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.
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
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.
Andy 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. “
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.”
“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
* 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.
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
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.