ABB adds auto-mooring to winch control program platform

ABB has augmented its stepless speed and torque control program for anchor winches, mooring winches and Ro-Ro gate ramp winches, by adding auto-mooring capability for use with industrial drives ranging from 0.55 to 5600 kW.
Auto-mooring provides new operating functionality when a vessel needs to be moored to a harbour via ropes. The new feature, due to be debuted at Nor-Shipping, Oslo, June 9th – 12th, is integrated into drive application software as a ready-made option within adjustable parameters, depending on the set-up.
In hand-mooring mode, the winch operator controls drive speed manually to achieve pre-tension in the ropes connecting a vessel to its mooring point. Now, when the pre-tension is achieved, the winch operator can switch over to auto-mooring, so that the drive itself can take charge of maintaining stable tension in the ropes.
Auto-mooring is a speed control application with torque limitation, where the target of the control or ‘set-point’ is to maintain the tension between the vessel and the harbour mooring point. It can be used in three different ways:
– Time sequence mode, where a programmable re-mooring time can be set between mooring actions.
– Load-cell control mode, depending on real measured load cell information to control the mooring actions.
– Always on mode, where mooring actions are continuously on, without stopping the motor and closing the brake,
When the auto-mooring control system detects tension changes in the ropes (too slack or too tight) the winch starts automatically. Starting levels are adjustable user parameters. The auto-mooring control runs until tension in the ropes approaches the set-point. The stop level (near the set-point) is also an adjustable user parameter.
The rope tension set-point can be a fixed internal parameter value or can be sent via external digital input and analogue input signals. The actual rope tension can also be defined without any sensor, with the help of the system’s unique torque measuring logic.
Certified for marine use, when combined with the winch control program, ABB industrial drives can replace the traditional and costly hydraulic winch controllers typically used in anchoring and mooring, eliminating high maintenance costs and energy inefficiencies, while improving operator safety and system reliability, and avoiding potential environmental harm.

A key benefit of the ABB industrial drive is its motor control platform, direct torque control (DTC). DTC enables the drive to achieve full torque at zero speed without the need for a feedback encoder. Using a feedback encoder can be a problem on board a vessel as the harsh climate on deck can often damage the encoder itself or interfere with the feedback signal to the motors.

Note to Editors: ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs more than 120, 000 people.