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's Multi-Mode Pre Lay Plough Completes First Job for Assodivers Ltd

June 21, 2018

World leading subsea equipment designer and manufacturer Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce that their Multi-Mode Pre Lay Plough, delivered to Greek offshore contractors Assodivers Ltd in Spring this year, has successfully completed its first offshore job in the Baltic sea.

The Multi-Mode Pre Lay Plough is the newest addition to SMD’s power cable installation and protection product range. This plough has configurations for boulder clearing, trenching and backfill. The boulder clearance pass clears a 13.0m wide route including surface and submerged boulders. The trenching pass creates an engineered ‘Y’ trench profile with a secure power cable pocket for subsequent lay process. The backfill pass moves the cut spoil excluding boulders back over the product for maximum cover. All three modes have responsive and controlled steering and a fully integrated sensor suite for as built survey of performance.

Managing Director for SMD’s Subsea Business, Paul Davison comments, “I am thrilled that we have been able to deliver the plough with all three configurations. Having multiple configurations available means this one plough can be set up to carry out a campaign of route clearance and power cable installation and cover processes making it economical in both cost and time, minimising lay risk and maximising lay speed. Assodivers are the first client who have this capability in a single vehicle. We have a longstanding relationship with Assodivers, they have two of our Atom Work Class ROV systems already in their fleet and we are pleased that they trust us and our equipment.”

The equipment was mobilised on board Assodivers’ DP-2 Construction Support Vessel, the Aethra, directly from SMD’s quayside access point.

Technical Manager from Assodivers, Aggelos Tziotakis comments, “We are excited with the opportunities that have arisen from the use of a unique tool such as the multi-mode pre-lay plough; The vehicle has already performed its maiden work in the offshore fields of the Baltic with very successful results.”

Offering a full turnkey solution, SMD delivered a 20ft Control Cabin and a 60Te stabilising frame operational in up to sea state 5 via their dedicated Deck Equipment business. The team were able to integrate the 60Te stabilising frame with Assodivers’ existing A-Frame.

The scissor type stabilising frame used in conjunction with the A-Frame is designed to maintain plough orientation and reduce side to side movement during launch and recovery; fore and aft motion is restricted by the tow wire.

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

Plough for Sale or Lease

November 3, 2016

April 2016: SMD have acquired a Heavy Duty Multi-Depth Plough HD-200 which is now available for sale or lease. This is one of the first offerings of SMD’s new Services division which is focused on making it easier for customers to purchase, own, maintain, upgrade and repurpose SMD assets.

The HD-200 is a 1500m rated plough with 300kW jetting, surface control system and umbilical winch, cable and spares.

The equipment was delivered in 2013 and put immediately into service, completing a long ploughing campaign on the Polar Prince, at the Gwynt y MÙr wind farm for RWE Innogy. The equipment was then de-mobilised in early 2015 and is currently at SMD Works in Wallsend, UK.

The asset has understandable wear to the ground engaging parts. The control system, umbilical winch and cable are in excellent condition. The plough is available in its original configuration needing only minor refurbishment for as-new condition.

Options are available to re-purpose the plough for suitability to the submarine telecommunication cable market, and also for protection of medium to large size power cables. Support from SMD is experienced six man operating crew is also available.

The equipment will be supplied after a full workshop test program and with SMD is Original Equipment Manufacturers warranty. A full spares package is included.

The equipment is available for outright purchase, or for lease with an option for outright purchase, and is available ex-works Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Re-purpose options have a delivery time 12 to 26 weeks depending on final specifications. Lead time on the refurbishment only option is 6 weeks.

General

Delivery Brought Forward For The QTrencher 1000

November 2, 2016

September 2015: Following successful completion of factory acceptance testing, we are delighted to announce the delivery of a QTrencher 1000 ROV to long standing customer KT Submarine. The relationship between SMD and KT Submarine began in 1998, with the supply of a standard cable plough, followed by the supply of a latest generation MD3XT 500kW, jetting assisted telecoms cable plough in 2012.

The combination of the MD3XT and QTrencher 1000 illustrates a significant investment for KT Submarine as they continue to expand and become a key player in the submarine telecommunications and power cable markets.

At the customer’s request, delivery of the trenching system was brought forward by one month to coincide with the early completion of the refurbishment of KT Submarine’s cable ship, Responder. The whole system including associated control, LARS and spares package was then loaded directly onto the newly refurbished vessel at A&P Tyne, which is located directly across the river from our trenching production facility. SMD staff will then work with KT Submarine at their Korean base to mobilise the trenching system on board M/V Miraero, the multi-purpose vessel that will be mainly engaged in post lay inspection and burial (PLIB) works on telecom cables, power cables and smaller O&G pipes.

The QTrencher 1000 already has a proven presence in the trenching market with two of these vehicles already delivered and in service. Positive client feedback indicates the vehicle is the first choice for post lay burial and protection of power cables.

The 2000m rated ROV embraces the latest technologies in jet trenching and ROV design with 1000hp of total installed power and up to 940hp of variable jetting power. The vehicle has been supplied with new launch and recovery equipment including telescopic docking head which will be integrated with an existing A-Frame, and a fast response winch and umbilical cable protection system.

The QTrencher 1000 is capable of trenching rigid products, power cables and telecommunication cables up to three metres in the seabed. This will enhance and improve KT Submarines’ cable maintenance capability in this competitive market and allow it to enter the post lay power cable and rigid product installation markets with its ability to handle up to 500mm product (and upgrade options for 800mm product).

Paul Davison, MD of our Trenching, Mining and Renewables division is delighted to be supplying KT Submarine again: “KT Submarine is an excellent client to work with and we are delighted to support their operations and market growth. Their success with the latest generation cable plough has shown how innovation can be used to improve performance.  We look forward to a similar transformation when the 1000hp jet trenching machine operates in Asian markets.”

WD Jung, MD at KT Submarine commented: “The new QTrencher 1000 system has been bought based on reliable support given on operation of our current SMD systems, as well as the QTrencher 1000 system’s track record. This new tool will allow KT Submarine to expand its capability on subsea trenching market, substantially.”

General