SKF to Double Marine Stabilizer Production Capacity
In response to growing demand from the cruise liner, large ferry and exploration vessel sectors, SKF has upgraded its marine stabilizer production facilities in Hamburg, Germany. The new investments include a 130-metric-ton capacity heavy duty overhead crane, two new assembly stations for large stabilizers and additional production space dedicated to the manufacture of smaller units.
The expanded facilities will allow SKF to increase production of its largest S800 stabilizer system from eigth to sixteen sets a year. These stabilizers, which can be up to 12m long, 4m wide and weigh 120 metric tons, are used on the world’s largest cruise vessels to improve passenger comfort and safety in rough seas.
SKF has produced stabilizer fins for the maritime industry since the early 1960s and its products are in service today with more than 550 vessels around the world. The company has continually developed its portfolio of stabilizer technologies over that time, maintaining their position at the forefront of performance and efficiency. SKF’s latest innovation, entering production in 2017, is the Dynamic Stabilizer Cover, a flexible, inflatable Kevlar and neoprene fairing that reduces drag at the fin box opening by up to 90 percent, allowing vessel operators to achieve overall fuel savings of around 1 percent.
In addition to improving comfort on passenger vessels, stabilizers are used for safety reasons on cargo ships, and to help exploration vessels maintain a steady position while work is under way. SKF’s range of stabilizers includes both retractable and non-retractable models. The advanced hydraulic control systems employed across the range provide improved reliability and ease of use for crews, while reducing energy consumption by up to 20 percent in comparison with conventional systems.