Ampelmann system

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The Ampelmann system is a high-tech offshore personnel transfer system which was founded in 2008 as a spin-off of the Delft University of Technology. The motion compensation platform allows easy, fast and safe access from a moving vessel to offshore structures, even in high wave conditions. With a doubling of the fleet every year since 2008, Ampelmann currently operates 55 systems world-wide transferring offshore crew from various types of vessels to offshore oil & gas platforms, offshore turbines, FPSO’s and all other fixed and floating structures at sea.[1]

Ampelmann technology[edit]

Accessing any offshore structure can be problematic due to the movement of a vessel compared to the structure. Ampelmann has developed the solution for this challenge. Similar to a flight simulator, the Ampelmann eliminates any relative motion by taking instant measurements of the ship’s motions and then compensating movement using 6 hydraulic cylinders. This means the top of the Ampelmann remains completely stationary compared to the structure. The offshore gangway can then be extended towards the structure, so all personnel can walk to work offshore safely, even in high wave conditions. The system operates at maximum windspeed of 20 m/s or 38 knots.

All products developed by Ampelmann are designed with safety in mind. This means that critical components are equipped redundantly to ensure safe operations at all times.

Ampelmann motion compensated gangway systems can be installed on any vessel with sufficient deck space in about 8 hours. The systems are plug & play and operate stand-alone with their own power packs. No modifications to the platform are required to enable safe landings with the heave compensated gangway making it a cost efficient operation.

Besides transferring people, the system can also be used for cargo transfer up to 1000kg. Several applications have been developed for small tools, larger equipment such as generators or for fuel- and grout hoses. The absence of relative motion between the Ampelmann and structures makes it safe and easy to transfer of goods and equipment.


Ampelmann factory (Rotterdam)

The customers that use this system are mainly operating in the offshore oil & gas industry and the offshore wind industry. They use the system to enable their employees to safely transfer to perform maintenance on offshore wind turbines or to work on an offshore oil rig. Both market segments are growing in a rapid pace.[2] The offshore wind sector, for example, has grown 54% in 2009.[3] This growth has mainly been caused by the shift to more sustainable forms of energy generation by governments all over the world. A good example of this is Germany that has plans to build more than forty wind parks in the near future.[4]

The customer relation of Ampelmann is only business-to-business (B2B). Platforms are usually owned by private companies, whereas wind parks are always run by private companies. There is no agent of independent status between Ampelmann and the user of the system.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ First commercial job, Offshore Mag
  2. ^ Offshore access market, Offshore Access Blog
  3. ^ Offshore wind growth, All Business
  4. ^ Germany plans new wind parks Archived April 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Business Week