UK-based lifting equipment and specialist engineering company Modulift has designed and manufactured a bespoke 50 tonne lifting beam that was capable of recovering a micro tunnelling machine from the sea.

The custom beam has eight lifting points (Photo: Modulift)

The beam had to be designed for use above and below the water, taking into account the differences in the centre of gravity location and weight of the micro tunnelling machine due to the buoyancy force. The team were able to achieve the correct tilt and balance to ensure a safe and effective lift.

Modulift engineered the lifting beam with eight lifting points, together with turnbuckles to connect the lifting beam to the tunnelling machine. The 6.7 metre long beam featured two top lugs and four bottom lugs, and tugger points were installed for manoeuvring the beam into the right orientation before lifting.

The company’s engineering team used 3D structural analysis in STAAD Pro. Finite Element Analysis was conducted on the lifting lugs and welds using ANSYS software.

At the tunnelling specialist customer’s request, Modulift engaged DNV to perform a third-party design review and certify the beam in compliance with DNV-ST-N001.

The design was successfully approved in the first round of reviews, allowing Modulift to complete the project within eight weeks.

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