SMM Exclusive: Hydrex Drive for Innovations
Hydrex, one of the leading underwater repair and replacement specialists, exhibited a range of its products at this year’s SMM in Hamburg.
After our last year’s interview with Mr. Rob Wolthuizen during Offshore Energy, our reporter took the chance to speak with Mr. Wolthuizen again at the SMM trade fair.
Hereby we’re bringing you a part of their conversation.
After the last year’s interview our readers became more familiar with Hydrex’s services and products, so were there any new developments that happened during the past year?
Rob Wolthuizen: In the past year we had a breakthrough in the market of rudder and thruster protection with the product called Ecoshield.
Ecoshield is specially designed for giving thrusters and rudders protection against cavitation.
This means that we can offer something to shipowners where they can protect underwater equipment for the lifetime of the ship.
In April you received a Seatrade award for Ecoshield, what does this mean to you?
Rob Wolthuizen: It means that it is recognized by other parties in the market.
The jury of this award is composed from international leaders in the industry and we highly appreciate that they have recognized this product and awarded it with this prestigious award.
In the past several months your team conducted a lot of projects all around the world, could you tell us what projects do you have planned for the future?
Rob Wolthuizen: We are working on some new innovations which are now at a stage of protection of intellectual property and we’re not disclosing any of the information.
What are you major future plans besides new developments?
Rob Wolthuizen: Another recent development is fuel saving solutions.
The first one is special buffing technology we developed for propeller blades. This is the most advanced surface treatment you can get on the market at present.
The second fuel saving technology is installation of Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF).
The PBCF can recover energy loss of a propeller hub vortex in the propeller’s backward flow. Some tests by MOL showed a decreasing fuel consumption by 5% when operating at the same speed, or boosts speed by 2% with the same fuel consumption.
This is service we supply worldwide for large shipping lines like CMA CGM Group, Gearbulk etc.
Who are your major clients?
Rob Wolthuizen: I just mentioned two of them, we also work with Höegh Autoliners in Norway, Wallenius, Seaspan, Oceanex, Maersk, and you name it.
Where do you find inspiration for innovation?
Rob Wolthuizen: The inspiration is found in the fact that we are strong believers that if we don’t innovate we’re not going to survive.
It is one of the major ways to differentiate us from the rest of suppliers.
The degree of innovations keeps people very alert, it gives them drive to do new things which is attractive for engineers and sales people.
How important is client feedback for you?
Rob Wolthuizen: Very important, it is actually the most important.
If we get no feedback we feel like we are failing, so this is why we’re continuously evaluating the projects with our clients.
They hire us for substantial money and the underwater service we give saves them a lot of money as well, because they don’t have to go to drydock.
Could you share your impressions about this year’s SMM with our readers?
Rob Wolthuizen: It was a really good exhibition for us and prior to the exhibition we did promotional activities in several countries around the world so we had our agents active to make sure that we get full attention especially for Ecoshield and try to attract visitors to our stand.
Are we going to see you at Offshore Energy 2014?
Rob Wolthuizen: We are thinking about that and that is in relation with one of our new innovations. Depending on how far we are at that moment we will definitely consider exhibiting because it is going to be an offshore application.
Would you like to add something?
Rob Wolthuizen: I can only say that the increasing business is the best reward of our customers that we get and it makes us all feel confident and we perform services as they expect that we would perform them and we hope to even improve that.
Subsea World News Staff, September 15, 2014