The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Sep/Oct 2015


Slocum glider service expansion in Asia-Pacific region

Teledyne Webb Research (TWR), the USA-based manufacturer of Slocum gliders, has announced the signing of an agreement with Blue Ocean Monitoring (Services) of Perth, Australia, for Slocum glider service, support and repair in Australia and surrounding countries.


Under the agreement, Blue Ocean Monitoring will be the exclusive third party Slocum service provider for a number of countries in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region including Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos.


A spokesman for TWR said: “Slocum customers in this region will now have the option of dealing directly with a Slocum service provider in closer geographic proximity, which will enhance the level of support to the rapidly growing Slocum user base in the area, greatly reducing maintenance turn-around times and spare part lead times.


“Blue Ocean Monitoring will stock Slocum glider spare parts and will have the capability for many Slocum glider repairs.”

Fugro adds cable-lay to trenching services
  • The Fugro Saltire showing the winch deploying the Q1400 trencher and at the stern the cable-lay spread system

Fugro, the Netherland, reports it is now offering cable-lay in addition to trenching to its offshore wind farm and tidal energy clients.


The company has equipped its trenching vessel Fugro Saltire with a compact, custom-made, cable-lay spread. This comprises a reel drive system to store the cables, a tensioner to lay them, twin winches and a quadrant deployment system on rails, all fitted to the rear deck of the Fugro Saltire alongside the existing trenching equipment.


In operation the cables are initially pulled into the base of the wind turbine generators (WTG) and then laid along the seabed using the Saltire’s dynamic positioning system to line them up accurately with the destination WTG. They are then pulled in using the quadrant system to manage the cable during over-boarding and pull-in. The quadrant’s compact design and deployment allows Fugro to control the cable very precisely while pulling in the second end.


An important additional innovation introduced to the system is new 3D sonar technology to supplement ROV support, and monitor precisely, onsite, cable touch down during the cable-lay and pull-in operations, where the daily hazard of very high currents can limit the use of an ROV.


The initial concept for the new cable-lay capability was developed during trenching operations at the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm in the UK, when E.ON, Germany, asked Fugro to investigate laying some cables from the Fugro Saltire. Fugro’s engineers fitted the cable-lay equipment in six weeks, inside E.ON’s deadlines, and cable-laying was completed by February 2015.


“The mobilisation of the cable-lay spread on the Fugro Saltire has widened our successful working relationship with E.ON on the Humber Gateway project. As well as trenching 77 array cables, Fugro installed eight array cables along with second end pull-ins of cables already laid by other contractors,” said Mike Daniel, trenching business line manager at Fugro Subsea Services, UK. “We can now offer clients simultaneous cable-laying and burial from a single vessel, or alternatively our larger subsea construction vessel Fugro Symphony can be laying cables, while the Fugro Saltire is trenching them, speeding up operations and saving time for our customers.”

Hydroid appoints VP of engineering

Hydroid, USA, has announced the appointment of Sandor Becz to the role of vice president of engineering. In his new role, Becz will lead all engineering activities at Hydroid, the company said.


Becz joins Hydroid from United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS), USA, where he held responsibility for component and system design, research and development, process excellence, organisational management and programme execution. Prior to UTAS, Becz was head of global research and development for Lenze SE, the Germany-headquartered automation and robotic systems specialist.


“We are thrilled to welcome Sandor to Hydroid’s talented engineering team,” said Duane Fotheringham, president of Hydroid. “Sandor has an extensive and impressive background in engineering, and we are confident that his expertise will propel Hydroid’s reputation forward as a leading manufacturer of AUVs in the United States and abroad.”

BIRNS invests in new cutting-edge testing and inspection equipment for connectors and cables
  • The video measuring system combines the power of an optical comparator with digital video, hi-res cameras, telecentric optics and LED illumination

USA-based BIRNS reports it has invested in new cutting-edge equipment for the development and testing protocols for its high performance connectors and cable assemblies. The company said the investment is to meet the needs of the ever-increasing levels of precision that are required in the applications of its wide customer base.


The new systems include a direct computer control (DCC) Mitutoyo, Japan, coordinate measuring machine (CMM), which allows BIRNS technicians to download 3D engineering models into the machine to measure a part directly from the model. The machine uses a touch probe to take exceptionally precise measurements of any object automatically via computer. This technology provides nine-micron accuracy and three-micron repeatability, and allows computerised geometric inspection of connector pins, shells and other key components on three separate axes. Points are generated which can then be analysed via regression algorithms.


BIRNS also purchased and is utilising a Starrett, USA, HDV300 video measuring system, new technology that combines the power of an optical comparator with digital video, hi-res cameras, telecentric optics and LED illumination. The machine is computerised, and comes with a range of lenses that provide micron-level resolution and optical distortion as low as 0.001% for powerfully accurate measurements of straight lines, circles and distances between points on inserts and other connector parts.


“More precise product designs and tighter tolerances demand more advanced measurement and verification techniques and tools. As our products become more sophisticated, we are adding more state-of-the-art measurement and verification systems,” said John Cuthbertson, quality assurance manager at BIRNS.





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