Keeping Maritime and Offshore Cranes Ship Shape

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Robin Thomas, VP, ALATAS Americas

ALATAS Americas is a global company with strong roots in maritime and fast growing branches in the offshore sector. MR visited Robin Thomas, VP, for his take on emerging trends in both sectors.

 

ALATAS is a global company with roots in the maritime sector, but there has been a decided move toward offshore oil and gas business. Why?

    Historically, our business has been predominantly fueled by the maritime industry, over the last five years we have increased our customer base in the offshore market. Nowadays in the U.S. our customer base is more than 80% offshore customers, mainly consisting of drilling contractors and offshore support companies, globally offshore custom accounts for approximately 50% of our business. In the last few years there have been numerous legislation changes in the offshore industry with regards to crane design and manufacturing standards as well as crane maintenance requirements, which has resulted in a greater need for expert crane service.

How do maritime and offshore clients differ?

    Offshore cranes are, generally, significantly more complex than shipboard cranes. Offshore operation requires dynamic lifting requirements in severe sea and weather conditions. Furthermore, offshore cranes are operated in a considerably more remote environment, therefore immediate assistance or alternative crane support is not available. As a result of this isolation and lack of contingency, cranes must be maintained to a much higher standard and with substantially more spare parts available in case of breakdown and for preventive maintenance.  A fundamental difference though, I would suggest, is economical; in most cases a drilling rig reliant on its cranes loses considerably more per day than a merchant vessel if it’s crane is down, therefore offshore crane owners are willing to invest more in preventative maintenance than your average ship manager.

What is your outlook for the offshore O&G business in the coming 24 months? What indicators do you monitor?

    I have a very positive outlook for the coming years. Despite our global service network, we are still relatively small, therefore our growth potential is very good, particularly in the North, Central and South American markets. The more cranes sold the more cranes we can expect to service once the warranty period is breached. Every press release I see for a multi-crane contract is simply a future opportunity. Recently many smaller crane manufacturers have boasted multimillion dollar crane sales (many for the Brazilian market), so likely our service support network will be utilized more and more as the OEM concentrates on sales and commissioning, rather than long term upkeep.

ALATAS is a small company working on equipment from major manufacturers. Why would a company choose to have ALATAS service its cranes rather than the OEM?


    First and foremost, service. At ALATAS we concentrate all our efforts on keeping existing cranes in operation; this is our core business, and as such, we achieve a higher standard. We are now in a market saturated with complicated electric over hydraulic crane technologies, and the entire industry experiences a lack of suitably qualified and competent technicians. Our strategically placed global service networks offer field service as well as hydraulic component repair, and we have recently launched our crane design company in Austria. All of this combined with our core-service orientated philosophy gives us a better capacity for supporting our customers. 

Is there any work that ALATAS cannot do on these large cranes? 

    We aim to employ OEM factory trained technicians wherever possible, as this enhances our group knowledge base and give us expertise on all manner of crane systems. We are capable of working on any mechanical, hydraulic and electric system. Our only restriction is for reprogramming of software produced by the OEM for control systems. Such systems are safety relevant and ‘locked’ giving only the OEM can access.

How has ALATAS invested to keep itself relevant to the needs of your martime and offshore clients?

    To run a successful business in any industry you must constantly adapt, and we have developed our company to offer increasingly complete crane solutions. In the last three years we have established full hydraulic workshops in the U.S., Singapore and Hong Kong for pump, motor and gearbox repairs and testing. In the U.S. we have established an Offshore Hose Management Service, providing with full labor and DNV Containerized equipment for producing, testing and installing hydraulic hose offshore. We have set up training facilities in several locations worldwide, as well as establishing a Crane Design office in Austria, enabling us to offer comprehensive Class certified crane upgrades. Our next priority will be establishing a service center in Brazil, as this huge market has an urgent need for qualified crane service support, and we have an existing customer base with a confirmed interest.
 

 

(As published in the April 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - www.marinelink.com)

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Italian Navy Takes Back Fishing Boat Seized Near Libya

The Italian navy took back control on Friday of a Sicilian fishing boat that had been seized overnight by unknown assailants near the Libyan coast, the defence ministry said.

Steelhead Introduces a New Yacht Crane

Steelhead Marine, a North American crane manufacturer, has expanded its product offering with the launch of the new E Series 1000 crane. Suited for commercial and recreational vessels,

SEACOR Marine Sweeps NOIA SIS Awards

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) today presented SEACOR Marine with the 2015 NOIA Safety in Seas (SIS) Culture of Safety Award and Safety Practice Award.

Vessels

Solving the LNG Propulsion Puzzle

The last piece of the LNG infrastructure puzzle, in the form of North America’s first LNG bunker barge, falls into place at Conrad’s Orange, Texas Shipyard. With

Hands Across the Water

U.S. firms leverage Netherlands-based Damen Shipyard’s vessel designs and technical support. For nearly 40 years, Damen Shipyards Group in the Netherlands has

Royal IHC Launches Sister Pipelay Vessels

Netherlands-based Royal IHC today named and launched new pipelaying sister vessels, Sapura Jade and Sapura Ônix, in ceremonies at the company’s shipyard in Krimpen aan den IJssel, The Netherlands.

People in the News

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Sen. Inhofe

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.   The senator,

Hempel CEO Jullien Plans Retirement

Pierre-Yves Jullien, CEO of Hempel A/S since 2005, has decided to retire after nearly 40 years in the Group. He will step down from his role as CEO on March 31, 2016 at the latest.

Taylor to Chair NOIA Board

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Board of Directors has elected Cindy B. Taylor as Chair and Kevin McEvoy as Vice Chairman for the upcoming 2015-2016 term.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1989 sec (5 req/sec)