SMD has recently completed an exciting project to deliver what is believed to be the world's most powerful and deepest fall pipe remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to Jan de Nul (JdN) of Belgium.
Using an innovative ROV featuring six thrusters, the fall pipe can be accurately positioned to ensure rock fall exactly where the client wants it.
The rock is typically used to protect and stabilise pipelines and structures on the seafloor.
Wallsend-based SMD developed the ROV to be installed on JdN's new vessel, the Simon Stevin. The 191m long vessel with a loading capacity of 33,500te, able to dump 2000te of rock per hour at a depth of 2000m.
The ROV operates at the end of the fall pipe to accurately correct its position. The specification developed between JdN and SMD meets the core needs of higher power, reliability and precision control. The design of the ROV draws heavily on SMD's experience in building high power subsea remote trenching machines. The chassis and pipe are constructed in high strength steal, as used in the firm's plough and trenchers. The six enormous Curvetech™ HT750 thrusters combine to generate nearly 6te of thrust to position the pipe.
The fall pipe exit is filled with a deflector which can be rotated to accurately position the orientation of the exiting rook. The precise control of the ROV is achieved through SMD's Distributed Vehicle Control System (DVECS) coupled with its ROV DP, dynamic positioning system.
The complete system was put through its paces during extended wet testing at the NaREC test facility near SMD's factory.