QTrencher 1600 and 48Te A-Frame Delivered to Van Oord Commences First Job

August 8, 2018

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce that the QTrencher 1600 and its associated deck equipment package delivered in April 2018 to Van Oord, has commenced its first job at Borkum-2 wind farm.

Van Oord’s deck equipment for the QT1600, Dig-It, included a 48Te launch and recovery system (LARS) with A-Frame, cursor docking head, umbilical winch with snatch limiter and hydraulic power unit ensuring safe and reliable deployment of the QTrencher 1600 in higher sea states.

Paul Hatchett, Managing Director SMD Deck Equipment comments, “SMD have been delivering safe and reliable launch and recovery and cable handling equipment for over 35 years, and we have used our expertise to deliver a Lloyds Register approved system to our new customer, Van Oord. We have designed this LARS to offer flexibility and ease of maintenance to our customer. The compact design means that Van Oord are not restricted on the layout of their vessel, with the system being compact enough for operation across the beam and over the stern. Together with SMD’s QTrencher 1600 Van Oord will be able to increase their operational window, working in conditions up to sea state 6.”

The deck equipment comes equipped with a state-of-the-art cursor launch system which allows high sea state deployment using the lift winch. SMD’s cursor launch system protects the vehicle’s umbilical and ensures operational loads are within safety factors at all times, even when the air weight of the vehicle exceeds the safe working load of the umbilical.

Furthermore, the integration of the snatch limiting device means the system is able to handle transitions through the splash zone, from heavy-in-air to light-in-water without transferring shock loads to the umbilical. This function prevents the umbilical from becoming overloaded, and also handles slack umbilical to prevent damage during vehicle recovery which can be caused by vessel motion in high sea states.

The QT1600, Dig-It, has commenced cable installation work which should be finished in July 2018. Once completed in 2019, the Borkum-2 offshore wind farm will deliver green energy to an equivalent of 460,000 households. The offshore wind farm is located 54 kilometres off the coast of Lower Saxony, Germany.

General Trenching Deck Equipment

SMD Develop Fast ROV Capability

April 23, 2018

As price pressures continue in the ROV industry, the need for operators to reduce operational costs through the adoption of new technologies is increasingly apparent.

For areas such as seabed mapping and pipeline inspection, where traditional work class ROV systems remain the preferred choice, SMD has recognised the limitations of the current technology available and developed FLO, a new high-speed Survey and Inspection ROV system, capable of delivering higher quality survey data and significant time savings in offshore operations.

Traditionally, standard work class ROVs have speed limitations due to their size, weight and hydrodynamics. They can also be unsteady operating at higher speeds.

SMD engineered FLO, a high-speed variant based on proven SMD ROV fleet technology, to perform tasks faster and more efficiently. The new system has a top speed of 6 Knots and the ability to hold position in currents up to 4 Knots from any direction. FLO also boasts 50% faster survey times compared to conventional work class ROVs and is capable of significantly extending the operational window in areas where high currents are prevalent, especially within the renewables sector.

From concept to manufacture, the new high-speed ROV by SMD, has been designed around the latest sensor payloads it would be tasked to carry in order to perform offshore, whilst also providing the most stable and acoustically quiet platform possible to gather quality survey data.

In order to provide this level of performance, FLO uses SMD’s advanced ROV drivetrain technology in a low profile hydrodynamic package less than half the height and half the weight of a typical Work Class ROV. Coupled with eight open water vectored thrusters and SMD’s advanced ROV control automation, FLO is able to accurately navigate and remain stable at high speeds while close to the seabed.

FLO can also be operated in free swimming mode for shallow water and uses a tether management system (TMS) in deeper water. Although travelling at high speed creates drag on the ROV umbilical, in water depths of 500m in free swimming mode, FLO has the power to achieve speeds greater than 4 Knots.

To ensure optimised deployment and retrieval of FLO in difficult conditions. SMD has drawn upon its’ 45 years of Deck Equipment design to offer purpose designed LARS system which incorporates innovative functions including the auto cable render and a gimballing docking head.

ROVS

SMD wins contract for supply of Quasar MKII System

November 3, 2016

September 2016: Shanghai Salvage Company (also known as China Offshore Engineering Shanghai, Co), a state owned entity who have a long history in diving and salvage have signed an order with SMD for a Quasar MKII 6000m remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2017, the system will include a full suite of equipment suitable for both deep sea salvage and oil and gas operations.

“We are delighted that Shanghai Salvage have chosen SMD as their ROV equipment supplier,” said Mark Collins, Managing Director of SMD ROV Systems. “This system includes some new innovations in ROV modularity that will enable the client to operate across a wider range of markets, maximising revenue potential from their SMD asset. We believe that modular systems, which can be quickly optimised for a particular operation, will become important as clients continue to seek reductions in their operating costs. SMD’s ability to offer innovative products coupled with a strong global service network will support Shanghai Salvage as they expand.”

The ROV is a deep water version of SMD’s standard Quasar which has an extensive track record across various industry sectors. It will be one of the most powerful and capable systems to operate down to 6000m.

Deck equipment for the project, which will be designed and manufactured by SMD, includes a dual use 3000m/6000m winch and two cursor launch and recovery systems, one of which will be hanger mounted, the other mobile. The umbilical winches will be electrically driven with an axial fleeting configuration and active heave compensation, and provide the ability for interchangeable drums to accommodate steel wire armoured and aramid umbilical.

SMD’s deck equipment capability has been developed and refined over decades of experience. Leading the deck equipment business, Paul Hatchett explains “SMD has a long track record of designing and building more than four hundred systems with highly capable deck equipment for a broad range of subsea vehicle and cable handling applications. By holding this experience and capability within a dedicated unit in SMD we offer operators such as Shanghai Salvage a reliable and bespoke solution, which is seamlessly integrated with the subsea vehicle system.”

General ROVS

Flexible and Tailored Spares Solutions

November 2, 2016

May 2015: SMD’s flexible solution to spares ordering has offered huge benefits to our customers over recent years.  These bespoke lists of fixed prices also known as Frame Agreements are for a pre-defined term (typically one year) and give an indication of expected lead times with an option to deliver earlier where possible. Frame agreements give both parties the opportunity to tailor the associated terms and conditions to exactly what the customer requires, beyond our standard terms and conditions of sale. Examples of specific terms and conditions might be: a specific delivery term e.g. DAP UK (Incoterms® 2010) rather than our normal Ex Works, regular weekly deliveries to a specific customer location, or packaging which is suitable for export such as fumigated crates/pallets that conform to ISPM15 regulations.

Price lists with associated target delivery timescales have a number of benefits including certainty for customer budgeting & planning purposes, and elimination of the RFQ (request for quotation) process which reduces the cycle time for delivery of parts to their required location. Customers can also benefit from a closer, longer term customer-supplier relationship, improving visibility, trust and confidence for both parties.

Dorothy Freeman, SMD Spares Sales Manager, who has worked closely with our customers to develop this offering commented “At SMD we see a real value in working together with our customers to ensure that the service we provide enables efficient and effective operations from both our customers’ and our own perspective. It is this understanding that has allowed us to put in place frame agreements for our spares customers.   SMD is also currently looking to implement an eCommerce platform as part of our Digital Strategy, which will follow on from our current online customer order and tracking system, available through My Account. We hope this will continue to improve our customers’ overall experience of this SMD service.”

The Procurement Manager from one of our well established customers in Aberdeen has been ordering their SMD spares this way since November 2013 and commented: “The Frame Agreement structure highly benefits us in many ways including time saving advantages for all parties. Having fixed prices and terms in place allows for a smoother transaction. It also assists us with planning schedules where deliveries are pre-agreed, potentially creating for an all-round better working relationship with our suppliers”

Bryan Whyte, Supply Chain Manager from SMD customer iTech also sees the benefits of spares frame agreements: “Putting in place robust supply chain agreements with our core suppliers such as SMD gives us better pricing and shorter lead times and overall makes the day-to-day relationship easier to manage for both parties.

SMD are looking to set up Spares frame agreements with further customers going forward.

General