The Rotrex Group, which is one of the leading winch specialists in Europe, is looking to heavily invest in its fibre rope capabilities over the next couple of years as customer demand changes.
The investment means it will grow its overall rope capacity by 40% and be able to offer an equal choice of steel or fibre rope to meet the demands of the market as it recovers following the pandemic.
Rotrex’s decision to ramp up its use of fibre ropes, which are made of HMPE-fibres (highly modular polyethylene), follows a large upturn in enquiries from clients across various sectors. Core benefits which include potentially higher load strengths; better buoyancy; significant weight reduction; easier handling and that it can be used for both on- and off-shore projects are being seen as the main drivers of customer demand.
However, Rotrex still see a role for steel rope and is therefore committed to maintaining this option to ensure customers have a choice and that its team of experts can recommend the most appropriate material for each individual project.
Rotrex’s most recent and significant investment used Dyneema HMPE fibre ropes on its new ‘Magni’ winch. It was manufactured by Omac in Italy to Rotrex’s exact specifications, including state-of-the-art remote control and Wi-Fi technologies. It is now the largest capacity trailer winch currently available in Europe and offers an additional 20-tonne pulling capacity when compared to the firm’s previous largest model. It also has larger rope storage facilities allowing pulls of up to 2,400m which is more than double that of a traditional 40-tonne winch.
Rotrex is currently working on two major windfarm projects in Taiwan using fibre ropes. The first is on four banks of six wind turbines and then on eight banks of seven wind turbines. The winch with the fibre ropes will be used for pulling in cable from the offshore substations to land.
Don Wilkinson – European Sales Manager at the Rotrex Group – said: “As a business we are always looking to innovate and stay ahead of our clients’ demands. Steel ropes have been the principal option for years but the technology around fibre ropes has intensified. This means more and more people are now aware of – and appreciate – the performance benefits they deliver. However, our commitment to steel ropes will remain strong so that will be able to specify the right product every time.”