MIL and Teknova invest in a rope-testing machine


MIL and Teknova invests in a rope-testing machine to better understand how to predict remaining life of steel and fiber ropes.

“The machine lets us reproduce specific failure mode of a rope. By constantly running the rope over a sheave in a controlled environment, we are able to observe how the rope deteriorates and analyze sensor information to learn which data is important for understanding the road to failure. As a result, we will be able to predict, with greater precision, the remaining life of a rope,” says Thomas Meyer, Business Development Manager at Teknova.

The research institute Teknova, based in Grimstad and Kristiansand, is the leader of Work Package 5: Condition Monitoring Technologies in the Center for Offshore Mechatronics – an eight year long research program funded by the Research Council of Norway and hosted by the University of Agder.

WP5 aims to improve offshore maintenance operations by developing technologies and methods that enable condition-based maintenance strategies. Two of the five subtasks studies large diameter steel and fiber ropes, typical for the offshore industry.

“Our goal is to develop diagnostic and prediction algorithms that will replace human judgment by online monitoring technologies calling for maintenance weeks before failure occurs,” says Meyer.

The rope-testing machine is part of the first key equipment to be installed in the Mechatronics Innovation Lab (MIL), which is scheduled to open in Grimstad August 16, 2017.

“The machine will make MIL an interesting venue for producers of ropes and cranes. Heave-compensated cranes rely on a number of ropes that are constantly run back and forth over a sheave. A better understanding of how ropes perform over time, is of great interest and value,” says Meyer.

With a pull force of 30 tons, the 12 meters long machine manufactured in France, is designed to test ropes with a maximum diameter of 3 centimeters. Since most offshore ropes are thicker, Teknova has already applied for funding for a bigger machine, which would be able to test ropes with diameters up to 12 centimeters.

“Such a machine would be the largest in the world. It would instantly propel MIL to be an international test laboratory for offshore rope testing,” says Meyer.

Bending fatigue test stand
Length: 12 meters
Height: 2.2 meters
Width: 1.3 meters
Weight: 7 tons
Line pull: 30 tons
Producer: DEP Engineering (France)

Visit from Kvadraturen skolesenter


Today about 30 students from a local high school visit UiA and got insight and demonstration from PhD student Sondre Sanden Tørdal of the latest work in the SFI Offshore Mechatronics project. A lot of filming went on while he did a demonstration in UiAs Motion Lab. Recruiting to engineering and science is also a focus in the project, and a lot of future students got a taste of the possibilities today.


New PhD position WP 3


WP 3 has received funding from UiA for a new position within robotics and connected to the SFI Offshore Mechatronics project. The position will be advertised during Q1 2017.

New Steering Board for 2017 – 2019

The new Steering Board for SFI Offshore Mechatronics is the following:

  • Leif Haukom (GCE NODE) Chariman
  • Charlotte Skorup (ABB) Member
  • Arild Strand (Bosch Rexroth) Member
  • Morten Halvorsen (NOV) Member
  • Michael Rygaard Hansen (UiA) Member
  • Torben Ole Andersen (Aalborg University) Member
  • Thomas Meyer (Teknova) Member
  • Eivind Gimming Stensland (MacGregor) Deputy Member
  • Torgeir Welo (NTNU) Deputy Member

Steering Board

Norwegian Prime Minister talks about O&G challenges


Erna Solberg, The Norwegian Prime Minister, held a speech at Agderkonferansen January 24 in Kristiansand. She talked mainly about the challanges Norwegian Oil and Gas industry is facing, and that R&D must be a tool for the industry to meet these challenges. The SFI Offshore Mechatronics project is handling these issues, and the reseach done in the center will hopefully contribute to this development.

Agder is one of the regions in Norway that suffers the most of declining oil prices and lack of order reserves. This is one of the main reason for the Center to speed up and get results back to the partners as soon as possible.

OG21-FORUM / new strategy for the oil and gas industry


On Nov. 30 the OG 21 gave a presentation of the new strategy for Norwegian oil and gas industry. The conclusion is clear: new technology must be developed and implemented if the companies shall be competative in the future.

The OG 21 Vision is: Technologies and innovation for a competitive Norwegian Petrolium sector.

The vision is supported by five strategic objectives:

  1. Maximize resource utilization
  2. Minimize environmental impact
  3. Improve productivity and reduce costs
  4. Develop innovative technologies
  5. Attract, develop and retain the best talents.

The full strategy document can be found here.