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Title:
REEL WITH POWER ADVANCE REPOSITIONABLE LEVEL WIND
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/209830
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In a reel assembly, a repositionable level wind may be selectively coupled to a drum to enable powered rotation of the level wind from a first position to a second position. In some embodiments, the assembly may include two arced guide rails, a rotating adjustment arm, a roller bracket, a winding assembly and two fork plates, which may be adjustably mounted on the drum. In operation, the fork plates may be moved to an engaged position that couples the adjustment arm and the roller bracket to the reel flanges so that rotation of the reel causes the winding assembly to be rotated along the guide rails. Once a desired position is reached, the adjustment arm and roller bracket may be bolted to the guide rails and the fork plates may be moved to a disengaged position to allow the reel to rotate independently of the winding assembly.

Inventors:
DION DENNIS (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2019/028728
Publication Date:
October 31, 2019
Filing Date:
April 23, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PATCO MACHINE & FAB INC (US)
International Classes:
B65H75/44
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016027070A12016-02-25
Foreign References:
US8061644B12011-11-22
US20060011765A12006-01-19
US20170016287A12017-01-19
US20110057067A12011-03-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICORDATI III, Raymond et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
I claim:

1. A reel assembly for accepting, holding, and deploying cable, hose, umbilical connection or the like, comprising:

a spool assembly including a frame and a drum mounted in said frame, the drum including a core and end flanges for storing said cable, hose or umbilical connection;

a motor;

a drive unit, the motor coupled to the drum via the drive unit;

a guide rail having a plurality of positions; and

a level wind assembly selectively couplable to the drum for powered movement from a first position along the guide rail to a second position along the guide rail.

2. The reel assembly of claim 1 , further comprising a fork plate attached to the drum, the fork plate for selectively coupling the repositionable level wind assembly to the reel.

3. The reel assembly of claim 2, where the fork plate is moveable from a disengaged position in which the level wind is not coupled to drum and an engaged position in which the level wind is coupled to the drum.

4. The reel assembly of claim 3, where the level wind further includes a diamond screw shaft disposed between two guide rods, and where the fork plate further includes two tines, each tine adapted to fit between the diamond screw shaft and a corresponding one of the guide rods when the fork plate is in the engaged position.

5. The reel assembly of claim 1 , where the positions of the guide rail are defined by sets of apertures.

6. The reel assembly of claim 1 , where the drive unit further comprises a selector valve for switching between a normal operational mode and a repositioning operational mode.

7. The reel assembly of claim 6, where an overall output of the drive unit is limited in the repositioning operational mode.

8. The reel assembly of claim 1 , further comprising an adjustment arm fixedly coupled to the level wind and rotatably coupled to the drum.

9. The reel assembly of claim 8, where the flanges of the drum each include an upper track and a lower track, and where the adjustment arm includes a plurality of rollers for engaging the upper track and the lower track of a corresponding one of the flanges.

10. The reel assembly of claim 9, further comprising a roller bracket coupled to the level wind as an end distal the adjustment arm, the roller bracket including a plurality of rollers for engaging the upper track and the lower track of the other one of the flanges.

Description:
REEL WITH POWER ADVANCE REPOSITIONABLE LEVEL WIND

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[001] The present application is related to and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Utility Application No. 16/391 ,466 filed April 23, 2019, which claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/661 ,608 filed April 23, 2018, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/663,025 filed April 26, 2018, both of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety. This application also is related to U.S. Patent Application No. 16/391 ,758, entitled“Electronically Controlled Reel Systems Including Electric Motors,” filed on the same date as the present application, U.S. Patent Application No. 16/285,939 filed February 26, 2019, which is a continuation of U.S. Patent Application No. 15/723,638 filed October 3, 2017 (now U.S. Patent No. 10,233,705), which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Patent Application No. 14/945, 195 filed November 18, 2015 (now U.S. Patent 9,810,032), which is a continuation of U.S. Patent Application No. 14/802,814 filed July 17, 2015 (now U.S. Patent 9,206,658), all of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1 . TECHNICAL FIELD.

[002] The present application relates to reel systems for the receiving, storage, and deploying of cables (such as one or more electrical lines), hoses, umbilical connections (such as bundles of hydraulic lines, electrical lines, cables, hoses, and/or combinations thereof) and the like that can store operator inputs and collected, real time data.

2. RELATED ART.

[003] Subsea blowout prevention (BOP) equipment uses large, specialized valves or similar mechanical devices, usually installed redundantly in stacks, to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells. Redundant sub-sea control pods are used to control the valves of the BOP stack, some of which are referred to in the industry as blue and yellow pods. The pods of the BOP stack are controlled by cables, hoses, umbilical connections and the like with various capacity outside diameters. The reel systems used for winding the cable, hoses, umbilical connections and the like onto spools, particularly on off-shore drill rigs, employ spools which are mechanically driven. Off-shore drill rigs often use multiplex cable reels, hot line hose reels, riser fill valve hose reels and the like in control systems for BOP equipment. Each of these components may provide various functionalities. In a typical rig, four spools may provide control cables for a BOP stack. These components may function as follows: multiplex cable reel assemblies may be used to pay out and retrieve multiplex cables that may be used to transmit electric signals to allow for the control of sub-sea hydraulic functions on the sub-sea blue and yellow pods; a hot line hose reel assembly may be used to pay out and retrieve a hose that provides hydraulic fluid from the drilling rig deck to the sub-sea pods to allow for the control of sub-sea hydraulic functions on the sub-sea blue and yellow pods; and a riser fill valve hose reel assembly may pay out and retrieve a hose that, in response to a sudden pressure differential between the inside and outside of a riser, opens to allow the riser to fill with seawater and thus equalizing the pressure differential and preventing collapse of the riser.

[004] In operation, the spools are typically located on the drillship near a moon pool area (i.e. the opening in the floor or base of the platform to provide access to the water below) and may be on different levels depending on the rig design. The cable or hose often is deployed from the spool to an overhead roller type turn down sheave, or multiple sheaves, to direct the cable or hose to the blue and yellow pods on the BOP stack assembly in the drill ship’s moon pool.

[005] Typical systems employ manual, pneumatically-controlled, mechanical control systems for each of the individual reel assemblies, to position the sub-sea end of the cable or hose to the pod. Once the cables and hoses are connected to the pods, the operation of deploying the BOP stack begins. Drill pipe and flotation risers having typical lengths of 60 to 90 feet or more (nominally, about 18 to 28 meters) are attached to the stack. The cables and hoses are attached to clamps located on the riser as the 60 or 90 foot (nominally, about 18 to 28 meters) sections are made up. The reels are not rotating while the drill pipe and riser sections are made up. Once made up, the reels begin rotating to deploy the cables and hoses until the next section is ready to be attached. This operation continues until the BOP stack is anchored to the sea bed floor. A control stand may be located away from the spools, in the moon pool area, with a clear vision of the deployment. The operator at the remote control stand may be able to operate one or more of the reel assemblies and may make adjustments as may be necessary during the operation.

[006] In a typical reel assembly, as the cable is wound onto or off of the spool, it is guided by a cable guide or“level wind” assembly mounted for traversing a reversible diamond groove shaft parallel to the axis of the spool. The cable guide assembly is coupled to tracking guide bars. Thus, the cable guide assembly traverses the diamond groove shaft and guide bars from one side to the other, evenly distributing the cable on the hub of the spool. When the cable gets to one end of the diamond groove shaft, it automatically reverses and continues to traverse in the other direction, continuously feeding the cable onto the spool. Many reels have been manufactured with this familiar diamond pattern lead screw mechanism to cause the line being wound onto the drum of the reel to be wrapped in an orderly and compact fashion. Probably the most common of these is the fishing reel.

[007] Currently level wind assemblies suffer from various shortcomings. For example, level wind assemblies may need to be positioned at various angles depending on the particular configuration of the reel assembly in the moon pool. However, these assemblies are difficult to reposition due to their weight and the forces exerted upon them by gravity and/or the cables that may be laced through them. Typically, additional equipment such as cranes are required to raise or lower the level wind assembly into the desired position. This process is time-consuming, expensive and difficult to perform on a rig that may be constantly in motion with the water below.

[008] Accordingly, a need has long existed for improved systems and methods for repositioning level wind assemblies on cable spooling systems. SUMMARY

[009] In a reel assembly, a repositionable level wind may be selectively coupled to a drum to enable powered rotation of the level wind from a first position to a second position. In some embodiments, the assembly may include two arced guide rails, a rotating adjustment arm, a roller bracket, a winding assembly and two fork plates, which may be adjustably mounted on the drum. In operation, the fork plates may be moved to an engaged position that couples the adjustment arm and the roller bracket to the reel flanges so that rotation of the reel causes the winding assembly to be rotated along the guide rails. Once a desired position is reached, the adjustment arm and roller bracket may be bolted to the guide rails and the fork plates may be moved to a disengaged position to allow the reel to rotate independently of the winding assembly. A reposition mode may be provided by a control system for the reel that provides lower output rotational speed than the normal operating mode to allow for precise control during repositioning.

[0010]Other systems, methods, features and technical advantages of the

invention will be, or will become apparent to one with skill in the art, upon examination of the figures and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features and technical advantages be included within this summary and be protected by the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[001 1 ]The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.

[0012] Figures 1 a-b show perspective views of an exemplary reel assembly

having a repositionable level wind;

[0013] Figures 2a-b show side views of the exemplary reel assembly of Figures 1 a-b;

[0014] Figure 3 shows a perspective view of portions of a guide rail and rotatable adjustment arm of an exemplary repositionable level wind; [0015] Figure 4 shows another perspective view of portions of a guide rail and rotatable adjustment arm of an exemplary repositionable level wind;

[0016] Figure 5 shows a perspective view of an exemplary fork for selectively coupling the exemplary repositionable level wind with a spool;

[0017] Figure 6a shows a perspective view of portions of a rotatable adjustment arm of an exemplary repositionable level wind having a reel attachment plate in a disengaged position;

[0018] Figure 6b shows a perspective view of portions of a rotatable adjustment arm of an exemplary repositionable level wind having a reel attachment plate in an engaged position;

[0019] Figure 7 shows a schematic diagram illustrating the operation of an

exemplary pneumatic drive system for use in an exemplary reel assembly having a repositionable level wind;

[0020] Figure 8 shows flow chart for a level wind repositioning process for an exemplary reel assembly having a repositionable level wind;

[0021 ] Figures 9a-d show various side views of portions of an exemplary reel with forks and repositionable level winds during various stages of a reposition process;

[0022] Figures 10a shows a side view of an exemplary adjustment arm having bumpers for absorbing contact with stops;

[0023] Figures 10b shows a side view of an exemplary roller bracket having

bumpers for absorbing contact with stops;

[0024] Figure 1 1 a shows a perspective view of an exemplary bumper;

[0025] Figure 1 1 b shows a front view of an exemplary adjustment arm plate; and

[0026] Figure 1 1 a shows a perspective view of an exemplary roller bracket plate.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIM ENTS

[0027]The elements illustrated in the figures interoperate as explained in more detail below. Before setting forth the detailed explanation, however, it is noted that all of the discussion below, regardless of the particular implementation being described, is exemplary in nature, rather than limiting.

[0028] 1.0 System Overview

[0029] Referring to Figures 1 a-b and 2a-b, an exemplary reel assembly 10 having a repositionable level wind 100 are shown. Although the terms “cable,”“hose,”“umbilical,” and“cable/hose” are used to describe various aspects of the embodiments described herein, it should be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the embodiments may be used in combination with cables, hoses, umbilical connections and the like and that use of the terms is exemplary in nature and not limiting. In Figures 1 a-b, 2a-b, and 6a-b, an exemplary embodiment is shown in its entirety.

In Figures 3-5, 9a-d, 10a-b and 1 1 a-c, various components of the embodiments have been removed to better show and highlight certain aspects. The specific components that have been removed in each Figure are noted below when those figures are described in more detail.

[0030] Referring also to Figure 3, the cable spooling system 10 may comprise a frame 1 1 which rotatably supports a cable drum 12 having a core or hub 14 and opposite end flanges 16. A cable may be guided onto and off from the spool for even wrapping by means of a cable guide or“level wind” assembly 25 having a carriage mounted for traversing a reversible diamond groove shaft 30 by means of a follower 32, as the shaft 30 is rotated.

[0031 ]As described in more detail below, the level wind assembly 25 may be part of a repositionable level wind assembly 100 in which the level wind 25 may be selectively coupled to the drum 12 for powered movement of the level wind 25. In other words, the level wind 25 may be coupled to the drum 12 so that movement of the drum 12 causes movement of level wind 25.

[0032]The carriage may be coupled to a pair of tracking guide bars 34, 36. The carriage also may mount a frame holding two sets of freely rotating rollers 40, 42 for contacting and guiding the cable. Upper and lower rollers 40, and right and left rollers 42, may be a relatively hard steel material or be coated with resilient materials such as rubber or plastics. Thus, the carriage may traverse the diamond groove shaft 30 from one side to the other, evenly distributing the cable on the hub 14 of the drum 12. When the carriage gets to one end of the diamond groove shaft 30, it may automatically reverse and continue to traverse in the other direction, continuously feeding the cable onto or off from the spool. [0033] Drum 12 may have a diameter between about 30 inches (nominally, about 75 centimeters) and about 120 inches (nominally, about 30 centimeters) or more, preferably between about 48 inches (nominally, about 120 centimeters) and about 72 inches (nominally, about 185 centimeters), and may have a width between about 50 inches (nominally, about 125 centimeters) and about 150 inches, and preferably between about 72 inches and about 120 inches (nominally, about 300 centimeters). The flanges 16 may have a diameter between about 48 inches (nominally, about 120 centimeters) and about 205 inches (nominally, about 525 centimeters), preferably between about 60 (nominally, about 150 centimeters) inches and about 180 inches (nominally, about 460 centimeters).

[0034]The cable/hose may have a length between about 4,000 feet (nominally, about 1 ,200 meters) and about 20,000 feet (nominally, about 6, 100 meters), preferably between about 7,000 feet (nominally, about 2, 100 meters) and about 15,000 feet (nominally, about 4,600 meters) and even more preferably between about 1 1 ,000 feet (nominally, about 3,300 meters) and about 13,000 feet (nominally, about 4,000 meters). An exemplary cable may have a diameter between about 1/2 of an inch (nominally, about 1 .2 centimeters) and about 2-1/2 inches (nominally, about 6 centimeters), and typically about between about 1 -1/4 inches (nominally, about 3.5 centimeters) and about 1 -3/4 (nominally, about 4.5 centimeters). An exemplary hose may have a diameter between about 1 - 1/2 inches (nominally, about 3.8 centimeters) and about 2-1/2 inches (nominally, about 6 centimeters), and an exemplary umbilical connection may have a diameter between about 2 inches (nominally, about 5 centimeters) and about 8 inches (nominally, about 20 centimeters). Other sizes also may be used.

[0035] Referring also to Figure 3, the level wind assembly 25 may be driven by a chain linkage 60 coupled to the drum 12 hub via a clutch 65, in which the outer cover of the adjustment arm 120 has been removed to show the components disposed therein. Preferably, the chain linkage 60 is configured to rotate the diamond screw shaft 30 the equivalent of one diameter of the cable for each rotation of the drum 12. For example, if the diameter of the cable is 4”, the diamond screw shaft 30 should about move 4” for each rotation of the drum 12.

[0036]2.0 Exemplary Repositionable Level Wind 100

[0037] Referring to Figures 1 a-b, 2a-b and 3, the repositionable level wind 100 may include two arced guide rails 1 10a-b, a rotating adjustment arm 120, a roller bracket 130 and a level wind assembly 25. In addition, two forks or fork plates 140a-b may be adjustable mounted on the drum 12, as shown in Figures 9a-d. In operation, fork plates 140a-b may be moved to an engaged position that couples the adjustment arm 120 and the roller bracket 130 to the reel flanges 16 so that rotation of the reel causes the winding assembly 25 to rotate along the guide rails 1 10a-b. Once the winding assembly is in a desired position, the adjustment arm 120 and roller bracket 130 may be bolted to the guide rails 1 10a-b and the fork plates may be moved to a disengaged position to allow the reel to rotate independently of the now fixed level wind assembly 25, as described in more detail below.

[0038]2.1 Exemplary Guide Rails 110a-b

[0039] Referring also to Figures 3 and 4, the arced guide rails 1 10a-b may be coupled to the frame 1 1 by brackets 102a-b and 104a-b. In Figures 3 and 4, the frame 1 1 , drum 12, fork plate 140b and outer cover of the adjustment arm 120 have been removed to better illustrate the

components disposed in and on the guide arm 120 and their interaction with the guide rail 1 10b. Each guide rail 1 10a-b may include a lower track 1 12, an upper track 1 14, and a plurality of apertures 1 16. The apertures may define fixed positions at which the rotating adjustment arm 120 may be fixed to reposition the level wind 25. Preferably, apertures 1 16 are positioned to allow the rotating adjustment arm 120 to be repositioned at set increments from 0 to 90 degrees, i.e. horizontal to vertical

deployment. In the illustrated embodiment, the rotating adjustment arm 120 may include apertures 422a-d (Figure 1 1 c) to allow it to be bolted to the four apertures 1 16 of the guide rail 1 10b to fix the adjustment arm 120 in position, and the apertures 1 16 are disposed on the guide rail 1 10b so as to allow increments of rotation of about 15 degrees. Other numbers of apertures 1 16 and increments of rotation may be used. [0040] In some embodiments, stops 1 17a-b may be provided on the guide rails 1 10a-b to prevent the adjustment arm 120 and/or roller bracket 130 from rotating past a certain position, as shown in Figure 1 b. In the illustrated embodiment, stops 1 17a-b are positioned to prevent the adjustment arm 120 and/or roller bracket 130 from rotating past a substantially vertical position (e.g. about 90°), and lower stops 1 15a-b (Figures 1 a-b) are positioned to prevent the adjustment arm 120 and/or roller bracket 130 from rotating past a substantially horizontal position (e.g. about 0°).

Additionally, or alternatively, removable pegs 1 19a-b may be provided in apertures 1 18 (Figure 3) in the guide rails 1 10a-b to provide additional support for and/or to prevent rotation of the adjustment arm 120 and/or roller bracket 130, as shown in Figures 10a-b.

[0041 ] 2.2 Exemplary Rotatable Adjustment Arms 120 And Roller Bracket 130

[0042] As shown in Figures 3 and 4, the rotatable adjustment arm 120 may be coupled to the drum 12 via a bearing assembly 124 that allows it to rotate freely about the center axis of the spool. The adjustment arm 120 also may be fixedly coupled to the guide rods 34 and 36 of the level wind assembly 25 and rotatably coupled to the diamond screw shaft 30. In addition, the adjustment arm 120 may include rollers 122a-c that engage the upper and lower tracks 1 14 and 1 12 of the guide rail 1 10b. In the illustrated embodiments, each roller 122a-c is a stainless steel roller that freely rotates about a center axis and includes a 3” diameter and a 4” flange to secure the adjustment arm 120 to the guide rail 120b. As illustrated, rollers 122a and 122c are disposed to engage upper track 1 14 and roller 122b (Figure 4) is disposed to engage lower track 1 12. Other numbers and arrangements of rollers 122a-c may be used.

[0043]The roller bracket 130 may include a similar arrangement of rollers 122a-c and the like but may not be coupled directly to the center of drum 12 like the rotatable adjustment arm, as best shown in Figure 2b. For example, the roller bracket 130 also may be fixedly coupled to the guide rods 34 and 36 of the level wind assembly 25 and rotatably coupled to the diamond screw shaft 30. In addition, the roller bracket 130 also may include rollers 122a-c that engage the upper and lower tracks 1 14 and

[0044] In some embodiments, the adjustment arm 120 and/or roller bracket 130 may include one or more bumpers 300 for absorbing contact with upper stops 1 17a-b, lower stops 1 15a-b (Figures 1 a-b), and/or pegs 1 19a-b, as shown in Figures 10a and 10b, respectively. As shown in Figure 1 1 a, the bumper 300 may include a contact absorption portion 302 attached to body 304 that includes apertures 306a-b that allow the bumper to be attached to the adjustment arm 120 or roller bracket 130. In such embodiments, the adjustment arm plate 420 and/or roller bracket plate 430 may include recessed portions 426a-b and 436a-b respectively for receiving the contact absorption portion 302 of the bumper 300, as shown in Figures 1 1 b and 1 1 c, respectively.

[0045]The bumper 100 may be made of any suitable material for absorbing contact with the stops 1 17a-b and/or pegs 1 19a-b, such as rubber or the like. In some embodiments, the bumper may be made of UHMW-UV or similar material, which may be durable and resist wear, corrosion, and UV-related damage. Other materials also may be used. In some embodiments, different portions of the bumper 300 may be made of different materials. The contact absorption portion of the bumper 302 may be between about 1 inch and about 5 inches, preferably between about 2 inches and about 4 inches, and even more preferably between about 2.5 inches and about 3.5 inches. In the illustrated embodiment, the contact absorption portion 302 is about 3 inches.

[0046] 2.3 Exemplary Forks Plates 140a and 140b

[0047] Referring to Figure 5 and Figures 6a-b, an exemplary fork plate 140 and perspective views of an exemplary reel assembly 10 having a

repositionable level wind 100 is shown with exemplary fork plates 140a-b in both disengaged and engaged positions, respectively. As shown in Figure 5, each fork plate 140 may include slots 142a-b that may receive bolts for attaching the fork plate 140 to the reel flange 16 at various positions. Each fork plate 140 also may include two tines 144a and 144b that define a channel 145 for receiving the diamond screw shaft 30. In the illustrated embodiment, the channel may be a slot having a circular end 145 for receiving the diamond screw shaft having a 1 .5” radius that is centered about 3” from the top of the tines 144a-b. In addition, pads 147a and 147b may be attached to the tines 144a-b to allow the fork plate to push against guide rods 34 and 36 during repositioning of the winding assembly 25, as described in more detail below. The pads 147a-b may be Nylatron or another suitable material. In some embodiments, the fork plate 140 may include a handle 148 to allow the operator to easily grab and/or move the fork plate 140.

[0048] For example, the fork plates 140a-b may be moved to a disengaged

position to allow the reel to rotate independently of the winding assembly 25, as shown in Figure 6a. In the disengaged (or first) position, the fork plates 140a-b may be attached to the reel 12 and may not contact the level wind 25. Because the level wind 25 is not coupled to the drum 12 when the fork plates 140a-b are in the disengaged position, the drum 12 is free to rotate 360° or more as necessary to deploy or wind the cable. The fork plates 140a-b also may be stored on the base of the skid frame as illustrated in figure 1 B during normal operation of the reel.

[0049] Alternatively, fork plates 140a-b may be moved to an engaged (or

second) position that couples the adjustment arm 120 and the roller bracket 130 to the reel flanges 16 so that rotation of the reel causes the winding assembly 25 to rotated along the guide rails 1 10a-b, as shown in Figure 6b for guide rail 1 10a. In the engaged (or second) position, the tines 144a-b of the fork plates 140a-b may engage gaps 31 and 33 between the diamond screw shaft 30 and the tracking guide bars 34 and 36 of the level wind 25. As a result of this coupling, movement of the drum 12 will cause movement of the level wind 25.

[0050] 3.0 Exemplary Drive Systems 200 And Exemplary Methods For

Repositioning A Level-Wind

[0051 ] A pneumatic schematic for controlling the reel pneumatic drive system 200 is shown in FIG. 7 and a flow chart for an exemplary process 800 for repositioning the winding assembly 25 is shown in Figure 8. In addition, Figures 9a-d show various side views of portions of an exemplary reel with forks and repositionable level winds during various stages of a reposition process. In Figure 9a-d, the guide rail 1 10b and adjustment arm 120 have been removed to better illustrate the interaction of the fork plate 140b and the level wind 25.

[0052]As shown in Figure 9a, the level wind 25 may begin at a first position, which corresponds to a deployment position a of about 45° in the illustrated embodiment. To begin the repositioning process, an operator may (1 ) loosen the bolts securing the fork plates 140a-b, (2) manually move the fork plates 140a-b from a disengaged position (as shown in Figure 9a) to an engaged position (as shown in Figure 9b), and (3) tighten the bolts to lock the fork plates 140a-b them in the engaged positon at step 802. As noted about above, when in the engaged position, the tines 144a-b of the fork plates 140a-b may be positioned within the gaps 31 and 33 of (as shown in Figure 6b).

[0053] Next, the operator may unbolt the adjustment arm 120 and roller bracket 130 at step 804. The operator then may depress the“level wind reposition” selector valve 210 at step 806 to switch from a normal operational mode to a repositioning operational mode. In the illustrated embodiment, selection of selector valve 210 may direct air to the manual, lever operated, reel directional control valve 216. Air also may be directed to the pilot actuated, spring offset, pilot valve 214. Air also may be directed to pressure regulator valve 238, shuttle valve 240, and through pilot valve 242, and to remote operated, pressure regulator valve 244. Pilot valve 242 may remain in the spring offset position, since pressure is not available to shift the pilot valve 242. Pressure regulator valve 238 may be set to a level that permits repositioning the level wind assembly (such as about 80 PSI, for example).

[0054] In other words, depression of the“level wind reposition” selector valve 210 may shift the valves to level wind reposition locations in which they limit the output of the system as compare to the normal operational output in order to provide precise control of the rotation of the drum 12. For example, air may be directed out of the speed regulation port #8 of valve 216 to pilot operated air regulator valve 236. Air regulator valve 236 is normally closed, and opens with the application of pressure. The more pressure applied, the more the valve opens and the faster the reel will rotate. For example, the pressure may range from about 10 PSI to about 80 PSI, preferably from about 20 PSI to about 50 PSI and even more preferably between about 25 PSI and about 35 PIS. In the illustrated embodiment, the pressure may be about 30 PSI. Normal reel rotation would be at a faster rotational speed, typically about 5-6 revolutions per minute, whereas rotation during the repositioning mode preferably would be between about 0.05 revolutions per minute about 0.5 revolutions per minute, and even more preferably about 0.1 revolutions per minute.

[0055] Next, the operator may move the lever of the manual, lever operated, reel directional control valve 216 as desired at step 808. When the lever is moved to the reel out position, air may directed through shuttle valves items 218 and 220, pilot valve 214, pressure regulator valve 222, shuttle valve 224, quick exhaust valve 226, and to the spring applied, pneumatic released disc brake caliper 228. The more pressure applied to the caliper the less holding force the caliper will develop. Preferably, only enough pressure (such as about 40 PSI, for example) is developed to prevent the level wind assembly from falling, due to its weight. For example, the pressure may range from about 10 PSI to about 80 PSI , preferably from about 25 PSI to about 55 PSI and even more preferably between about 35 PSI and about 45 PIS. In the illustrated embodiment, the pressure may be about 40 PSI. Preferably, the level wind is repositioned in the reel out direction.

[0056]When rotating in the reel in direction, the disc brake may be fully

released, and rotational speed controlled as described above. When the lever is moved to the“reel in” position, air is directed through shuttle valves 218, 224 and 246, quick exhaust valve 226, and to the spring applied, pneumatic released disc brake caliper 228. Since the weight of the carriage assembly may not be an issue in the reel in direction, the brake may be fully released.

[0057]0nce the level wind assembly 25 is repositioned to the desired

deployment angle a (as shown in Figure 9c), the adjustment arm 120 and roller bracket 130 may be bolted to the adjustment arms 1 10a-b to lock the level wind 25 into place at step 810. In the illustrated embodiment, the second position corresponds to a deployment angle a of about 90°. Next, the two forks140a-b may be manually repositioned to disengage from the two carriage guide rods 34 and 36, and locked in the disengaged position at step 812 (as shown in Figure 9d). Finally, the“level wind reposition” selector valve 210, may be pulled, directing air to the system for normal reel operation at step 814.

[0058]Although schematic 200 shows a manually controlled pneumatic drive system, other types of drive systems, such as electro-pneumatic drive systems or an electric drive (e.g. electric motor) also may be used. For example, in some embodiments, the reel repositioning components outlined here may be added to the modifications may be made to the electro-pneumatic control systems described in U.S. Patent Application No. 16/285,939 filed February 26, 2019, which is a continuation of U.S. Patent Application No. 15/723,638 filed October 3, 2017 (now U.S. Patent No. 10,233,705), which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Patent Application No. 14/945, 195 filed November 18, 2015 (now U.S. Patent 9,810,032), which is a continuation of U.S. Patent Application No. 14/802,814 filed July 17, 2015 (now U.S. Patent 9,206,658), all of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

[0059]As another example, some embodiments may use an electric drive

system to rotated the drum 12 and/or level wind 25. For example, an electric servomotor may be used. In such embodiments, the operator may be able to select a desired angle of deployment for the level wind 25, in response, the servomotor may rotate the drum to the desired angle. For example, the operator may select a reposition mode similar to that described above and may then set a specific angle, such as 45° or 90°, and the level wind may be moved to a corresponding position. The other aspects of the reposition process describe above, such as the bolting and unbolting of the adjustment arm 120 and roller bracket 130 to the guide rails 1 10a-b and the moving of the fork plates 140a-b from the

disengaged position to the engaged position and back again, may be substantially similar. Other electric drive systems and/or motors also may be used.

[0060]4.0 Other Exemplary Configurations

[0061 ]As described above, the repositionable level wind assembly 100 may be selectively coupled (or selectively couplable) to the drum 12 (at the flange 16 via the fork plates 140a-b) for powered movement from a first position to a second position. Other configurations also may be used to achieve similar functionality. For example, in some embodiments, the adjustment arm 120 may be selectively couplable to the drum 12 via a clutch between the arm 120 and the center drum 12 (or other part of the drum 12). As another example, one or more separate power sources may be attached to the winding assembly 25, such as attached to one or more roller brackets 130 that cause the carriage to move appropriately to wind the cable as well as to cause the one or more roller brackets 130 to move between positions on the guide rails 1 10a-b, for example, by powering rotation of one or more of the rollers 122a-c.

[0062]While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more

embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.