Schottel makes major investment in crane system upgrade

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Installation of the new crane system at the Schottel GmbH Wismar subsidiary represents an investment of EUR 500,000 euros. [Photo: Schottel]

Propulsion specialist Schottel GmbH has invested EUR 500,000 (about $612,000) in a new crane system that’s now in operation at its Wismar, Germany, subsidiary.

The new system ensures a faster and more efficient production process and replaces a system from 1979. It features two double-girder overhead traveling cranes, each with a load bearing capacity of 50 tonnes each. This is an increase of some 10 tonnes and is needed for the larger, longer and thus heavier products now being produced in Wismar.

“The Wismar subsidiary focuses on the development and assembly of propulsion units for special purpose vessels,” says Dr. Michael Potts, manager of the subsidiary. “Nowadays, these vessels are designed with larger dimensions and more power, which has an impact on the project planning for the propulsion units and their production.”

Potts says there has been “an enormous change in this area over the past few decades” and adds that the new crane system “makes us more efficient and is an investment to ensure our site remains competitive in the future. The current order situation confirms just that.”

Schottel recently secured an order to equip ten Russian crab-fishing vessels (see earlier story). Each of the 57.7 meter long and 12.6 meter wide vessels will be driven by a four-bladed Schottel ControllablePropeller from Wismar. The propulsion units each have an output of 1,620 kilowatts and a propeller diameter of 2.8 meters.

Another recent order received by Schottel is for eight propulsion units for a series of anchor handling tugs being built in Turkey. Six of these units, each with an output of 1,740 kW will be manufactured in Wismar in 2021, while two smaller propulsion units included in the order will be produced at the Schottel site in Dörth, Germany.

New crane system facilitates production process

The new crane system at Wismar features a synchronous mode. This means that the hoist, crab and crane trolleys can be controlled individually or synchronously by radio transmitter. This makes it possible to transport very heavy, long loads safely through the production hall, to turn them and to position them with precision in machine tools.

Schottel has around 100 employees at its Wismar site, which has a 15,000 square meter production area. The facility produces large-scale and extendible rudder propellers and controllable pitch propellers that can achieve outputs up to 30,000 kW and which have diameters of up to 8 meters. It has also established itself as an important service location, available to carry out all repairs on Schottel propulsion units. Schottel has around 100 employees at its Wismar site.

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