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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

Engineering Talks 1.3 : Interview with an aviation specialist

Name: Richard Quelch

Qualifications: HNC in Mechanical and Structural Engineering

Years of working experience: 34 years

Job Title: Mechanical Design Engineer

Speciality: Aerospace

Where are you from?

Originally from Southampton, but moved into the West Country about 20 years ago. I also lived in Germany, Israel and Brazil for some time, due to work requirements.


Do you have any hobbies?

I love fly-fishing and outdoor pursuits in general, such as gardening; Somerset is a great place for all of these!

I also just recently finished working on an innovative Facebook development project called Aquila – a 42 m unmanned solar-powered drone, designed to fly at 90,000 feet , whose goal is to bring the Internet to remote reaches of the world where there is no satellite coverage. The wing is controlled from the ground and flies in around 60 km radius – providing coverage to huge areas. I thought it was a fun and worthwhile project and offered my company’s services; we became a part of a propulsion unit team. It is currently in a test phase, but the plan is to manufacture 100’s of these to employ all over the world.

Find out more about project Aquila here

Aquilla drone during test flight

Are there some other innovative projects you have been involved in?

Errrm… Yes. Unfortunately can’t mention them in any depth as they were for the Defence Department and are secret. (laughs)


Sounds like you’ve had an interesting career path , can you tell us a bit about it?

Sure. I guess it all started with an apprenticeship with Siemens. I was part of a project developing a towed array sonar for the marine industry – a piece of defence mechanism used on Submarines. I came out with a HNC in Mechanical and Structural Engineering. I then went on to work for Airbus, Embrear & Dornier – on and off for many years and I ended up working all over the world including Germany, Australia, Brazil and Israel. I was part of their teams developing the A340 and also the A380, from conception to finish. Previous and subsequent jobs were with AgustaWestland Helicopters in Yeovil, where I was involved in the EH 101 and also AW159 – “Wildcat” development – the latest craft currently being deployed by the military.


Airbus A340 and A380, Helicopters: EH 101 and AW159 “Wildcat”

What interested you in a job at Rotec?

Well, it’s local, I’ve been travelling most of my life and at 55 I would like to stick to my home (laughs).

I think Rotec has a great future, it’s a company that will expand I think and probably at the correct rate and that appealed to me. Also I enjoy the management as well as the practical side of the job. Rotec have invested in innovative 3D Solidworks software and would like to see it used to it’s full potential and since I have over 15 years of experience of using Solidworks as well as other systems it was a good fit. I am also looking forward to working on some new Rotec product ranges the company are looking to introduce, which I think is very progressive!


If you enjoyed this article you might like these: Engineering Talks 1.1: Interview with an apprentice or Engineering Talks 1.2 : Women in Engineering


Author: Sarka Humpolcova

Date: 24/11/2016

Richard Quelch helps strengthen Rotec’s development team

Rotec are pleased to announce that Richard Quelch, an experienced Mechanical Design Engineer, joined the development team.

Richard has over 34 years of design and management experience working predominantly in the aerospace industry.

Starting as an apprentice trained mechanical engineer, Richard worked for companies such as Airbus and Princess Yachts, in the UK as well as Germany, eventually starting his own successful company.

He says “At 55 I felt I would like to be based somewhere locally, rather than travelling to Zurich and back like the last summer.” laughs “I think Rotec has got a great future, it’s a company that will expand I think and that appealed to me.”

Richard has worked on some exciting projects over the years, more on this coming soon in the next series of the Engineering Talks.

Rotec help Western Power Distribution enter a new era

Western Power Distribution faced some tough decisions as their workhorse of choice, the iconic Land Rover Defender production was brought to a close. The company had to find an alternative vehicle suitable for the challenging working conditions and decided on the formidable Isuzu Dmax. Rotec have been the power supplier’s chosen partners in developing and producing a fleet of vehicles adapted to cover the urban and rough terrain that covers their distribution network. Rotec’s engineers have designed, built and installed over 1200 of the tailored made winches over the past decade, all the way until the last Defender model rolled of line at Solihull, bringing the icon’s 70 years of service to a close.

land rover defender

Land Rover Defenders


The Land Rover Defender is well known for its universal chassis base, often adapted to suit a wide range of applications that allowed commercial and end users to produce a wide range of engineered solutions that could either be mechanically or hydraulically driven.  Rotec designed, manufactured and installed a range of winch solutions that meet the demands of the overhead linesman who required a robust system that gave precision winching often in remote and arduous terrain.


Rotec winch systems meet statutory requirements for lifting under the ‘Lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations 1998’, winches installed meet BS EN14492 providing the lines man with quality products that often employed electronic controls to safe guard load control and interlocks incorporated within the vehicle.

Isuzu Dmax front

Isuzu Dmax

We were excited to announce that WPD had extended the contract as they rolled out their new fleet – the tough Isuzu Dmax 4x4.

WPD announced “Rotec mechanical and hydraulic design engineers continue to work on new hydraulic winch systems for a wide range of vehicles that will embrace the technology and experience gained over the years with the Land Rover. Whilst Feb 2016 has seen the last of any new production Land Rovers, the vehicle will be adapted and utilised by many enthusiast and commercial companies for hydraulic applications in many years to come, Rotec is the team to work with.”


Rotec join the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project

“Creating history, not recreating it” were the words of Professor Martin Attrill, Director of the Marine Institute at Plymouth University. Certainly a cause worth striving for by the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) makers.

At the end of October we were invited to attend a launch of a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise some of the £10 million needed to turn this beautiful design into reality. Rotec are going to join the adventure by making a donation but also contributing with their expertise, lending their engineers to the project, and becoming one of the main suppliers.

The benefits of this donation include:

Mayflower Autonomous Ship

Mayflower Autonomous Ship

* Witnessing the arrival of the MAS400 (flight provided).
* Thanks across our social media platforms, website and automatic registration to receive the monthly newsletter.
* A signed letter of thanks from the MAS team on watermarked paper.
* A Mayflower 400 T Shirt & entry to the exclusive draw where the winner will get VIP ticket (reward price £1000) to the launch of the Mayflower 400 in 2020.
*Rotec’s name ‘on board’
*A tour of the MAS to include signed photograph.
* Exclusive invitation to the MAS champagne hosted reception/unveiling.
* Exclusive invitation to the VIP Launch of the MAS 2020.

See how you could support the project and what benefits are available in return: JOIN THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN

Listen to what Radio Plymouth and some of the attendees had to say about the event (comment from Rotec’s own Dave Nance at 1:50):


The research vessel is projected to sail in 2020, celebrating 400 years since the pilgrims set off of the shores of Plymouth for the New World. The project is more than just a leap of faith. It is a well-researched (ad)venture potentially benefiting a number of industries, virtually catapulting the marine industry into 21st century. Needless to say Rotec are truly excited to be a part of this project.

Plymouth university, MSubs , ProMare and Shuttleworth Design, teamed up to build the third Mayflower “ushering us into a new phase of oceanographic and climatological research with state-of-the-art technology.” (Brett Phaneuf, Managing Director – MSubs)

The estimated vessel length is 32.5 meters, with top speed of 12.5 knots. But speed is not the goal here, as Orion Shuttleworth reminds us, “The design is focused on the ship’s ability to conduct a variety of scientific researches, being powered by renewable energy”

Mayflower Autonomous Ship

Mayflower Autonomous Ship

Paddy Dowsett – Project Manager, MSubs says:

“This project brings a number of new  technologies together in a way that hasn’t been done before. There are some smaller autonomous crafts in existence, however nothing anywhere near this scale in terms of size and technicality.”

The Earl and Countess of Devon also spoke at the event, explaining why Plymouth is the perfect place for the project.

“Plymouth has served as the last stop for ships before setting off on a long journey for centuries. It has always been a unique place with the capacity to supply the necessary skills, stock and supplies to help adventurers through their treacherous journeys.”

The launch is expected to shine a spotlight on the coastal city, attracting a lot of public interest within the UK and the USA.