Photo: Courtesy of SMD

SMD, Van Oord join forces to improve subsea equipment uptime

Subsea robotics designer and manufacturer Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) and marine contractor Van Oord have entered into a parts and services framework agreement with the aim to reduce downtime and improve efficiencies.

As part of the agreement, both companies will share industry insight and knowledge to jointly work toward changing the way traditional customers, vendors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) work together.

Founded over 50 years ago, SMD has recently started operating in offshore wind in addition to industries such as telecoms.

The company sees this step-change into framework agreements as the beginning of a new service-led approach to complement its core business.

According to Rob Eddon, SMD’s key account manager, the agreement was signed for a three-year period and it enables Van Oord to access SMD’s OEM expertise, a set price list of all parts and services and 24/7 worldwide technical support. This is expected to reduce the cost and the time it takes to purchase, modify or repair parts.

“To provide context, SMD delivered the Dig-It and Deep Dig-It trenchers to Van Oord in 2018 and 2019 respectively, any modifications or repairs they may need will now be conducted directly with our team whether that is routine maintenance or in an emergency situation.

“This new arrangement marks the start of a new era for SMD and should make the whole procurement process a lot more streamlined and improve industry processes now and in the future”, Eddon explained.

Procurement category manager at Van Oord, Jorn Bertens, said: “Over the past few years we have been working together to see what improvements can be made within procurement, in alignment with our business unit for offshore wind, we came up with solutions to optimise the uptime of our equipment and to pave a path to a sustainable future.

“We discussed at length with key people at SMD how to create a partnership that is mutually beneficial and will eventually improve the industry as a whole, and work jointly on sustainable solutions.”

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