Thruster Technology News

22 Aug 2019

R/V Roger Revelle Gets a Thruster Upgrade

The research vessel Roger Revelle is currently going through an extensive mid-life refit. One of the upgrades to the vessel is the installation of telescoping thruster technology from ZF Marine.The R/V Roger Revelle is a globally capable oceanographic research vessel, designed as a platform to support many different facets of ocean-based scientific research. The vessel is owned by the US Navy and operated by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography under a charter agreement with the Office of Naval Research.

12 Apr 2019

Wärtsilä Supplies Transverse Thrusters for Cruise Ships

The power rating of up to 5500 kW provides the Wärtsilä WTT series of thrusters with the thrust needed for outstanding manoeuvrability. Image: Wärtsilä

The technology group Wärtsilä has received orders to supply more than sixty of its transverse thrusters for twelve new cruise ships being built in four shipyards on behalf of six different owners during the past year.This represents the dominant share of newbuild vessels within the cruise sector during this period. The efficiency and performance of Wärtsilä’s transverse thrusters is particularly important for large cruise ships, since manoeuvring and mooring in often crowded harbours…

22 Jan 2019

SCHOTTEL's Mechanical Hybrid Propulsion Solution


In a close collaboration with Svitzer of Denmark, SCHOTTEL has developed a new hybrid propulsion concept. The new concept is based on the recent SCHOTTEL Y-Hybrid thruster technology and connects a port and starboard mounted azimuth thruster in a vessel with each other. This makes it possible to drive two thrusters with either one of the main engines. The companies are now discussing a pilot project to retrofit an existing tug with the new mechanical hybrid technology. This will transform the direct driven vessel into a greener and more cost-efficient vessel.

08 Dec 2017

ABB’s First Azipod D Unit Begins Operation

(Photo: ABB)

An 8,000 kW rescue tug, the first vessel installed with ABB’s Azipod D electric propulsion system, has been delivered by Huangpu Wenchong Shipyard to customer Guangzhou Salvage Bureau, a division of the Chinese Ministry of Transport. Before delivery, the rescue tug was tested in sea trials where it exceeded design targets in bollard pull, fuel economy, maneuverability and low-load performance, ABB said. The vessel’s captain, Shaohua Liu, said, “We are really impressed with the vessel’s performance. Response time and maneuverability, both of which are critical in our operations, are excellent.

05 Dec 2016

ZF Marine Grows Presence in Louisiana

ZF Marine New location rendering (Photo: ZF Marine)

ZF Marine, the marine business unit of the global ZF Group, said it has secured a new location for its Gulf of Mexico/Inland Waterway sales and service operations. The company opened its wholly owned location in the greater New Orleans area in late 1996, the first satellite location outside of ZF’s North American marine headquarters. The location was established to provide close support for the commercial vessel industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty years later, ZF Marine’s growing presence in the Inland Waterway…

26 May 2016

Tech & Design Solutions for Modern Workboats

“There is a cost implication for owners to comply with IMO Tier 3 and EPA Tier 4 requirements, which is causing an increase in engine prices of about 30 percent regarding Tier 4, which probably results in a five percent increase in total construction costs for U.S.-built tugs. In some countries such as Asia, with low labor costs, total costs can increase by 10 percent.” - Mike Fitzpatrick, President, Robert Allan Limited (Photo: Mike Zeft)

EPA Tier 4 regulations (for engines of 804 hp and higher) and propulsion advancements have many manufacturers and vessel designers changing course to adapt to new requirements and customer demands. Jensen Maritime is designing a new 110-ft. harbor class ship assist docking tug with 6,770 horsepower. “It’s a little larger than most. The extra length allows for towing which is secondary use,” says Vice President Johan Sperling. “There will be Tier 4 equipment in it. Bryan Nichols…

02 Apr 2015

New Player in the Rim Thruster Market

Rim-driven thruster technology has emerged and demonstrated potential for compact and super-silent maneuvering propulsion. Silentdynamics customized rim-thruster-based propulsion solutions applications include tunnel thrusters, and Silentdynamics ERT thrusters can be configured to be retractable and/or azimuthing. Major benefits include low noise emissions and compact dimensions. This is achieved by utilizing carbon-fiber blades, water-lubricated hydrodynamic bearings and a hubless propeller design.

10 Feb 2015

Silentdynamics Enters Rim Thruster Market

Image: Silentdynamics

Rim-driven thruster technology has emerged in recent years, demonstrating its potential for compact and silent maneuvering propulsion. Early development for this technology performed in Rostock, Germany at the company AIR. The project was then taken over by Voith, and the development of the Voith Inline Thruster and Voith Inline Propulsor was then continued. After the Voith factory was shut, the development team decided to offer its experience in rim-driven thrusters on its own through the newly established brand, Silentdynamics.

15 Oct 2014

Z-Drive Towboats

ZF Marine penetrates domestic inland waterway markets – enjoying good success with two U.S. majors. The prospects for an even brighter future hinge on the performance of its early entries. So far, so good. It’s no secret that the domestic, inland marine business can be conservative in its approach to adopt new technologies, but then, this can probably be said of the global waterfront, as well. But the market is changing, driven by larger corporate entities moving into these tightly held markets…

09 Sep 2014

ZF Marine Makes a Strong Towboat Thrust

When German industrial manufacturing giant ZF bought Holland Rudder Propeller nearly five years ago, it was a strategic addition to its ZF Marine portfolio that is now reaping big rewards as it is enjoying strong penetration of its azimuth thruster systems in the U.S. towboat market. Maritime Reporter & Engineering News visited with Frank van der Vegt, Sales Manager, Commercial Craft Thruster Systems, at the ZF Marine Krimpen B.V. factory in The Netherlands for an update. The marine business…

31 Mar 2014

Rolls-Royce Wins Substantial Volstad OCV Equipment Order

Flightbridge image courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce informs it has won a contract worth approximately £13.5 million to deliver a unique package of advanced ship equipment for a new offshore construction vessel (OCV) currently being built in Turkey for the Norwegian ship owner Volstad Shipping AS. The vessel is 125 meters long and is designed with ice class for operations in Arctic waters. It is a ST-259 design by Skipsteknisk and is due to be delivered from the Tersan Shipyard, Turkey, in the second half of 2015. The package includes the new Unified Bridge from Rolls-Royce…

13 Feb 2012

Simplex to Represent CIP Composites

Columbia Industrial Products, Inc. of Eugene Oregon and Simplex Americas LLC have announced the signing of a distributorship agreement between the two companies to supply CIP’s range of CIP Marine Composites for the Inland Waterways of North America. CIP Marine Composites are textile reinforced, self lubricated bearing materials. Manufactured in tubes and sheets, CIP is easily machined into a variety of configurations for bearings, wear pad, thrust washers and other components.

08 Sep 2009

ZF Marine Acquires HRP

ZF Marine has now acquired HRP Nederland b.v. with all subsidiaries, with production locations in the Netherlands and Indonesia as well as sales and service locations worldwide. HRP produces a wide range of steerable thrusters, which include well-mounted thrusters, retractable thrusters, tunnel thrusters and controls, available in fixed pitch, CP and CRP versions. As in previous years, HRP achieved positive sales development in 2008. HRP currently has approx. 250 employees worldwide. According to Roland Heil, ZF Marine's CEO: "With the addition of the new ZF Marine HRP company, we are now able to offer competence in the field of steerable thruster technology.

21 Sep 2000

Omnithruster Continues to Lead The Way

The recent award from the Japanese Defense Agency for its two newest Coastal Mine Sweepers secures Omnithruster’s position as one of the leading designers and manufacturers of advanced, low noise, shock hardened thrusters. The Omnithruster JT575AM, designed from the ground up for the Japanese Defense Agency, incorporates the patented Omniphaser noise masking system. This device uses some of the thruster’s own output to reintroduce a water/air mixture into the thruster inlet. The air bubbles compress and expand while traveling through the impeller absorbing incipient cavitation energy that normally emanates a noise. This reduction in noise is dramatic; enough in fact, for the U.S.

09 Jul 2001

Podded Propulsion Goes Beyond the Cruise Realm

Compelling design and operational arguments in favor of podded electric drives can be expected to transcend any negative impressions formed from the recent clutch of problems and complications experienced with such systems in certain cruise ship and ferry applications. Experience has shown that technical innovation in the maritime field has invariably been accompanied by early setbacks in some shape or form. In an industry where conservatism is the order of the day, and understandably so where assets are subjected to the rigors of the elements as well as the vicissitudes of the markets, those operators willing to be the standard bearers with new technology provide a beacon for the wider maritime community.

01 Sep 1999

Podded Propulsors Gain Wider Acceptance

The growing uptake of integral electric-driven, podded propulsors in the most capital-intensive sector of the cruise shipping industry, has forever altered the established position of conventional propulsion systems in an important segment of the market. Having established a foothold in the offshore sector, the concept will no doubt find increasing application with the next upswing in investment by the offshore oil and gas industry. Once conservatism has been overcome in various quarters of the shipping business, and once the net acquisition costs of such systems reach more acceptable levels for a broader band of the shipowning community, usage of the technology will no doubt spread to other spheres.

03 Feb 2000

Finnish Innovation Ascends New Heights

The Finnish shipbuilding industry has been in a state of flux for much of 1999 and entering 2000, with the Kvaerner shipbuilding pullout dominating the headlines. But while the search for new owners of the company's yards in Finland has kept the boardrooms busy, the business of pulling in valuable new orders to keep the facilities busy and building top-quality ships has not missed a step. The big and modern shipyards in Helsinki and Turku are world-renowned for the production of high-value, technically advanced ships, and this reputation and accrued expertise will surely remain well after the Kvaerner nameplate comes down. Whereas Kvaerner's exit from shipbuilding has been top news throughout the year, foreign investment and ownership within Finland is hardly a new topic.

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