China and Bosch Rexroth Build World’s Biggest Piling Barge

Credit: Bosch Rexroth

Published Nov 28, 2019 1:52 AM by The Maritime Executive

Bosch Rexroth is known globally for its engineering expertise, and the Chinese government asked Bosch Rexroth to provide an innovative cylinder solution for a new piling barge, which is the largest in the world. The cylinder will provide stability alongside smooth mobility to the derrick, which will be able to reach parts of the seabed previously unexplored.

China is looking to build more offshore wind farms to increase the amount of green energy available, as well as bridges and harbor walls to protect and connect. However, it was becoming more difficult to find areas at sea suitable for construction, so the government had to look further afield. To do this in the best possible way, the Chinese government commissioned the world’s biggest piling barge.

The barge is equipped with a 130-meter derrick, which can drive the housing for concrete pillars into parts of the seabed which couldn’t be reached before. This will allow the government to invest in more offshore wind farms and green energy solutions, and they will be able to build more bridges to help keep the growing population moving. It’s essential that the derrick can be kept stable in challenging conditions, and moved slowly and smoothly without any sudden changes in speed. The cylinder makes this possible, and the Chinese government chose Bosch Rexroth as their partner for this crucial piece of technology.

“They chose us because of our experience, and our trusted name,” says Rob Drabbe, Sales Manager for Large Cylinders at Bosch Rexroth. “We build cylinders like this all the time, so they knew they could rely on us to produce the equipment according to their specifications. Even though it’s going to help control such a large derrick, it’s not the biggest cylinder we’ve ever made. It is, however, the heaviest, at 146 tons.”

During the procurement process, Bosch Rexroth provided valuable consultation about the initial plans for the construction of the cylinder, as the materials proposed by the Chinese representatives weren’t optimal in terms of how they interact with each other.

“They had suggestions for coatings, seals and bearings,” adds Drabbe, “but we were able to show them that although the individual suggestions themselves were good, they didn’t work as well when combined in a single system. We were also able to show them our research and development facility, where they could talk to our engineers, which gave them even more confidence in Bosch Rexroth.”

The cylinder itself was carefully engineered to ensure that no matter how challenging the conditions are, it will always be able to operate smoothly and reliably. Everything was taken into account in the construction, such as smoothness, corrosion protection, safety factors and tribology. The result is a robust cylinder packed with innovation, and coated with Enduroq to further enhance its durability.

“The cylinder will be exposed for long periods,” concludes Drabbe, “so the construction had to have excellent corrosion resistance. We used our Enduroq laser welded stainless steel coating, as this is proven to be highly durable while offering the required smoothness. We’re looking forward to seeing how our cylinder can contribute to the success of this groundbreaking piling barge.”

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.