Bosch Rexroth completed the legal acquisition of Wakefield based Hagglunds in the UK on June 1st and is now fully integrated into the group. Hagglunds traditional strength in Marine and offshore with its large hydraulic motors and complete drive systems will significantly strengthen the Bosch Rexroth capacity and capability in this area, among others.
The Hagglunds product will remain highly visible in the marketplace and the Wakefield base will remain in operation along with its global office and distribution network. This will strengthen the new organisation and create great opportunities for the future with such a wide range of hydraulic components including large pumps and large hydraulic cylinders now complemented with large hydraulic motors. This is very positive and exciting not just for Bosch Rexroth but for all our associates including customers and suppliers.
In particular for offshore business, Hagglunds have over the last few years created a high competency in offshore applications and have produced many large and interesting hydraulic systems, for example fully customised and containerised. The new power unit build facility at Wakefield some 10000 sq ft provides an extra dimension to the design of special hydraulic systems. This of course is complementary to the already comprehensive engineering expertise and hydraulic systems competences at St Neots the Bosch Rexroth head office.
Most of Hagglunds power units were supplied from the main plant in Sweden. These were highly developed standardised modular cabinet style with closed circuit hydraulics in vertical design reducing the footprint. These units designated PEC type (Power unit, European, design revision C.) There are also PAC types for American markets. These standard units could be customised to a certain extent and have been used in offshore applications quite widely. However there is a limit to how much customisation is possible or even sensible when the changes that are needed demand compromises to the System.
The new power unit build facility then provides a great opportunity to develop completely customised systems to exactly suit the offshore environment and are not limited in any way. For example open circuits can be used and combinations of closed and open circuits to ensure the system perfectly matches all customer requirements in function and quality. The Solidworks 3D design used is very useful to ensure the units make maximum use of available space and functionality. Rendered drawings (an example of which is shown above) are helpful to give customers vital information and layout possibilities. They also enable fabrications like tanks and structures to be designed to the exact requirements of the customer. The fabrications can then be manufactured by offsite specialists to specification; keeping the assembly and testing plant clean from fabrication contamination.
The offshore industry demands a lot of documentation in order to prove the systems have been tested properly, are structurally sound and are fit for purpose in accordance with DNV, Lloyds, NDM and Norsok etc.
Bosch Rexroth have built up very good knowledge of what's required for offshore use including the standards required and therefore can provide the confidence and documentation our customers need and can rely on rather than have to write long specifications and spending time handling interfacing issues from more than one supplier.
Some interesting applications in offshore have been ROV and A frame systems, Carousel systems and active heave compensation systems. A fully containerised system is very useful for these since the complete system can be designed and fully tested including the controls prior to delivery. A comprehensive FAT test ensures it complies to specification and so it can be installed on deck and commissioned in very short time saving valuable time on the vessel. The container ensures the system is fully protected from the handling and the environment and so provides an easy to maintain, safe, reliable user friendly asset for many years.
Another interesting application was with SMD for a number of large winches. The hydraulic system would normally be supplied separately from the winch but in this case SMD provided the winch fabrication module and Bosch Rexroth designed and built the hydraulic system including the Hagglunds winch drive motor and brake assembly within and around the module. This idea improved the overall package by reducing piping, ensuring that the hydraulic system and control was right next to the winch, where it ideally should be and again reduces time on site assembling and piping. Altogether a highly successful collaboration.