SMD to Supply Multi-Mode Pre Lay Plough to Boskalis

June 7, 2019

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd are pleased to announce that they have signed a contract to supply a 200Te Multi-Mode Pre Lay Plough to leading marine service provider Boskalis N.V.

Set for delivery in spring 2020, the Pre Lay Plough comes with SMD’s latest surface control equipment which will be mobilised on the bridge of a Boskalis specialist trenching vessel.

The Multi-Mode Pre Lay Plough is an established member of SMD’s power cable installation and protection product range and is available with configurations for trenching and backfill. The plough will come equipped with a 2.1m share suitable for trenching in sands and hard clays up to 600kPa and has configurations for trenching and backfill. The trenching pass creates an engineered ‘Y’ trench profile with a secure power cable pocket for subsequent lay process and the backfill pass moves the cut spoil back over the product for maximum cover.

Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD’s Equipment Business comments, “We are delighted with this second award from Boskalis following the CBT2400 Trencher contract. We’ve worked hard with Boskalis to evolve the Multi-Mode Plough design, improve its performance and minimise environmental impact on the seabed.  Minimising lay risk and maximising lay speed are key drivers and being able to carry out a campaign of trenching and backfilling using a single vehicle makes operations economical in both cost and time. We look forward to cementing a solid working relationship.”

Read more about our plough range: https://www.smd.co.uk/our-products/ploughs/

General Trenching

Team Tao Receive Special Recognition in Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Competition

June 3, 2019

A team of North East-based subsea engineering experts from Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) and Newcastle University have been recognised for their innovative engineering approach in the prestigious Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition.

Team Tao, the only UK team and one of the smallest to reach the grand final of the Ocean XPRIZE, were recognised for their highly innovative approach as the organisers announced a surprise additional Moonshot Award at the prestigious awards ceremony held in Monaco.

During the final round testing, Team Tao demonstrated their autonomous swarm system technology launched from an ASV, and competed against seven other teams from around the world to map an area the size of Paris in deep waters off the coast of Greece near the port city of Kalamata.

Team Tao were able to clearly demonstrate the capability and efficiency of their swarm system of subsea drones and an autonomous surface deployment and recovery vessel.

Dale Wakeham, SMD Design Engineer and Team Tao Project Leader, said: “It has been an honour to compete in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Competition, our small team has worked tirelessly over the past year to develop and prove our technology. While the Ocean XPRIZE competition posed a significant challenge, it has been an opportunity to showcase to the world what the future of subsea survey looks like.”

 

Mike Jones, SMD CEO, said: “I am delighted that Team Tao has received this Moonshot Award as recognition for their hard work and achievement. We began this journey with an ambitious dream, a small, young energetic team, a clean sheet of paper and a modest budget.   With Newcastle University we secured a fantastic partner to create Team Tao. Solving engineering problems by looking at them from a different angle is the essence of what we do at SMD, and Team Tao has engineered a truly pioneering way to efficiently survey the ocean floor and water column. I’d like to thank our partners and sponsors who have generously supported us on our journey through the Ocean XPRIZE competition, and in particular UK Research and Innovation. We still have a lot of hard work and investment ahead of us to bring this technology to market.  When we do we are confident that this will change the way we understand our oceans in future.”

 

Nick Wright, Newcastle University Team Lead, said: “The project has been a fantastic collaboration that has really stretched the team to be inventive and imaginative – with contributions from the team based at the National Centre and also at the Newcastle University SEALAB, led by Jeff Neasham, who have provided a world-leading sonar technology.”

The competition is part of XPRIZE’s 10-year Ocean Initiative – a commitment made to launch five multi-million dollar prizes by 2020 to address critical ocean challenges and inspire innovation that helps create an ocean that is healthy, valued and understood.

SMD and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are the title sponsors behind Team Tao. SMD is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of specialist subsea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) based in Newcastle upon Tyne. UKRI is a national funding agency with a £6 billion budget to invest in science and research across the UK. It brings together seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.  Newcastle University is a world-leader in subsea engineering and acoustics research, bringing together experts from a wide range of engineering and scientific backgrounds.

Andrew Tyrer, Challenge Director – Robotics, UK Research and Innovation, said: “The technology showcased by Team Tao represents the best in UK innovation and it is fantastic that this has been recognised by the judges in this competition. The UK is a world leader in the field of robotics and UK Research and Innovation is supporting this vital sector through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.”

Other sponsors and supporters of Team Tao include Rajant, Sonardyne, WAM-V, Lenovo, Altair, Swansea University, Advanced Industrial Solutions, Solidworks, Matrix Composites & Engineering and Volz Servos.

Learn more about Team Tao

Learn more about the Shell Ocean Discovery XPrize

General

SMD Deliver CBT2400 to Boskalis

May 28, 2019

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce the delivery of an ultra-high powered, compact 2400hp Cable Burial Tractor (CBT2400) to Boskalis.

The CBT2400 and associated deck equipment were mobilised directly onto Boskalis’ specialist cable lay vessel, the NDEAVOR from the Swan Hunter quayside access point adjacent to SMD’s production facility. The tractor will be operated by Boskalis and specialist trenching contractor, Canyon Offshore.

The CBT2400 is the latest addition to SMD’s existing burial tractor range and is an evolution of the CBT2100 which was last delivered in 2011. Drawing on decades of experience of track driven vehicles, SMD designed this CBT2400 to provide a reliable solution for protecting cables in hard ground with interchangeable cassette tooling. The tractor provides a remote-control platform with a range of trenching tools for different ground strengths; the tool consists of a hard ground cutting boom, rear jetting tools for lowering the power cable and next generation eduction tools for spoil clearance. The vehicle operates in post lay mode and has been specifically designed for safe handling of the product. The CBT range is a family of subsea tractor systems capable of trenching power cables in seabed’s ranging from sands and clays to rock in ultra-shallow, beach approach work or deep water.

Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD’s Equipment Business comments, “Boskalis are one of the most experienced marine service providers’ in the offshore wind industry and we are delighted that they have chosen our equipment to strengthen their trenching capability. The project is a great example of how we pride ourselves on working in partnership with our customers; the unique combination of tools has been a collaborative effort between SMD’s design experts and the combined operational expertise of Boskalis and Canyon Offshore. This effort and commitment to technology and innovation is the reason we continue to be the world leader in delivering subsea trenching equipment.”

SMD Services conducted specialised training for Boskalis and Canyon Offshore’s offshore personnel at their in-house training facility earlier this month ensuring that they are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate the new tractor.

General Trenching

Catch us at Subsea Expo

April 16, 2019

SMD are exhibiting at Subsea Expo 11-13 February 2020 on stand 101.

Representatives from our Services and Curvetech business will be on the stand for the duration of the show ready to answer all of your questions. Get in touch using the link below to arrange a meeting in advance.

Events

Catch us at Offshore Europe

April 12, 2019

SMD are exhibiting at Offshore Europe at the TECA in Aberdeen, 3rd – 6th September.

Visit us on stand 2B60 for a coffee and a catch up with one of the team. If you would like to arrange a meeting with a member of our sales team you can do so using the contact details below.

Graeme Walker

Trenching Sales

graeme.walker@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 234 8690

Graeme Jaques

Head of ROV Sales

graeme.jaques@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 234 8619

Matthew Woodward

Deck Equipment Sales

matthew.woodward@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 7794901896

 

Terry Davis

Services Sales Manager

terry.davis@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 234 8571

 

Stephen Wilson

Strategic Business & Development Manager

stephen.wilson@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 2348500

 

Events

Catch us at Global Offshore Wind

April 12, 2019

SMD are exhibiting at Global Offshore Wind at the ExCel Centre in London, 25th – 26th June.

Visit us on stand 156 for a coffee and a catch up with one of the team. If you would like to arrange a meeting with a member of our sales team you can do so using the contact details below.

Graeme Walker

Trenching Sales

graeme.walker@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 234 8690

Graeme Jaques

Head of ROV Sales

graeme.jaques@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 234 8619

Matthew Woodward

Deck Equipment Sales

matthew.woodward@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 7794901896

 

Terry Davis

Services Sales Manager

terry.davis@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 234 8571

 

Stephen Wilson

Strategic Business & Development Manager

stephen.wilson@smd.co.uk

+44 (0) 191 2348500

 

Events

SMD’s Quasar WROV Reaches 5760m Subsea

April 1, 2019

March 2019:

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd are pleased to announce that a deep-sea Quasar Work Class Remotely Operated Vehicle (WROV) has successfully completed sea trials. The 6000m rated WROV, complemented with an electric drive dual-purpose winch and Launch and Recovery System (LARS), reached the seabed at 5,760m during the trials. The complete turnkey solution was recently delivered to Shanghai Salvage and has undergone extensive testing at various depths. The system was supplied with interchangeable winch drums which can be changed out on deck to achieve operational service at depths up to 3000m or 6000m when required.

By making use of electric motors powered via a Low Harmonic Variable Speed Drive application, rather than hydraulics, SMD were able to offer an environmentally friendly energy-efficient launch system.

Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD’s Equipment business comments, “This is a significant milestone for our WROV and deck technology. Reaching maximum operating depth during sea trials establishes the Quasar WROV as the most capable deep-water WROV in the market. Being able to operate at such depths opens up endless possibilities for the deep-sea salvage, survey and exploration markets and I am looking forward to watching this market continue to grow.”

For more information on our range of WROVs visit: https://www.smd.co.uk/our-products/work-class-rovs/quasar-work-class-rov/

General ROVS

SMD deliver QTrencher 500 compact high power trenching system

March 26, 2019

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd. are pleased to announce completion of the first QTrencher 500 compact, high power trenching system developed for submarine cable installation and maintenance specialists, SubCom.

The new QTrencher 500 system provides additional 100HP versus its QT400 predecessor, without a weight penalty for a powerful, cost effective solution. The system combines proven SMD cable maintenance tools in an ultra-compact and lightweight arrangement, to deliver ultimate power within a small footprint. The high voltage transmission provides maximum thrust and jetting performance enabling trenching capability to a depth of up to 3.0m with multiple passes dependent on the ground conditions.

Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD’s Equipment business comments “This system is a new product developed specifically for the submarine telecoms market, and marks a welcome sign of innovation and new product development in the sector. It’s 500HP in a compact footprint and 12TE weight limit make it the best in its class. The system also benefits from jet tooling and a new suite of sensors making it digital ready for future asset management. It’s developments like this that have made SMD equipment responsible for the burial and protection of over 80% of the world’s subsea telecoms cables.”

The vehicle is equipped with SMD’s latest surface control and power cabin layout and 12.5Te Wide Angle A-Frame operational in sea state 5, an umbilical winch with steel armoured umbilical for operation in 2500mwd.

John Dahlgren, Director of submersible systems at SubCom said “SubCom’s goal was to procure a vehicle system which would exceed client expectations for reliability, performance and cable protection. The result was a trencher, which incorporates SubCom’s vast telecom cable installation experience and drive for innovation with SMD’s proven engineering and manufacturing expertise. SubCom is confident this new vehicle will lead the telecom industry in burial power and capability inside a manageable and cost effective footprint, while also incorporating the latest advancements in subsea technology. We are thrilled to be adding the system to our fleet.”

For more information on our range of Trenching ROVs visit: https://www.smd.co.uk/our-products/qtrenchers/

General Trenching Deck Equipment

SMD Shanghai Complete Manufacture of Quantum MkIII WROV

January 29, 2019

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce that SMD Shanghai, SMD’s Chinese entity, have successfully completed the manufacture and commissioning of a Quantum MkIII work class remotely operated vehicle (WROV) at their facility in Lingang, Shanghai. This is the first WROV to be built at their facility since its opening in 2018.

SMD Shanghai’s facility is home to a 3700m2 workshop which contains an in-house training facility featuring a state-of-the-art ROV training simulator and 405m3 test tank. Having this capability in-house means that SMD Shanghai are able offer their customers a full solution from sales support to training and aftercare.

Andrew Starforth, Managing Director, SMD Shanghai comments, “I am thrilled that we have completed the manufacture of our first WROV system. This is a huge milestone for us to achieve and we have done so with a new team of engineers and technicians. I am looking forward to continuing our success here in Shanghai.”

The Quantum WROV is the largest and most heavy duty WROV in SMDs range, it offers an ideal solution for offshore tasks where high thruster performance and tooling power are required. Generous chassis space means that the system is versatile to allowing for upgrades and additional equipment to suit the customers’ requirements.

For more information on our range of Work Class ROVs visit: https://www.smd.co.uk/product-category/work-class-rovs/

General ROVS

UK team set to take on the world in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE final

December 4, 2018

 

A team of North East-based subsea engineering experts are preparing to represent the UK in the final of the prestigious $7m Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition to map the sea floor.

This month TeamTao, the only UK team and one of the smallest to reach the grand final of the Ocean XPRIZE, head to Greece to field test their technology in the last round of the prestigious international competition, which aims to create next generation tools and techniques for rapid, unmanned ocean exploration and discovery.

The designated competition area is roughly 500 sq km of seafloor, which is equivalent to an area the size of Paris. The teams get 24 hours to map as much of the area as possible at a resolution of 5m horizontally and 0.5m vertically. There can be no human intervention and the equipment must fit within a 40ft container.

During the final round testing, TeamTao will showcase their autonomous swarm system technology, and compete against seven other teams from around the world to map the largest area of seafloor in deep waters off the coast of Greece near the port city of Kalamata.

TeamTao will demonstrate the capability and efficiency of their swarm system of subsea drones and an autonomous surface deployment and recovery vessel to chart the seafloor and identify 10 archaeological, biological or geological features of interest at any depth.

Based in the National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering at Newcastle University, TeamTao brings together experts from UK-based subsea engineering specialist Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) and Newcastle University.

Dale Wakeham, SMD Design Engineer and TeamTao Project Leader, said: “The team has been working tirelessly during the last six months to develop and refine the technology and we are looking forward to representing the UK in such a prestigious international arena. The Ocean XPRIZE competition presents a significant challenge but we are using it as an opportunity to accelerate development and showcase to the world what the future of subsea survey looks like.”

The Ocean XPRIZE team that comes out on top will win $4m. Second place earns $1m.

Dr Jeff Neasham, the team’s sonar expert and a Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University, added: “Newcastle University is immensely proud to be part of TeamTao and to have reached the final of the Ocean X-prize Competition. It has been hugely challenging to develop an innovative seabed mapping solution from scratch and we are very excited to see how this technology can impact ocean exploration in the future.”

The competition is part of XPRIZE’s 10-year Ocean Initiative – a commitment made to launch five multi-million dollar prizes by 2020 to address critical ocean challenges and inspire innovation that helps create an ocean that is healthy, valued and understood.

Mike Jones, SMD CEO, said: “To reach the final has been an outstanding achievement. We began this journey with an ambitious dream on a minimal budget and secured a fantastic partner in Newcastle University to create TeamTao. Together we have engineered a truly pioneering and cost-effective method of rapidly mapping the ocean floor and water column. In recent months, we’ve also received further support from a number of partners and generous sponsors, including UK Research and Innovation. This has enabled us to scale-up operations dramatically, and while there is still a lot of hard work to do, we’re on track to demonstrate our system’s capabilities, which are revolutionary both in terms of cost and speed of map generation, and once scaled up, they will change the way our oceans are monitored in future.”

The winning team will be announced in March 2019.

SMD and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are the title sponsors behind TeamTao. SMD is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of specialist subsea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) based in Newcastle upon Tyne. UKRI is a national funding agency with a £6 billion budget to invest in science and research across the UK. It brings together seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.  Newcastle University is a world-leader in subsea engineering and acoustics research, bringing together experts from a wide range of engineering and scientific backgrounds.

Andrew Tyrer, Robotics and AI Challenge Director at UK Research and Innovation, said: “TeamTao encapsulates all that is great about the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund investment in Robotics and AI technologies. To see both SMD and Newcastle University develop innovative solutions so quickly to address the Shell XPRIZE challenge is awe-inspiring. As the only UK-based consortium left in the competition, I wish them every success in the forthcoming trials.”

Other sponsors and supporters of TeamTao include Rajant, Sonardyne, WAM-V, Lenovo, Altair, Swansea University, Advanced Industrial Solutions, Solidworks and Volz Servos.

In addition to TeamTao representing the UK, other teams competing in the final represent Germany, Japan, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States.

To advance to the final round, the eight semi-finalist teams had to pass a technology readiness test. This included a site visit by XPRIZE staff and judges where the technology was tested against rigorous measurement criteria to show the approach was capable of meeting the operational requirements necessary for rapid, unmanned, high-resolution ocean mapping.

Events