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Jan De Nul orders high-end crane simulator for its new offshore installation vessels Voltaire and Les Alizés

This autumn, Jan De Nul welcomes two new Next-Generation offshore installation vessels: the Jack-Up Installation Vessel Voltaire and the Heavy Lift Vessel Les Alizés will be a serious size larger than their look-alikes currently available on the offshore installation market. Thanks to their size and unrivalled lifting capacity, both vessels will be able to install future wind turbines at sea. Current offshore wind turbines go up to 15 MW. What comes next – and very soon, because the industry is evolving at a rapid pace – are turbines up to 20 MW. No other vessel on the market today can handle these giants. That first is reserved for Les Alizés and Voltaire.

The Jack-Up Installation Vessel Voltaire will be equipped with a 3,000-tonnes Leg Encircling Crane (LEC), the Heavy Lift Vessel Les Alizés with a 5,000-tonnes Tub Mounted Crane (TMC). In order to train future operators, deck crew, superintendents and bridge crew to work with these giant cranes in a safe and realistic environment, Jan De Nul ordered a high-end crane simulator with OSC AS.


Tom Maes, Manager Electrical and Automation Department at Jan De Nul Group: “This crane simulator will not only be producing extraordinary graphics and close-to-reality sensations like any random video game. The simulator will be based on real physics and the actual vessel models, offering a digital twin of both vessels and tools. In other words, a priceless engineering tool, fully at the service of our clients to advise them in their plans for the future.”


Mathieu Edet, Head of Projects at OSC: “With our expertise in digital twins and real-time simulation of demanding offshore operations, we aim to deliver first-rate engineering and training tools for marine operations. The commissioning of a high-end simulator for Voltaire and Les Alizés is a project that is in accordance with our philosophy: delivering cutting edge and multipurpose simulation solutions for engineering teams and mission crew readiness. We are thrilled to be onboard this journey with Jan De Nul Group and aspire to provide an industry-leading simulator that will gather all operation key stakeholders.”


A digital twin and multipurpose training device

This device will offer the chance to operators, deck crew, superintendents and bridge crew to train the specific skills and techniques required to operate the cranes, in a safe but realistic environment. It will allow them to prepare for different work situations, such as working in extreme weather conditions, with heavy loads and strict installation tolerances. Various mission equipment, such as the motion-compensated pile gripper, including the communication and interactions between the different persons involved in lifting procedures, will also be a key aspect of the training package.

On the other hand, this simulator will be a priceless tool for Jan De Nul to use during engineering and initial feasibility studies for projects and tenders. Thanks to the next generation advanced dynamic and hydrodynamic models incorporated in the software, this training device will be a digital full-scale replica of the real set-up on board, including a fully digital environment where future or existing project scenarios can be uploaded, tested and rehearsed well in advance and in a completely safe environment.

Tom Maes, Manager Electrical and Automation Department at Jan De Nul Group: “Together with all stakeholders involved, we can demonstrate our expertise and workmanship weeks or months in advance, making sure that when we arrive on site, it is not the first time we execute the operations. A third party verification will provide sufficient guarantee of the accuracy of the digital twin considered and support the industry moving forward.”