Caley were recently contacted by a customer in Singapore who were looking to extend the life of their Submarine rescue launch and recovery system (LARS) after being in service for 13 years.
Caley first delivered this LARS in 2009 and were contacted more than a decade later to undertake a life extension project. The rescue system needed an extensive amount of work carried out to ensure it was fit for purpose for the next 10 years. Caley undertook all engineering works, created all lifting and removal plans and had a service manager on site in Singapore for the 16-week work scope. The service manager was there to ensure any work carried out by local subcontractors was carried out to original equipment manufacturing specification.
As to be expected on a system that has been in operation for over a decade, the team encountered some issues during the works, notably both glands on the luffing cylinder were seized meaning that they had to be completely removed and re-machined. A local subcontractor was brought onboard to machine new the new glands and then the cylinders were completely rebuilt and tested ready to be installed.
Additionally, all 4 pins on the main luffing cylinders were corroded, meaning that they had to be thermally lanced out, the lancing was used to collapse the pin and allow it to be freed. Whilst the cylinders were out, a strut, designed by Caley, was installed the keep the A-Frame rigid, allowing the vessel to undertake other sea trials whilst the repair works were being undertaken.
The luffing cylinders are critical component on any LARS, they allow the smooth movement of the system to move inboard and outboard, allowing the safe launch and recovery of offshore assets or in this instance the safe launch and recovery of the submarine rescue system.
The A-frame went back into service on time and in budget.