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 Deck Equipment Trenching
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 Deck Equipment Trenching
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.Deck Equipment Trenching
November 27, 2017
Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) has successfully completed an upgrade to the MD3 (multi-depth) plough recently acquired by Orange Marine.
The plough, which was delivered to the SMD Services team for refurbishment in July, received a full control system upgrade and extensive overhaul.
SMD Services’ dedicated team of engineers based at Port of Tyne in South Shields assessed the equipment and devised a detailed refurbishment strategy to enable it to work as new.
The project involved replacing the plough’s original control system hardware which had become obsolete. SMD also supplied a passive scissor frame assembly to be fitted to the launch and recovery system.
In order to integrate the new and original hardware, SMD installed a bespoke QNX software update and also fitted the plough with an upgraded surveillance system featuring top of the range sonar, cameras and lighting.
The MD3 upgrade provides Orange Marine with state-of-the-art capabilities for the installation and burial of optical submarine cables which will be used for the first time in the installation of the Kanawa system between French Guiana and Martinique. The cable is scheduled to be operational in late 2018 and is being put in place to handle traffic growth and diversify connection points to ensure quality of service between countries.
SMD Services works closely with clients to ensure maximum performance from their assets. The SMD Services business, established in 2016, supports customers through the full life cycle of any subsea asset. The company provides 24/7 operational and engineering support, intelligent spares support, asset management, life extension, repurposing and OEM training.
Graham Puntis, Managing Director of SMD Services, explains: “This has been a fantastic project to work on. By working closely with Orange Marine, we have delivered an asset that will continue to serve their needs for some time to come. Through SMD Services we are providing a new level of support which helps industry owners and operators to optimise their operational costs. By offering an extensive technical support and refurbishment service we are enabling them to maximise the lifetime and financial return on their subsea intervention assets.”
SMD Services’ dedicated offshore support team is travelling to Brest in France to mobilise the plough on board the vessel for Orange Marine.
Raynald Leconte, Chairman and CEO of Orange Marine, said: “We are very pleased to complete the upgrade and refurbishment of this MD3 plough with SMD Services. This opportunity completes the range of submarine equipment alongside the equipment produced by Simec, a department of Orange Marine.”
The MD3 Plough offers reliable trenching in most soils including clays and sands, it is designed to minimise pull force requirements and provide effective trenching capability from zero to 3.3m depth and 3.0m of cover.
SMD is a world leader in the design and manufacture of remote intervention equipment, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and innovative trenching and mining systems for the subsea industry globally.SMD Services
September 7, 2017
Dedicated deck equipment engineers at Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) have successfully completed work on an electric drive dual-purpose winch and Launch and Recovery System (LARS) to accompany an order from Shanghai Salvage for a Quasar Work Class ROV. The equipment will be used for salvage operations in deep waters around the world, with an assured maximum working depth up to 6000m.
The dual-purpose electric drive winch will be provided with two interchangeable drums: one 6000m lightweight umbilical cable and one 3000m cable with TMS, capable of carrying heavier loads. The drums can be swapped on the vessel to suit varying operational requirements, preventing the need to return to shore and therefore saving on costs and time. The winch system is designed and certified to the latest DNV-ST-E273 standard, including the electric drive suite which allows the system to be quickly mobilised onto a vessel of opportunity as one unit via a single point lift.
By making use of electric motors powered via a Low Harmonic Variable Speed Drive application, rather than hydraulics, SMD can offer an environmentally-friendly energy-efficient launch system. The turnkey design can be fully integrated with the vessel’s electronics, meaning energy from the winch can be regenerated and used for other applications on the vessel.
The winch can operate using AC induction or advanced synchronous reluctance motors – with SynRM motor technology to maximise compensation accuracy and minimise response time. This increases the operational window and the ability to safely launch and recover in high sea states.
Paul Hatchett, Managing Director of Deck Equipment at SMD, commented, “We are delighted to offer a clean, energy-efficient solution for deep water salvage systems. Thanks to improvements in technology, electric winches are becoming an increasingly viable option. The LARS we have developed for Shanghai Salvage has been tailored to work at varying depths and in challenging conditions, and at the same time remain robust and lightweight.”
SMD have developed the electric winch based on an active heave compensation system using motion reference unit (MRU) feedback, allowing the cable to remain under controlled tension during use, thus enabling safe and smooth deployment.
To accompany the Launch and Recovery System, SMD will be providing a PLC control system, opening up new control and monitoring possibilities. As well as auto-depth capability and power loss protection, the system is capable of condition monitoring, remote diagnostics and data logging via cloud based access.
Engineered to operate at a wide range of temperatures from -20 to 45°C, the winch drive and motor package system is air cooled, meaning there is no need for liquid cooling. The system comes with increased breaking capacity and the winch structure is fully DNV-ST-0378 approved.Deck Equipment
May 23, 2017
May 2017: Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce the signature of a contract with Consolidated Contractors Company (Underwater Engineering) S.A.L. for the manufacture and delivery of a hard ground subsea trenching machine. SMD will design and build a BT500 Burial Tractor (500hp) complete with a full power and control system.
The trencher is due for delivery to Abu Dhabi in 2018, where it will be used for the installation of power cables and flexible products for the oil and gas industry. This is the first investment in a subsea machine of this kind for CCC UE, who are also looking to increase their capability in the installation market.
“SMD have a long history of successful business relationships in the Middle East” remarked Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD Trenching, Mining and Renewables. “We have enjoyed working in this region. Adding a new client like CCC UE is a strong testament to our reputation as the key supplier of trenching equipment in this area. We are delighted that CCC UE have approached SMD directly for assets and support as they expand their operations.”
CCC UE commented,
“We have chosen SMD as result of the proven track record they possess in producing rugged machines, in addition to the flexibility SMD have provided in a design that is tailored to efficiently operate in the harsh environmental conditions encountered in the area in terms of hard soil and high temperatures. Owning and managing the only locally based Subsea Trenching Machine gives CCC UE the flexibility to better deliver subsea cable projects, utilising all in-house owned and managed offshore spread including DP2 Cable Lay Vessels, Cable Laying Equipment, ROVs, diving, and tensioners; thus providing the client with a turn-key solution by having better control on the delivered product in terms of quality, efficiency and management.”
The trencher will be designed for hard ground sea beds, and will be delivered with a 400hp wheel cutter capable of trenching in hard rock up to 40 MPa UCS. Additional features include beach deployment, which will simplify operations as the same equipment can be used for each stage, from shallow water through to deep. SMD will also supply deck equipment to accompany the trencher, including an umbilical winch.
In order to fully support CCC UE as they expand their line of business, SMD will be supplying a comprehensive Service Support package to CCC UE including training of technical and operations staff, on vessel pre-mobilisation support, operations support and maintenance and technical support. SMD Services offer all clients proactive services from trained OEM engineers for the full life cycle of their asset, with around the clock technical support, to ensure optimised asset performance and maximum utilisation.
View the full SMD tractor range here: https://www.smd.co.uk/product-category/tractors/Trenching
May 23, 2017
April 2017: Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce the signature of a contract with Van Oord for the manufacture and delivery of a QTrencher 1600. This contract follows the successful deployment of SMD’s QTrencher 1400 on Van Oord’s Gemini Wind Farm.
Scheduled for delivery in Q1 2018, the high power trenching machine will be supplied with an SMD designed umbilical winch, along with jetting and mechanical cutting tools to tackle a wide range of seabed conditions. Additional functionality includes beach operation to offer cable installation for export and inter array campaigns.
The equipment will be loaded directly onto Van Oord’s state of the art cable-laying vessel Nexus from SMD’s Turbinia Works in Wallsend, UK. The QTrencher 1600 is scheduled to be deployed from the Nexus onto various wind farm projects in 2018.
“Van Oord have been using QTrencher 1400 on their Gemini installation campaign so already have good experience with our technology. It’s a strong endorsement of our quality and performance in the field to be able to supply direct to a contractor like Van Oord” remarked Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD Trenching, Mining and Renewables. “With the continuing demand to lower LCOE and obligations to get it right first time, the market is demanding better performance. Our technology is well placed. We look forward to working with Van Oord, ensuring the trencher has a smooth entry into service.”
Van Oord commented,
“We have chosen SMD for a very good working experience with one of their machines and their vast track record of the subsea trenching machines”.
The QTrencher 1600 is the next generation of the QTrencher 1400 model, and the power available to the trenching tools has been optimised for offshore wind applications in shallow water. With 45 years of experience in the subsea trenching industry, SMD have developed a wide range of QTrencher vehicles from 400 to 2800 horse power. The QTrencher’s adaptability allows for application across many markets, from telecoms, through to power cables and oil & gas construction.
Read more about the QTrencher range here: https://www.smd.co.uk/product-category/qtrenchers/
SMD Services will be providing a comprehensive service support package for Van Oord. This will include training of technical and operations staff on the vessel during the equipment’s first year of deployment. A package of maintenance and strategic spares will also be supplied. SMD Services is set up with the aim of ensuring that customers enjoy optimised asset performance, demonstrated through proactive, 24/7 technical support.
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
November 2, 2016
February 2015: SMD are delighted to announce a contract award with KT Submarine for a QT1000 high powered cable installation and maintenance ROV.
The relationship between SMD and KT Submarine began in 1998, with the supply of a standard cable plough. This was followed by the supply of an MD3XT Plough in 2012; the latest generation 500kW jetting assisted, telecoms cable plough.
The combination of the MD3XT and this latest award 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.
The 2000m rated ROV embraces the latest technologies in jet trenching and ROV design with 1000hp of total installed power and 940hp of variable jetting power. The QT1000 is capable of trenching rigid products, power cables and telecommunication cables up to three metres into the seabed.
With two of these vehicles already delivered and in service the QT1000 already has a proven presence in the trenching market, and positive client feedback indicates that the vehicle is the first choice for burial and protection of power cables.
The scope of work includes integration of a telescopic docking head onto an existing A-Frame on the M/V Miraero with an option for installation on a new power cable installation vessel. The new launch and recovery equipment, including fast response winch and umbilical cable protection system will widen the M/V Miraero’s operational weather window.
The trenching ROV will be delivered in Q3 2015, with installation and sea trials planned for Korea.
Paul Davison, Deputy MD at SMD commented, “KT have been a loyal customer for SMD and we are delighted our equipment is helping their business develop and expand. We are particularly pleased to convert KT to SMD jet trenching technology and help their growth into the power cable and oil & gas installation markets in Asia.”