ZF Gearboxes for MPI Workboats

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 11, 2014

MPI Workboats, an operator of purpose-built aluminum wind farm support catamarans, has received ZF gearboxes installed in six of its latest vessels.

Designed and constructed to work in challenging environments to transport passengers in comfort and safety , the boats are less than 12 months old and supply installations in British and European waters and further afield.

Andrew Wragg, Superintendent at MPI Workboats, said, “We build and look after wind farms and require our support vessels to withstand the rigorous demands we place on them.

“They will clock up 2,500 hours per year for each engine and can transport up to 10 tons of equipment at a time. The gearboxes are driving jet boats that are very maneuverable, with a maximum speed of 27 knots and a cruising speed of around 25 knots.

“We have ZF 2050 gearboxes in four of the vessels and ZF 2000 NR gearboxes in two vessels. They are good gearboxes and very reliable.

“We are pleased with the performance and with the support we have received from ZF Services UK. They have been to see us and we have a good relationship with them.”

MPI Workboats Ltd operates a total of 14 specialized workboats in various sizes, configured for crew transfers and survey duties, including subsea-support duties. The company employs about 40 seagoing staff.

The ZF 2050 and the ZF 2000 NR are lightweight transmissions with aluminum housings that are matched to the design and operating conditions of the MPI workboats. The use of ZF 2000 and ZF 3000 series gearboxes installed in wind farm support vessels is steadily increasing with more than 170 ZF gearboxes currently installed on wind farm support vessels owned and operated by U.K. companies.

Although ZF Marine transmissions are engineered to meet the requirements of the industry, a gearbox is a torque transmitting component with wearing parts that needs to be properly maintained and serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. As operators must minimize downtime at all costs, ZF Services UK has increased investment in resources to support the wind farm support vessel market and prides itself on response time, availability and the quality of its work.

Simon Wiles, of ZF Services UK, said, “As a global supplier to the marine industry we have developed high quality and reliable products to satisfy the requirements of specialized workboats such as wind farm supply vessels.

“It is pleasing to receive such positive feedback from MPI Workboats. We are keen to build and maintain strong relationships with our customers to understand what they need and to provide ongoing support.

“The demands placed on the vessels mean that reliability and uptime are of paramount importance for operators. Our gearboxes, thrusters and control systems are specified on their reputation for robustness and longevity.”

The ZF Services UK Marine team also offers aftermarket service with options including parts supply and technical support, workshop repair and testing, together with field diagnosis and repair.

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