Hydraulic fuel system with integrated pipework solutions carried out by Rotec

Rotec engineers have carried out integration and commissioning of a hydraulic fuel system with pipework solutions on a brand new vessel for a prestigious boatbuilder.

After being let down by another supplier, the client requested Rotec to carry out the works following referrals made by others within the Marine industry who had given Rotec glowing reviews.

A reliable and efficient hydraulic fuel system, built with quality components, aids any vessel engine to run smoothly, avoid unexpected engine failures and ensure passenger safety. Additionally, built and maintained to a high standard, a hydraulic fuel system will be compliant with good practice and environmental regulations.

Rotec’s engineers, whose skills and experience span across multiple engineering disciplines – from hydraulics to electrical – installed and commissioned the hydraulic fuel system in line with the boatbuilder’s schedule of works.

The hydraulic tank design supports 2 hydraulic pumps, driven by 2 engines. The flow rate from each pump (45cc per rev) is estimated at a max 70LPM. The system also supports 2 thrusters, coolers and LS lines.

All pipework solutions used 50mm and 25mm stainless tube with 1.5mm wall thickness. This reduced the number of joints, whilst providing good circulation. Pipework materials centring on the use of rigid tube within the engine machinery space and completion of service points with flexible were employed where required. Finally, pipework was cleaned utilising the pelleting system and flushed.

All hoses were supplied by Rotec and supported by the Parker Tracking System (PTS). This labelling scheme enables a user to quickly scan any asset using a non-subscription, free mobile app. The asset’s technical specifications, including part number are then displayed, enabling efficient and accurate re-ordering of parts when required. App users can also set up service alerts to notify them of when a part’s lifespan is coming to an end.

For more information regarding Rotec’s capabilities, visit www.rotec.net. 

Multi-million pound refurbishment of MS Bolette unveiled

Supported by Rotec’s electrical mechanical services team, a multi-million pound refurbishment of MS Bolette has been unveiled to CLIA and Government officials.

The Bolette entered dry dock for a 13-day refurbishment, including maintenance to the ship’s Azipods and bow thrusters as well a new application of anti-fouling paint. Rotec Hydraulics Ltd, based across the South West of the UK, were responsible for the overhaul of Bolette’s eight thruster fans.

After the fans were electronically and mechanically disconnected, the vessel’s thruster fans were transported by Rotec for a full inspection. Following the inspection of all plate detail and insulation valves, the fans underwent dynamic balancing. The units were then transported back to the shipyard and reconnected, with a full works report supplied to the client.

The turnaround for the project was a mere 8 days from the ship arriving in the UK shipyard to Bolette setting sail again on 7th March. To ensure the tight deadline was met, Rotec engineers went above and beyond, working a 24/7 split shift pattern. Unplanned and additional emergent works which occurred, were quickly responded to by the Rotec team. Following the works, Mark Terrell, Electrical & Maintenance Manager at A&P Falmouth commented on Rotec’s service delivery:

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the support. The Rotec response was great and by Monday 16:00 (less than 24 hours later) the ship had passed off all 8 fans as complete and ready to return to service. Special mention must go to [your engineers] for sticking with the job through Sunday night and well into Monday!”

MS Bolette has now sailed to Newcastle to complete its spring/summer season operating in Europe. Owned and operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Bolette was formerly named Amsterdam and was the last ship of the four Rotterdam class (R class) cruise vessels.

For more information on Rotec’s Electrical Mechanical Services visit www.rotec.net.


Image: Aerial view of A&P Falmouth, where refurbishment of MS Bolette took place. Image source: https://www.cruiseandferry.net/

Rotec supports new immersive visitor experience at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum will be wowing visitors with their new state-of-the-art, immersive Carrier Experience after a £1million refurbishment.

Rotec Hydraulics Ltd were pleased to carry out works on the hydraulic and electrical systems that are integral to the simulator experience at the museum, which houses aircraft and artefacts from the flying arm of the Royal Navy.

In addition to replacing over 50m of hydraulic hose, all hoses were uniquely identified using the Parker Hannifin PTS bar-code labelling system to ease traceability and future renewal. Rotec engineers also refurbished all hydraulic cylinders and repaired the two hydraulic pump units to ensure pressure and flow performance are maximised. Other works included replacement seals, filters and directional valves, strip and clean manifold assemblies and reservoir cleans.

Adjacent to the hydraulic works, Rotec carried out electrical works on the customer experience feature at the museum in the main pump room, remote control room and on the scissor lift which raises and lowers visitors during the simulation.

In the main pump room located control panel, Rotec removed existing obsolete Toshiba PLC unit hardware, and installed a newly supplied 24VDC 10A switch mode power supply module plus protective devices. A rewire the existing safety monitoring control relay and circuit was required to provide a dual channel redundant protective emergency stop circuit.

Rotec designed, supplied and installed replacement PLC hardware to replace the Toshiba module, which was then fully programmed with the required application specific logic code to ensure the scissor lift would rise and lower in time with the attraction’s audio-visual experience.

In the remote control room, Rotec supplied and installed an operator’s control station and local 24VDC power supply. The control station included a nominal 8” full colour touchscreen HMI device fully programmed with all existing and planned operator controls, indicators and alarms.

The works Rotec has completed in part of an overarching Carrier Experience. The new experience, which is dedicated to the memory of generous benefactor Vice Admiral Sir Donald Gosling KCVO, Vice Admiral of The United Kingdom, combines digital technology with the scale of a carrier flight deck to transport visitors from the pioneer years of the First World War, all the way to the modern HMS Queen Elizabeth class carriers of today.

Adam Gosling, of the Gosling Foundation comments,

“Vice Admiral Sir Donald Gosling KCVO, Vice Admiral of The United Kingdom founded the original Carrier Experience that opened in 1994 and has welcomed over four million visitors.


“To see the Experience reinvigorated and made meaningful and relevant for today’s audience is the perfect way to celebrate my late father’s enduring support of the Fleet Air Arm Museum. It reflects a mutual vision to preserve and showcase the proud history of British naval aviation. His generous legacy gift has enabled, once again, the illustrious tale of Britain’s aircraft carriers to be told, and enjoyed, for many more generations to come.”

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy says,

“The re-imagining of the Carrier Experience to include the Queen Elizabeth Class, the pride of the British fleet, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the history of naval aviation and telling the story of the contemporary navy. This mix of heritage and modernity mirrors the projects that Vice Admiral Sir Donald Gosling KCVO, Vice Admiral of the United Kingdom so generously supported over the years.


“I am certain that the work of the staff team, contractors and corporate partner Lockheed Martin has brought to life the Carrier story in the way that Sir Donald had in mind when he made his legacy gift.  It is both an honour and a pleasure to recognise his lifelong support with this exhibition, which is housed in The Gosling Hall.”

Rotec were chosen to complete the works due to their impressive ability to combine hydraulics with complex electronic control systems. The works were completed in a matter of weeks, on schedule and to a high standard.

For further information on the expansive range of services Rotec offers, including case studies of other works, visit www.rotec.net.

Ground-breaking Project successfully crosses the Atlantic Ocean

A pioneering project, supported by Rotec Hydraulics Ltd, has achieved a fully autonomous ship sail across the Atlantic Ocean.

Solo and unaided, the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship (MAS) set sail from Plymouth harbour in the UK and reached its end destination of Plymouth USA on 30th June 2022 after 36 days at sea and 3,900 miles, having made two stops in Horta (Azores) and Halifax (Canada).

The futuristic vessel was powered by AI and powered using renewable solar energy technology, and a backup diesel generator for night sailing. Throughout the journey, the vessel collected data that researchers hope will provide critical information in the battle to safeguard the future of our oceans. A challenging project relied on a diverse team that spanned 10 countries and 3 continents, including Rotec Hydraulics Ltd.

ProMare, a US based non-profit organisation with a branch in Plymouth UK, teamed up with IBM to build the third Mayflower and asked Rotec to supply a range of hoses and hose assemblies to support the project. Rotec was also pleased to be able to help spread the word of crowdfunding efforts at the start of the project.

Brett Phaneuf, Managing Director of the MAS Project, commented:

 “[The Mayflower Project is] ushering us into a new phase of oceanographic and climatological research with state-of-the-art technology.”

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.”

Find out more about the project, including live video stream when the vehicle is on a mission and footage from previous journeys at https://www.mas400.com/.

Rotec Deliver Vessel Overhaul at A&P Falmouth

Rotec’s Electrical Mechanical Services team have recently carried out significant maintenance and overhaul works on the vessel Norbay at A&P Falmouth.

Originally built in Rotterdam in 1994, Norbay and her sister Norbank were two of the first of a new generation of ‘super freighters’. The vessel is currently used as a car, passenger and freight ferry in the Irish Sea for P&O Ferries.

Specialists in alternators and generators, Rotec’s Electrical Mechanical engineers have completed a significant overhaul project on the vessel Norbay, on-site at A&P Falmouth. The work included:

  • On-site Aft Bow Thrust Overhaul inc. internal inspection, replacement bearings, rebuild, testing and full works report
  • Port Alternator Clean and Bearing Change
  • Main Vehicle Deck Aft Cargo Fan Overhaul inc. collection from dockside to Rotec workshop inspection, steam clean, re varnish, new bearings, dynamic balancing, testing and reinstall
  • Cargo Fans motors overhaul.

The work carried out will ensure the continued performance and availability of the vessel. Greg Sandy, Business Development Manager and part of Rotec’s Electrical mechanical Services team said:

“Rotec are proud of their strong relationship and partnership with A&P Group in Falmouth, which sees us providing quality services and solutions.

“Our extensive range of services and products, combined with the experience and knowledge of our technical team has given us the well-deserved reputation for being a trusted provider of quality Electrical Mechanical Services.”

Rotec have been trading for over 30 years and take pride in delivering project specific solutions, sustainable results and added value to their clients. For more information on our Electrical Mechanical Services offer, click here.

Grain ship-loader replacement electro-hydraulic control system

Thanks to the working relationship spanning many years, Rotec were invited to quote for the replacement of the hydraulic power unit and controls of the grain/feed products ship loader travelling gantry system. The client was faced with reliability and obsolescence issues with the original equipment dating back to the 1980s. It is the only plant capable of this function at the port and is in use constantly.

The ship loader hydraulic functions consist of a dual pumping system and associated hydraulic equipment built into an up-cycled twenty-foot shipping container. The container sits on the machine approximately 20 metres above dock level, which presented some unique access issues.

 Based on the original system design, Rotec designed and manufactured a complete self-contained hydraulic system and associated dedicated electrical control panels which control vertical and horizontal movements of the grain conveyors and loading chute to align over the vessel’s holds as required.

The container was specially modified to accept and fit the hydraulic system. This included full sound and fireproofing, internal full bunding and bespoke flooring and ventilation integration. The hydraulic system consists of a primary pump system driven by a 100KW 3300VAC electric motor and proportionally controlled variable displacement pump with a completely redundant secondary backup system in case of partial or total power loss. This 400VAC backup system is supplied from an external generator and is used to recover the chute off a vessel during a power loss when necessary. The main pump systems are supported by cooling and filtration systems and associated electrical control and monitoring equipment which in turn all interface and interlock to the main ship loader external control system.

21The project initially began in 2017, but project was temporarily halted by Brexit and later on, the outbreak of COVID-19. However, following a major fire one evening whilst in use on a vessel which completely destroyed the old containerised system, surrounding cabling and pipework, the project objectives and target completion date was rapidly brought forward to minimize the client’s downtime.

Due to our very flexible approach and ability to respond to an everchanging priorities list, Rotec was able to pick up and resume the build process quickly and managed to complete and factory test the unit ready for site delivery and install by the end of May. Our on-site engineers in the meantime stripped out and replaced large quantities of fire damaged external fixed stainless and special alloy tubing and replaced all external flexible hoses on the machine. The container unit and system were craned into place, pipework connections completed then flushed thoroughly. The system has now finished its commissioning and setting to work process, on time and on budget, and is ready to serve the port for this vital service for at least another 30 years minimum. The client is completely satisfied with the product and service received by him by our team of design, manufacturing, and field service personnel.