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Networking at Leonardo factory: in the shade of the AW159 Wildcat

Richard Lang, our Sales Director was recently invited to attend an event organised by WEAF (West Of England Aerospace Forum). It was a great networking opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new people from the industry, as well as see part of the Leonardo factory, there even was the spectacular AW159 Wildcat on show!

AW159 is the latest generation 6 tonne multi-role maritime helicopter, designed to operate from the smallest helicopter-capable ships, in the world’s harshest maritime environments of high sea state and associated deck motion conditions. The rotorcraft is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx designed to serve in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles. In British service, common variants are being operated by both the Royal Navy and British Army to replace their aging Lynx Mk.7/8/9 rotorcraft. The AW159 has also been offered to several export customers.

Read more about the AW159 Wildcat here 

AW159 Wildcat

Date: 13/04/2017

Author: Sarka Humpolcova

Rotec part of a groundbreaking vessel development: WaveAccess

WaveAccess Tenacity vessel

In 2014, Rotec were invited to join Coastal Charters, a commercial maritime business based in West Cumbria, on the development of WaveAccess.

The project originally came as a response to an emerging trend within the offshore wind industry to move the construction further out into the sea.  The company anticipated the industry’s need for a reliable vessel that would be faster and able to cope with the challenging conditions further offshore.

The goal of the project was to design and build a rapid crew transfer vessel that would be faster, safer and cheaper to run than the vessels in use, resulting in the pilot vessel: Tenacity

The radical new design allows for transport of passengers and crew with dramatically reduced fuel consumption at twice the speed, while maintaining safety, minimising motion sickness and improving comfort at up to 40 kts in seas in excess of 2m. The vessel can be used for crew transfers in industries such as oil & gas, offshore wind and construction, search and rescue, patrol, medivac, safety boat, to name a few.

See video of the vessel in action on WaveAccess website or YouTube channel

WaveAccess Tenacity vessel

Thanks to  Rotec’s extensive marine experience and previous control systems the company had developed for use on multi-hull jet vessels in the wind-farm support vessel industry we were invited to participate in this innovative project.

Vessel interiorAndy Rimes, Rotec’s Technical Director outlines the project “Together with the team at WaveAccess and other specialists we developed a bespoke control system for the twin waterjet propulsion system to provide fully automated synchronised control of the jets, clutches, thrusters and main engines both in normal forward cruising modes and reverse facing tower operations.”

The electronic system is based on Parker Hannifin’s Iqan mobile controller and associated products. “As well as the electronic supervisory control and monitoring system we also completely re- equipped the Italian Castoldi waterjets hydraulic drive and control systems to provide fully proportional control electronically controlled from the Iqan system. This provides a smoother, more controllable and economic drive system. “


CGG Veritas Oceanic Sirius

All design work and bench testing took place at Rotec’s premises in Taunton, with the installation, setup and sea trials carried out by Rotec engineers at Coastal Charters home in Cumbria.

It was a challenging, yet ultimately rewarding, experience to be involved with the development of a concept vessel such as this and we wish Stephen and all the crew and team at WaveAccess best of luck with their promotion of the successful and innovative vessel to the industry.

For more information please visit: www.waveaccess.co.uk



Author: Sarka Humpolcova

Date: 06/04/2017

Engineering Talks 1.4: Bridgwater engineering student joins us for work experience

Harry Safe work experience

Harry Safe

This week we had a welcome addition to our engineering team at Taunton in form of the lovely Harry Safe, a final year student at Bridgwater College, who joined us for work experience.


Name: Harry Safe

Course: Level 3 Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering



How did you get the work experience at Rotec?

I was looking at the local companies and since my parents know Paul Prouse (Managing Director), I send him an email asking about any opportunities and he agreed to take me on for a week.


Is this the only work experience you are doing?



Could you guide me through your week at Rotec?

On Monday I was with Richard Renfree, working on Solidworks, designing disc brakes. On Tuesday I was with Dan Foster, doing electrical work on winching systems. On Thursday I was with Matt Cooke, testing release valves and taking apart flow control valves and today, I am building brackets for the winches I worked on on Tuesday.


Any highlights?

Yes, yesterday was pretty good, hands – on work.


So you prefer hands-on work to for example design?

Yes, both are good, but yes, definitely prefer the more hands on work.


Do you feel the experience benefited you, if so, how?

Definitely benefitted me, it’s a bit of an eye-opener really, it gives me an idea of what’s it actually like to work in the industry, instead of just not knowing anything about the work places.


What are your future career plans?

I am working on getting enough UCAS points to allow me to enter the RAF as an officer, which is what I want to do.

Paul Prouse foreword for BFPDA

Rotec’s own Managing Director, Paul Prouse, was selected to hold a chairman position for the BFPDA (British Fluid Power Distributors Association) throughout 2016. In his 2017 foreword for the association’s publication ‘Yearbook & Members Directory’, Paul talks about two of the topics dominating the headlines of newspapers across the world; Brexit and Women in power…

“It is hard to put pen to paper and not talk about Brexit, the topic has dominated the headlines throughout 2016 cultivated continuously by everyone from small SMEs through to large corporate businesses trying to second guess what ‘best strategy’ for their business should take whilst the politicians arguably find themselves with a task to extract the UK from Europe that in reality, the net effect is unknown along with strategy or policy that was never scripted.

I will come back to Brexit. In the meantime, what has also been interesting throughout the year and in part has caused me to reflect on the situation within the trade members of BFPDA and our industry as a whole is the renewed emphasis on women within the industry. The global stage has been dominated by Mrs Merkel, Mrs May and the near miss of Mrs Clinton joining the ranks as respective leaders of 3 of the world’s wealthiest nations providing a healthy balance in tipping the scales that in part have been dominated by men.”


Rotec repair CGG Veritas’ seismic system in Colombia

CGG Veritas and Rotec Hydraulics have a long history of working together.

CGG is a leader in cutting-edge geoscience. Their commitment to providing innovative and sustainable solutions has seen them crowned a leader in their field. The technology, services and equipment they provide is designed to collect data and images of the sub-surface with great precision. CGG help the oil and gas industry to develop a deeper understanding of the subsurface exploration via state-of-the-art software and data analysis services.

Rotec supplied the company with enormous power packs in past and, in 2010, was contracted again, this time to equip their seismic ship Oceanic Sirius with a bespoke air reduction panel. The large panel is designed to work with a system that maps the sea bed for oil industry. Using acoustic sources towed behind the ship to shoot out high frequency sound waves that bounce off of different layers of the seabed’s sub-surface and get picked up by hydrophones, working a bit like an ultrasound. This data is then recorded and interpreted, helping the experts to make informed decisions about new drilling locations.

Find out more about seismic mapping in THIS VIDEO

Power Pack for CGG Veritas

The Rotec reduction panel is designed to routinely regulate between air pressure of 140 bar and 30 bar when not in use and was

Reduction Panel on Oceanic Sirius

Reduction Panel on Oceanic Sirius

manufactured in 2010, installed and commissioned on the ship in 2011, running smoothly until a major overhaul in January 2016, when the system had to go through its pressure equipment certification. The system performed great during the testing, but started having problems following the overhaul.

At first the capable CGG engineers were attempting to tackle the issue with Rotec’s telephonic guidance, but due to the nature of their jobs (12 hour shifts and swapping of engineering crews every 5 weeks with practically zero downtime), it was near impossible. They decided to contract one of Rotec’s engineers to repair the system. Claire Brown was scheduled to meet the ship in Barranquilla (Colombia) in September and after a 25 hour journey and a day’s wait she finally boarded the ship together with a group of contractors that were servicing and working on other parts of the ship.

This is what Claire had to say about the experience

“The hotel I was staying in was lovely, but I was advised not to venture outside. The government is currently building new infrastructure, but the city’s poverty is tangible as things stand at the moment. The relative luxury of the hotel was a stark contrast to what unravelled in front of me on our way to the port. I would have liked to see more of the city or the country of course, to form a more complete picture. The mosquito repellent I brought definitely came in handy; they were everywhere (laughing),”


CGG Veritas Oceanic Sirius

After the initial compulsory ship orientation, Claire got shown to the Chief mechanic, and by 3pm she identified and repaired the problem. However they could not test the system while the ship was still docked, as the air powered guns used to blast out the acoustic waves go off rather loudly. Once out at sea the system performed well and Claire spent additional 5 days on board of Sirius going through their kit, and making sure they had everything they needed, ordering additional items.

Claire says “I quite like going off to places and seeing how other people live, but also I like working with different people. The crew was made up of many different nationalities (British, Canadian, Norwegian, Lithuanian, French, Spanish, Filipino and American). These guys are working such long hours, live in a restricted space but they get on so well, it was pretty inspirational. They make light of the stereotypes, for example they dubbed me as the ‘posh’ one, because of my british accent (laughs)”

Update: Claire has been back for a couple of months and there have been no problems with the system. We are looking forward to offering our marine expertise to the company in future.



Author: Sarka Humpolcova

Date: 03/01/2017