Hammer time

MENCK GmbH was established in 1868 by Johannes Menck and Diedrich Hambrock. Based in Hamburg, Germany, the company started out as a steam and diesel shovel builder.

In 1888, it constructed its first excavator and became one of the leading producers before the First World War. In the 1920s, the company launched a series of crawler excavators – the first of their kind in Europe. This was followed by the design of the first German bulldozer in the 1930s, along with a new series of excavator.

Since 1968 MENCK has focused on the production, rental and sale of pile driving hammers for the offshore industry. In 2003, the company was acquired by the Acteon Group to compliment its focus on subsea engineering solutions in the oil and gas market. Today, MENCK leverages its 140 years of experience as a major player in the oil and gas industry to enhance its business as a provider of hydraulic hammers. In the process of developing a project, the company can perform feasibility studies on anchoring and foundation projects. MENCK provides a dedicated project manager to oversee all aspects of the pile driving project such as design development, shipping and logistics and, technical service personnel. MENCK service technicians prepare and operate MENCK rental or customer-owned equipment on location, onshore or offshore. The business operates an extensive worldwide service network, which supports its business streams.

Director of marketing at MENCK, Jeremy Tygielski notes: “Offshore pile driving is a specialised market. There aren’t too many people who handle this. We pride ourselves as experts in this area. With our engineering know-how and project experience, we aren’t your average pile driving company.” MENCK excels at rising to challenges facing the industry. For the Rion Antirion Bridge in Greece, the company integrated a pile gripper into the hammer pile sleeve. This process, normally done with a separate crane, allowed for a faster installation time of the 600 piles.

Sales is the initial contact for the company’s customers, but is by no means the last. This lays the groundwork for what is an intense dialogue with the customer, reaching into the depths of the project management and engineering resources to provide the right anchoring solution for each individual client.

Jeremy emphasises: “We have a strong customer focus, investing a lot of time building relationships with our clients and ensuring that we’re flexible for them, even as we’re growing. We try and make sure we build processes into the company to ensure follow through and to enhance our customer care policy.”

MENCK’s pile driving technology leads the offshore construction business worldwide. The hammers, power packs and monitoring systems produced by the company all work harmoniously to deliver MENCK’s solution orientated success philosophy. The hydraulic hammers are available in a variety of different set-ups, which are specifically configured for each application. They can operate above and below water, on inclined and straight piles, and on the smallest to the largest piles.

The company’s dedication to innovative design and construction was recognised recently, when it was the recipient of the first annual Ben C. Gerwick award. The award, for innovation in the design and construction of marine works, was for the MENCK underwater power pack (MUP) deepwater pile driving system. The deepwater system has set many records in deepwater foundation pile driving, having driven piles as deep as 1929 metres, and the company is currently working on developments to push to even further depths. Consisting of a hydraulic pile-driving hammer, the deepwater system includes a special power pack attached directly to the hammer and a custom-made umbilical system. Delivering electric power at the hammer reduces the size and weight of the umbilical cable, which connects the hammer to the surface. Of the product, Pieter van Luipen, senior project manager at MENCK, commented: “This innovation enables efficient energy transfer to the hammer, easier handling of the umbilical and reduces environmental risk.”

The award, designed to recognise outstanding achievement in marine construction is named after the late Ben C. Gerwick Jr., renowned civil engineer and pioneer in maritime construction. Heerema Marine Contractors nominated MENCK and after careful consideration from the international panel, MENCK was presented with the award at a ceremony in San Francisco in September 2008.

The company also has a strong presence in the growing offshore wind market. Involved in the market since the mid 1990s, MENCK introduced the largest hammer available in a rental fleet, the MHU 1900S for the Lynn & Inner Dowsing wind project in the UK. The 1900kJ hammer drove over 50 monopiles in 2007 and 2008. With construction soon to be completed, the two wind farms will provide enough power for 130,000 homes.

Contractor MT Højgaard realised the challenge of mixed soft and hard chalk, calling on MENCK to offer analysis and recommendation if the foundations could be driven in this type of soil. In April 2006, MENCK proved that it could, with the successful driving of a test pile into the hard chalk layer to a depth of 25.5 metres.

MENCK is currently running tests on a new 100kJ hammer for the conductor market. A step away from the bigger is better tradition; this hammer aims, in conjunction with sister company InterMoor, to offer a back of the boat solution for install smaller piles such as well conductors.

As a specialised offshore solution provider the company has deep roots in the oil and gas industry. It is pushing depth limits, expanding its product offerings and availability and has established itself as a knowledge expert in the budding offshore wind arena. With a strong customer focus and experience base MENCK is set for growth. MENCK is ready for the future.

Products Hydraulic hammers