant semi-submersible crane vessel that has recently completed its maiden voyage to Spain and is now headed to Israel where it will install the topsides of the Leviathan gas field operated by Noble Energy. To be able to handle the biggest loads in the business, the 220 metres long and 102 metres wide heavy-lift vessel boasts a pair of revolving cranes which can lift a staggering 20,000 tonnes in tandem operation.

To ensure safe crane operations at such loads, Pintsch Bubenzer recently developed a special set of brakes called the Safe Twin TS800 series, which are now featured on the mighty crane ship. It took Pintsch Bubenzer six months to develop the brake based on customer requirements, which centred on a need for a high torque solution to mount onto a smaller than typical motor flange for this torque requirement. ‘The brakes are rated for a torque of 8000 Newton meter (Nm) while the typical maximum torque for motor frames of the same size is 5200 Nm, thus providing a 35 per cent boost in torque,’ the company states.

What sets the Twin Safe brake apart is its dual-disc design. ‘Twin refers to the two-friction disc arrangement; each disc has two friction surfaces, creating a quad surface break,’ Pintsch Bubenzer explains. “Safe” refers to the failsafe design of the break, which is spring set and electrically released meaning that in the event of a loss of power, the brake will always be set in a safe mode. The new range offers six different brake sizes from 2000 to 20,000 Nm.

Bigger and Bigger

‘All industries are trying to get larger to be more cost-effective and we need to align our manufacturing capability and technologies with that trend. Our team is pioneering the brakes marketplace accordingly,’ says Sparks at Pintsch Bubenzer USA.

The Sleipnir was developed to meet new demands in offshore construction, where larger rig platforms are being designed. Together with a trend towards modular construction, this has led to ever-larger cargoes. But the cranes were not just made big to carry heavier loads, Sparks notes. ‘They were also made large to increase the amount of deck space available on the vessel since they are able to conduct the work that is usually done by three or more cranes.’

Project Cargo Summit 2019

The scale increases in the project cargo and heavy-lift industry form the main theme of the Project Cargo Summit, a two-day international conference about the transport of large and heavy cargoes, which is organised by Promedia Group on the 11th & 12th of September, 2019 in Rotterdam.

At this unique project cargo event, industry leaders will talk at length about the challenges of larger wind turbines and platforms, the opportunities of digitisation, and the cargo flows of tomorrow. Among the speakers are Siemens Gamesa, Rystad Energy, Huisman Equipment, Liebherr, Kalmar, Rolldock, G2 Ocean, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, BigMove and Vander Transport.

To reserve a seat, click here. For more information about this dedicated project cargo and heavy-lift event, please visit

Picture supplied by Heerema Marine Contractor’s for SWZ|Maritime’s article “Sleipnir’s Long and Strong Pair of Arms” published in December 2018.