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Tuesday, June 25, 2019 

The first three terminal and escort tugs of a total of ten being constructed at Gulf Island Fabrication in the US have recently been delivered to Bay Houston Towing; each is equipped with two Schottel Rudderpropellers, with Vulkanís Safeguard Basic driveline protection system.

The three tugs, Mark E Kuebler, Ted C Litton and Connelly M, are to the Robert Allan Z-Tech 30-80 design. Main propulsion systems comprise a pair of diesel-driven Caterpillar 3516E engines, each driving a Schottel Rudderpropeller type SRP 510 with a fixed pitch propeller of 2.8 m diameter. This combination achieves a free sailing speed of 13 knots and a bollard pull of 81.5 tons. The Z-tech 30-80 is designed to significantly increase escort performance by generating more than 100 mt of steering force at 10 knots – which is particularly important for escorting large vessels. Each tug is fitted with a Fire Fighting 1 system including two FFS 6,200 gpm pumps.

 Safeguard Basic, developed by Vulkan Couplings, issues an early warning when intervention in the propulsion drive train is required. It detects torque loading as a function of the twist angle via torque-transmitting components (such as composite shafts). Dynamic data is analysed and evaluated using pre-set warning and alarm levels. The interface with the Schottel control system allows visual warnings and alarm signals to indicate when intervention by the captain is required. The response time, depending on the function selected, is around 80 ms.

The system is based on a PC embedded in the main control box and a digital signal processor in the connection box. These are connected via an Ethernet cable and include two proximity sensors. The system enables preventive maintenance and systematic spare parts planning to improve availability and avoid downtime. When used as a monitoring system, Safeguard Basic operates over the entire service speed range (including start and stop). There is alarm triggering for all monitoring thresholds and automatic protocolling of alarms and actual values. Safeguard Basic is available as a monitoring device while Safeguard Active is integrated into the system of Schottel safety equipment in order to protect the propulsion drive train from overloads and enable planned maintenance. The system has ABS type approval for monitoring as well as ABS approval as safety equipment.

It is available from Schottel as a package consisting of a Schottel Rudderpropeller and a Vulkan shaftline for new building projects. It can also be used to retrofit existing Schottel systems.

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