Fugro awards contract to Bosch Rexroth to fully maintain and further improve Fugro Synergy’s hydraulic equipment

Fugro Synergy geotechnical drilling vessel undergoing maintenance in drydock

Fugro Synergy geotechnical drilling vessel undergoing maintenance in drydock


Extensive maintenance work onboard geotechnical drilling vessel

Fugro, the world’s leading geo-data specialist, has worked with Bosch Rexroth for over a decade to ensure it has the best hydraulic systems and software solutions on board its geotechnical drilling vessel, the Fugro Synergy. Now, they are working together again in order to better prepare for the future.

The Fugro Synergy vessel has been in operation since 2009, and is primarily used to drill into the seabed in order to analyse whether it can be safely used as a foundation for structures like wind farms or oil rigs. This ship was built to be effective in the harshest conditions, and Bosch Rexroth provides the drives and controls for operating under these circumstances. During the operation, motion compensation of the vessel at sea is one of the drive and control challenges we faced. Two long stroke Heave Motion Compensator cylinders in combination with a compensating accumulator and intelligent software ensures that the drilling operation remains steady and accurate even when waves increase in size.

As the ship has been operational for ten years, a full service of the hydraulics system and associated software is required. It has been performing reliably for the entire time, so the main focus of the service and maintenance is to ensure another decade of smooth operation. However, as the vessel is in dry-dock, this presents a great opportunity to look at ways to improve the system even further.

“A full recertification process is necessary every ten years, and this is to ensure that the vessel continues to comply with the DNV GL standards,” says Mark Timmermans, Account Manager at Bosch Rexroth. “Fugro then asked us what we would recommend for the hydraulics system going into the future. Generally speaking, they want another ten years of smooth operation, improve up-time, and more specifically asked for some alterations to improve the existing setup.”

An overhaul and exchange program for the main hydraulic pumps is in place as part of planned maintenance, and all these activities require good cooperation of the Boxtel service shop and service technicians on board. Fugro also requested that Bosch Rexroth look into a way to fix the level of noise coming from some parts of the ship, along the main hydraulic pressure lines. So, as part of the overall maintenance, Bosch Rexroth are implementing a solution.

“As part of the 10-year survey, we’re replacing all seals, bearings and wear parts of the hydraulic components” adds Mark. “We are ensuring that everything is operating as it was when it was new, but now with the benefits of all the software updates we’ve implemented over the years. The hydraulics system was still in very good shape thanks to the competence and care of the crew on board the Fugro Synergy, but this was the right time to replace these parts. It’s a more complex task to reduce the noise level, but we are solving it together with Fugro by changing the entire layout of the pressure lines, and installing noise dampeners.”

Although the system was still performing according to expectations, the replacements are necessary in order to extend lifetime under the harsh offshore conditions. This process ensures that there will be no surprises or problems in the years to come. However, as the vessel was in dry dock for a number of weeks, it was the perfect opportunity to modernize further and introduce “smart maintenance” solutions.

“Previously, if there were software issues, we would have to send out a Bosch Rexroth engineer,” explains Mark. “So jointly, we decided to install additional software making remote access of the control system possible. This means if there’s an issue we can analyse it much quicker, without the need to travel wherever the ship may be. In addition to this, we are implementing a data logger to monitor and analyse the system over longer periods as a basis for predictive maintenance in the future. These additions can help to optimize the operational efficiency for longer periods, and we’re happy to be able to innovate alongside a partner like Fugro.”


As one of the world’s leading suppliers of drive and control technologies, Bosch Rexroth ensures efficient, powerful and safe movement in machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, and Factory Automation. With its intelligent components, customized system solutions and services, Bosch Rexroth is creating the necessary environment for fully connected applications. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drive and control technology, gear technology and linear motion and assembly technology, including software and interfaces to the Internet of Things. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 32,300 associates generated sales revenue of roughly 6.2 billion euros in 2018.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales from operations of 77.9 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 69,500 associates in research and development.

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Vincent Stahlecker
Kruisbroeksestraat 1
5281 RV Boxtel, the Netherlands
Phone: +31 411 651 682