Integrated Drive Technology from HMK contributes to global first for Sparrows Baricon

HMK single source supply results in optimised drive system for Sparrows’ largest tensioner to date

When Sparrows Baricon, part of global lifting equipment specialist Sparrows Group, needed to construct its largest ever, 50-tonne tensioner, it called on its longstanding partners Siemens and HMK to help solve the challenge.

Incorporating Siemens integrated drive technology for maximum efficiency, performance and reliability, which resulted in achieving several other benefits. This Electric caterpillar-based tensioner is already being deployed for pipeline laying and lifting operations in the North Sea, as it operates from either ship or shore.

Siemens partner HMK played a key role in the project. HMK’s scope included:

  • The sizing and specification of Sinamics S120 hardware
  • Siemens motors
  • Braking resistors
  • Planetary gearboxes.

HMK’s design and build of the electrical panels incorporated Siemens’ S7-1500 PLC, and Siemens‘ LV and DNV-approved 400 kVA isolation transformer.

A software ‘motion core’ for the tensioner drive control included speed, haul and render modes. The Sinamics bookcase motor module was used as a braking chopper and the panel was designed to DNV standards.

The modular Siemens PLC software now provides a common platform for Sparrows tensioners.

Pushing the boundaries

Sparrows Baricon tensioners have been expanded with this latest development with load monitoring and remote-control units, using Siemens Simatic S7 PLCs, Sinamics S120 drives and a range of Siemens AC motors.

Paul Stewart, electrical services manager of Sparrows Baricon, commented on the success of this project, saying:

“The Siemens solution gives us horizontal, vertical and lifecycle integration and it is certainly the way forward for global operators such as ourselves”.

Established expertise

Integrating motors, drives and control equipment into a complete system has enabled Sparrows to carry out larger capacity lifting and thereby gain significant advantages in its marketplace – as well as help its end users enjoy long-term enhanced performance and operational stability. By adopting IDS for this project, Sparrows benefit in several ways:

  • A drive system designed to Sparrows’ individual requirements
  • The complete end-to-end system solution
  • Continuity throughout the course of the project
  • Enhanced control technology with all components working seamlessly together
  • Holistic approach addressing operational and energy efficiency
  • Global support and local service back-up

As Siemens’ partner development manager Ronnie Snedden confirmed:

“This partnership has enabled Sparrows to make great strides forward in terms of capacity, efficiency, safety and reliability on this vital equipment for onshore and offshore use. Having a single point of component supply plus a high level of integration provides significant added benefits”.

See more about Siemens integrated drive systems at

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