Long known for squeezing more from an ROV with creative tooling ideas, Eriksson Diving now plans to exploit the exceptional power of their new Saab Seaeye Panther XT Plus.
A fan of Seaeye ROVs since the 1980s, company head Arne Eriksson was early to spot the potential in underwater vehicles as a platform for new ways to save time and money.
He sees the same potential in the Panther XT Plus. “It is a powerful and sophisticated platform with an open structure that makes it easy to work on any system and fit almost anything you want,” he said. “And with its dual power, independent thrusters, and twin Schilling manipulators, it is a formidable machine.”
For him the ten-thruster Panther, with 50% more power and 30% faster through the waterthan any in its class, offers a chance for even more creative tooling opportunities.
Looking to squeeze even more out of the vehicle, Arne Eriksson also has cable cutting equipment and a small zip pump on the ROV for de-burying objects.
Survey equipment such as TSS 440 and 350 can be installed on the vehicle on a separate tray.
The fact that the Panther can handle 90% of tasks normally undertaken by a hydraulic work-class vehicle, means it will bring major savings during operations.
It is easier to move around than a hydraulic ROV, and can be set up in hours rather than days and needs fewer crew. Spares cost less and repairs are cheaper.
It has the power and design architecture to accommodate a wide range of tooling, whilst remaining stable and maneuverable. Yet it is small and agile enough to work inside rig and platform jackets, but powerful enough to open and close pipeline valves and operate in strong currents.
Indeed faced with strong currents, having 10 powerful thrusters in hand means the Panther XT Plus can hold station in currents whilst working at complex or robust tasks.
Arne Eriksson welcomes the reassuringly high level of redundancy offered by the exceptional number of thrusters, that promises to keep the vehicle working before bringing it home. “You have to be fully risk-aware in this business,” he said.
Already undertaking a wide range of ROV services, the Panther opens up more possibilities for the company, including shallow water wind farm work, recovering unexploded ordnance - even assisting in hydraulic work-class vehicle recovery.
Eriksson likes that the Panther XT Plus’ payload means it can carry dual Reson 7125 multi-beam sonars as well as pipe-tracker equipment.
The Panther’s first task was a search and salvage contract. Here Eriksson chartered a vessel and mobilized a package of two ROVs with side scan sonars and survey equipment for positioning. He used the TMS-based Panther XT Plus with Schilling manipulators in the primary role and a Surveyor Plus for the second system. After acquiring targets by high frequency Klein side-scan sonar, Eriksson found that the high performance handling of the Panther made it easy to attach lift wires to the objects.