Seatronics is a global leader in the sale and rental of subsea marine electronic equipment. Part of the Acteon group, the company employs 160 staff with a turnover of £50 million. Seatronics supports operations such as geophysical surveys; navigation and positioning; oceanographic systems; video inspections; ROV surveys; ROV tooling and diving; and nondestructive testing.
The company has bases around the world in Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Houston, New Iberia, Norway, Perth and Singapore, and is continually growing and recruiting. Seatronics has one of the lowest average age equipment pools, with a strong emphasis on providing the latest technologies and cutting edge solutions.
ROV manufacture is a relatively new addition to Seatronics’ business, starting in 2012. The company manufactures the Predator ROV which is mainly used by the oil and gas industry to provide backup and support to operations which use a diver or larger ROV.
The Predator has the capability for leak detection, sonar survey, and general inspection tasks. It has also been used to investigate unexploded WW2 bombs on potential windfarm sites in the Southern North Sea and investigate dummy mines in the ocean off Iraq.
There was a wear and maintenance issue with the thruster system in the Predator which was causing problems in the electronic motors, a very common issue with ROVs the world over
Hardide Coatings was asked to work with Seatronics to develop a solution to resolve the wear issues with the thruster systems.
The Hardide-T coating was applied to a critical component of the thruster system and as well as solving the wear issue has brought several significant performance benefits to the ROV. The Predator has been successfully tested with the Hardide coated components with the exceptional results revealing greatly improved performance and increase in power, which has led to production orders.
David Currie, Managing Director at Seatronics, said: “The Observation-class ROV sector is a growing market for us and we want to make the Predator as maintenance-free as possible. The Hardide coating solved the wear issues we were facing and increased the performance of the ROV. Using the Hardide coating on the Predator was like tuning a car to get more miles per gallon and increasing performance.”