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Global Marine Engineering (GME), a Dutch manufacture of thrusters for vessels worldwide, has recently received a 500 kW motor from Hoyer. The motor is used in a powerful thruster that can rotate 360 degrees, thereby making it easier for a ship to manoeuvre precisely even at low speeds.
When large container ships, ferries and other sea vessels navigate in and out of difficult and busy harbours, they need to be able to manoeuvre precisely and reliably, even at low speeds. This is where bow thrusters are an enormous help. Global Marine Engineering, for whom Hoyer is the primary supplier of electric motors, specialises in the manufacture of these propellers and Hoyer recently delivered a 500 kW motor certified according to the Russian RMRS standard for a retractable azimuth bow thruster.
According to Robin Franken, Managing Director of Global Marine Engineering, having the right certifications is one of the factors that makes Hoyer an ideal partner.
“The motor is installed in our new retractable azimuth thruster, which is our model GRA1350. An azimuth thruster can rotate 360 degrees, which vastly improves the vessel’s ability to manoeuvre. The thruster is powerful enough that it can also be used for primary forward motion, and it is used to manoeuvre the ship at low speeds. In this case, the client has specified that the thruster be certified in accordance with RMRS, so it is a big advantage for us that Hoyer can supply motors that already have the necessary certifications.”
The majority of motors that Hoyer delivers to Global Marine Engineering are standardised and already type-approved in accordance with the requirements set by major maritime classification companies such as ABS, LRS and DNV-GL. As a result, Hoyer can often achieve a fast delivery time. Robin Franken also emphasises the reliability and quality of the motors as the main reasons for selecting Hoyer as a supplier.
“Our motto is ‘first time is right,’; it is important for us that our clients can rely on the quality of our products. We supply thrusters for ships from around the world, among others for ships built at Austal in Australia, and Damen, which has built a large amount of vessels in different countries. These days, almost all ships are fitted with bow thrusters. Many older ships are refurbished with them once they’re docked as well. So as you can see, this is a growing business area.”
In the bow of most modern ships, there is often a hidden electrically powered propeller known as the bow thruster, which is located below the surface of the water. When the propeller is activated, the ship can move sideways, independently of the ship’s main engine. A bow thruster can be enormously helpful for the ship’s crew when it is time to dock or execute other precise manoeuvres. The technology is not only used on ships, but also on many other types of marine vessels such as floating cranes and search and rescue ships.
GME bow thrusters can also be used for so-called dynamic positioning, in which an advanced system of GPS sensors and computer software continuously adjusts the ship’s position to counterbalance the effects of wind and the ocean current. One of the ways in which dynamic positioning can be used is to maintain a fixed position in places where it is not possible to anchor.