Schottel control upgrade extends life cycle by up to 20 years

(SPAY, Germany) — Schottel GmbH has successfully carried out a control upgrade on a seagoing and harbor tug equipped with azimuth thrusters from another market supplier. Instead of replacing the entire propulsion system (including mechanics and hydraulics), only the obsolete controls were swapped out.

In order to comply with the latest class requirements, the German vessel owner was forced to modernize Wulf 9, a 30-year-old ASD tugboat. Since the required spare parts were obsolete, an alternative had to be found.

“Instead of offering intensive and expensive complete rebuilds, Schottel proved convincing with a customized solution. In addition to the comparatively low conversion costs and the short downtime, it was above all the cooperative partnership and the regional proximity between our location and the Schottel production site in Northern Germany that proved decisive," said owner and operator Andreas Wulf. “Within two weeks, the life cycle of the vessel’s electric components was extended by up to 20 years – always safe in the knowledge that Schottel, as an OEM, is able to equip Wulf 9 for the next decades.”

The efficient and long-term solution from Schottel ensures that it will be possible use Wulf 9 reliably in future. Since the replacement of the obsolete electronics could be carried out by a local electronics company, it was possible to significantly reduce costs. Thanks to the lower expense for installation, the conversion time and thus the downtime could be shortened tremendously. Another major advantage is the long-term availability of spare parts, which Schottel ensures for the coming decades – thus reducing the off-hire risk significantly.

Along with the new control units, the German tug was also given new driving modes. These modes enable the tug owner to optimize the vessel’s operation. This allows operations to be performed more efficiently and comfortably.

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By Professional Mariner Staff