Open Day at Maritime Propulsion Services/ Maritime Propeller Repairs
There was record attendance at the Maritime Propulsion Services BV (MPS) open day on May 23 when more than 200 delegates from shipyards, classification societies and workshops around the world gathered together in Drunen. Apart from the four propellers which were in the workshop for repair, on display were some of the latest developments in quality control as well as repair procedures and technology. These included state of the art nondestructive ultrasonic techniques to inspect either for porosities in bronze castings or weld repairs on propeller blades. The equipment can use either a water interface or “in air” scanning to analyze the metal being inspected. This system has been developed from research carried out by the highly respected Fraunhofer-Institute for Industrial Mathematics.
Another new development of great interest was DurAbility Coatings. These are specialist tungsten-carbide coatings which are specifically formulated to provide protection against abrasion, cavitation and corrosion, and are currently the most effective on the market, and much stronger than the more commonly used method of chromium plating. They are in particular demand for the protection of propellers, thrusters and liners operating in very sandy estuaries or rivers or for offshore support vessels, which have to maintain position for long periods of time.
In addition, the adjacent foundry, GieterijDrunen, gave a demonstration of the casting of a propeller hub and various other castings. This foundry took over the facilities of Wärtsilä when, in 2010, it was decided to reduce production capacity in Europe. GieterijDrunen acquired the foundry-specific knowledge as well as inventory, it can melt ferro castings of up to 12 tons and non-ferro parts of up to 50 tons piece weight – the second largest capacity in Europe.
Gert Hendriksen, Managing Director of MPS/MPR, summarized the open day saying, “It was wonderful to see the support of so many customers. We hope that they enjoyed the day as much as we did. As part of our ongoing plans to reduce costs for our customers, we are currently working on obtaining classification approval for our welding repair procedures to be carried out on propellers in situ on the shaft. The potential savings are significant, and we hope to be able to start this type of repair work in the very near future.”