Viper WRL Provides a Solution for Ship Crane Wire Rope Lubrication


Published Apr 27, 2021 10:02 AM by Viper WRL

While a variety of material handling equipment is used in the marine sector, cranes are especially important. Ship cranes are used to facilitate heavy lifting and moving bulk material and cargo from one place to another. Cranes are critical machines in all types of marine jobs, whether that be dealing with ship-to-shore work or erecting oil platforms offshore.

The current manual application of cleaning and lubricating boom ropes on ship cranes typically requires workers to be suspended from the ropes carrying lubricant pails and brushes. 

Safety concerns for workers being suspended and the potential for lacerations from broken strands are of real concern. This manual method of lubrication is labor-intensive and there is a potential for environmental contamination with excess lubricant dripping off ropes. 

The manual lubrication process only coats the outer wires and does not allow the lubricant to penetrate the inner sections of the rope. This causes internal corrosion and excessive friction resulting in very short re-lubrication intervals. The manual process also does not typically include the cleaning of the ropes prior to application, resulting in less effective lubrication.

As safety standards have improved along with increased demand for efficient productivity, it has become apparent that the ship crane industry needed a specialized solution, to be able to safely and effectively, lubricate the wire ropes on board these vessels. 

Over the last 30 years in operation, as companies become more safety conscious and the pressure to improve productivity is applied, Viper WRL has seen an increased demand for its products. The Viper WRL enables wire ropes to be safely and effectively lubricated while improving the potential to extend their life significantly. 



The Viper WRL eliminates manual cleaning and lubrication, reduces down-time thus improving equipment availability. It is a safer way to lubricate wire ropes and reduces the lubricant usage, which as a result provides the benefit of less leakage and reduced mess compared to manual lubrication. Viper WRL’s best practice solutions have become established as world-leading in this field and now supports over 70 counties with a well-established distribution network globally. 

Through ongoing consultation with the Ship Crane industry our Maritime client’s safety concerns when lubricating wire ropes were addressed and a customized solution to provide safe and effective lubrication of their Ship Crane wire ropes was developed. 

This design resulted in a solution that was tested on a client’s vessel by our engineering team. The product solution, training documentation and a comprehensive training video was developed, giving the Maritime sector a Safe, Simple and Effective solution for the lubrication of their Ship Crane Wire Ropes. 



The solution offers Wire Rope Lubrication best practice while mitigating all the traditional safety concerns associated with Ship Crane Boom rope lubrication. The Viper WRL solutions provides; 

Improved Health Safety & Environment

  • Viper operators safely located on the two platforms at the end of the boom
  • Viper operators have no direct contact with the lubricant 
  • The Viper system is cleaner to operate, excess lubricant is captured and may be re-used

Reduced Labor Requirements

  • Viper system requires 2 people to operate and lubrication is completed at +/- 7mtr/min
  • Viper system lubricates the wire strands both internally and externally typically doubling lubrication intervals.

Clean to Operate

  • When the Viper WRL is used correctly it generates minimum to no mess
  • When using the Viper WRL system all the lubricant stays on the rope with no wastage
  • The Viper system requires no rags for lubrication

Enhanced Lubricant Effectiveness

  • The Viper WRL's unique seal design works the lubricant into the core of the wire rope which greatly reduces corrosion and friction and hence greatly extends operational rope life

Effective Rope Cleaning

  • The unique Viper Rope Cleaner removes contamination from the wire rope prior to lubrication and greatly improves the effectiveness of the lubrication process.

Viper WRL are experts in wire rope lubrication across a number of industries, our in-house manufacturing and design facilities, along with our expertise allows us to provide customized solutions to specific industry challenges. 

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The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.