Enhanced Safety in Alpa Utility Winch

Sourcing for multiple third-party vendors to customise an effective utility lifting equipment is one of the main challenges of operators and rig builders. The devices are altered to suit client application needs, however, the process potentially compromises the integrity of the system because of lack of testing.

Alpa Handling, a Norwegian-based material handling equipment supplier, has introduced a compact, lightweight utility winch that features superior safety functions for harsh environment applications. Designed with a safe working load ranging from 5T to 25T to support miscellaneous lifting, pulling or tensioning operations within the offshore drilling sector.

The utility winch can be driven by electric, electro-hydraulic (HPU) and hydraulic ring line, offering rig operators and manufacturers a wide range of advantages.

Space saving design

Offshore drilling rig applications require equipment that are lightweight and compact, yet rugged for material handling operations. The components of Alpa utility winch -eco-friendly gearbox, brakes, electric or hydraulic motors and sensors—are framed within the fabricated alloy steel drum core. Not only does this design protect the component from external damage, it also frees up space on the deck. Its excellent power-to-weight ratio technology offers reliability for the most demanding applications.

Custom-built lifting technology

Different clients have varying requirements. Alpa has a robust and well-experienced engineering team that makes it possible to offer modular components to suit client specifications whilst keeping high product quality. With our modularised design, we can deliver different pull and wire capacities with the same proven design.

Better tension control

Minimising peak tension loads encountered during heavy lifting in tough sea conditions, is one of the main challenges of the industry. Alpa utility winch can optionally be equipped with constant tension (CT) control system that provides the operator a constant line-pull to ensure that loads are lifted and landed safely.

The line-pull is set by the operator, measured by the load sensors, and consistently monitored by the central control system. If the actual load indication differs from the pre-set value, the winch will pay in or pay out wire rope to maintain the pre-set value. Alpa utility winch delivers pull from 5-25T.

Low load modus

The reduced load mode supports client demands such as high working speed, high reliability or large hoisting capacity while preventing the load from bouncing on the deck. It promotes efficiency and increases personnel safety.

alpa utility winch

Radio remote control technology

The ability to operate lifting equipment from a safe distance and with better vantage points, and at reduced noise levels, are some of the main benefits of controlling the lifting equipment through radio remote. The Alpa utility winch is available with radio remote control technology that allows for greater ease of winch operation, less manual labor fatigue, and increased flexibility and productivity.

Alpa’s “hands-free” line retrieval through the radio remote system minimises the risk to the crew working on deck. They provide solutions that best fit the operator’s ergonomics and working conditions to address functional safety concerns.

Emergency lowering

The utility winch is equipped with an emergency lowering feature which allows operators to lower the load in a precise and controlled manner in the event of power failure or unintended stop. The added back-up safety feature, Emergency Operating System (EOS), is activated through simple push button control, and may be paused or resumed whenever needed. This significantly adds safety and protection for loads, equipment and crew.

The winch is also designed with two independent braking systems, both capable of holding and stopping the load upon activation to prevent safety hazards.


Alpa’s utility winch technology provides a superior safe solution to an array of complex lifting operation in the most challenging environments. With certifications to regulatory standards such as NORSOK R-002, DNV SfC 2.22/ST-378, EC Machinery Directive and DNV-OS-E101, not only does the Alpa winch comply with the stringent local safe lifting standards worldwide, it also guarantees high performance, reliability and is low maintenance.

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