Brunvoll AS of Norway reports that demand for its new custom-built thrusters is running high. The company has a long history of building thruster units of all types for a wide range of vessels, from cruise ships to offshore ships and cable layers. Its line-up includes its renowned retractable tunnel thrusters, as well as combined tunnel and azimuthing units, various non-retractable azimuthing units, and low noise 'Super Silent' thrusters.
Recently the company identified a need for what it calls customized thrusters, units that are not only designed to meet the specific propulsion and maneuvering requirements of individual vessels, but housed in a purpose-built module to suit the hull structure of a ship, that reduce the time it takes to install the unit. Enabling a shipyard to order a complete thruster installation with all of the necessary steelwork surrounding it reduces construction time, thus reducing the time it take to complete a newbuilding or retrofit.
However, as Terje Dyrseth, Brunvoll's Marketing Director explains, housing the units in a purpose built module — which Brunvoll constructs to the shipyard's specification — doesn't just save time at the yard when the unit is installed. Building the thruster and installing it in this manner also has a number of advantages for owners and shipyard. "We deliver a complete turnkey package," explained Dyrseth. "Brunvoll not only undertakes to design and manufacture the unit, we also complete the design and construction of the module housing it, thus reducing the amount of fabrication work a yard needs to undertake. A yard building or refitting a ship no longer has to undertake the time consuming business of fabricating the housing for a complex thruster and installing the unit — they simply 'plug in' the module Brunvoll delivers."
On a larger vessel, which may have a suite of two or three bowthrusters and stern thrusters too, considerable savings can be achieved in terms of labor costs and fabrication work.
"In the same way that thrusters need to be designed to meet specific requirements for thrust, and should not therefore be regarded as standard products, so every installation is different from a structural and hydrodynamic point of view, and requires specialized skills to ensure that it is accomplished correctly."
Among the fully customized units that Brunvoll has built recently are thrusters for vessels as diverse as cruise ships, shuttle tankers and cable layers.