Maritime Reporter had the opportunity to visit with Jim Misage, Marine Business Leader of TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company, to get his insights on company specific and emerging trends in the marine propulsion niche.
What exactly does TECO-Westinghouse offer to the maritime market?
JM: TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company (TWMC) is one of the world's leading motor and generator manufacturers. Specifically for the maritime market, we offer a full line of electric propulsion equipment, which includes propulsion motors and generators of any size and as induction, synchronous, or DC designs. These designs are all compatible with any quality power electronics equipment and are used for a variety of applications, including thrusters (vertical or horizontal), direct or geared conventional propeller installations, and with hybrid systems that share load with mechanical propulsion equipment.
In addition to custom engineered machines, we provide auxiliary motors up to 800 horsepower, variable frequency drives up to 500 horsepower, and motor/generator repair services.
TWMC also offers a diesel electric propulsion system as a Single Source Vendor (SSV). We are currently integrating the propulsion and power distribution systems on a wide variety of commercial and military ships. Our offerings can meet any of the world's standard marine specifications, including ABS, CCS, DNV, BV and LLOYDS.
What is your company's primary area of focus and what do you count as your competitive advantage(s)?
JM: In the maritime market, TWMC's focus is on electric propulsion for any type of ship — military or commercial. Our primary focus in the market today is the offshore supply vessels. Explaining our competitive advantage is easy. With over 100 years of Westinghouse legacy, our competitive advantage is our well proven technology, combined with our modern manufacturing facility, experienced engineering and operations workforce, and our global R&D development of new technologies. TWMC is also focused on our commitment to customers and we offer worldwide service capabilities.
Please discuss in brief a recent project which exemplifies the breadth of your marine industry offering.
JM: TWMC was chosen to provide the super quiet electric propulsion system for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries research vessels — FRV40, hull 3 and 4.1 These machines have an output power of 2250 kW (3017 hp) with a speed range to 134 rpm. For this project, TWMC worked closely with the shipyard, ship designers, and noise consultants to assure that the propulsion system met the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) cooperative research report no. 209.
What investment is
TECO-Westinghouse making today that is intended for the long-term health of the company in this market?
JM: TWMC is committed to the maritime market and has formed a dedicated marine business unit. I'm both pleased and humbled to lead this effort. We have a highly qualified and energetic group of people who are committed to quickly serve the marine industry with the high quality products and services its customers have come to expect from TWMC as a marine SSV.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenges for the company in this market segment?
JM: Right now, TWMC's biggest challenge is the offshore supply vessel segment.
Many offshore supply vessels are being manufactured in China, India, and Brazil for cost purposes. As such, there is a tendency to seek a local supplier for the propulsion equipment.
With the increasing costs of energy and materials, our challenge is competing with the low cost suppliers in those countries.
What do you consider the most important trends to be in the marine market, and how does TECO-Westinghouse serve to capitalize on them?
JM: From my experience, I see the current trend in the marine market is to utilize electric propulsion in all types of vessels. I believe this is in part due to the rising cost of fuel and environmental concerns. As a leading manufacturer in the electric motor and generator industry, we are confident that our experience will prove beneficial to the maritime industry.
(Reprinted from the September edition of Maritime Reporter)