Steerprop strenghten customer relations with appointment of new Director of Sales and Project management

Leading azimuth propulsion expert, Steerprop, has long traditions on customer centricity and technologically demanding solutions that have a real impact on ship performance. To continue to strenghten customer relations and commitment Steerprop has merged sales and project management with the appointment of Mr. Juho Rekola as the new Director Sales and Project Management of the Company, effective from June 1st, 2020.

Rekola has been with Steerprop since 2017, and has a deep knowledge of company’s products and solutions. Rekola joined Steerprop from Alfa Laval, where he worked years in various responsible positions and was involved in international marine projects and R&D. In Steerprop and in his recent position at Alfa Laval, Rekola has worked in customer projects to develop solutions for better performance and economical operation of vessels.

“Ship owners and designers are facing new challenges with tightening legislation and requirements for ship efficiency and emissions regulations. This position offers me the opportunity to bring a new perspective to Steerprop and marine propulsion systems and really demonstrate how at Steerprop we can overcome these challenges through our expertise.” says Rekola.

Director Sales and Project Management

“One of Steerprop’s founding principles is to be the best in what we do. Not only in our products but our delivery and aftercare. With Mr. Rekola’s appointment we are strenghtening Steerprop’s commitment to our customers to resolve to perform” says Riku-Pekka Hägg, Steerprop President and CEO.

 

For more information:

Mrs. Johanna Innola
Brand and Communication Manager
Mobile: +358 44 750 1125
johanna.innola(a)steerprop.com

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Introducing the next generation of Steerprop Control System – with every new delivery from July 2020

At Steerprop, we’ve upgraded our propulsion control system to provide the best operability for our customers. During the development process, we added many new properties to make the control much simplier while keeping our outstanding existing properties and high quality standards.

As of July 2020, new Steerprop Control System will be delivered as the control system with every new propulsion delivery. This upgrade allows us to serve you even better with our superior quality, reliability, serviceability, user friendliness and flexibility.

Steerprop Control System also ensures the longest possible
spare parts availability and lifecycle for future propulsion
system deliveries.

Control System

Support and spare parts for all previous systems remain available via Steerprop Service.

For more information:

Esa Peltomaa, Chief Design Engineer
esa.peltomaa(a)steerprop.com

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Building a more efficient route in the Finnish archipelago

What enables a ferry to operate more efficiently and sustainably on its route between two islands in the vulnerable Finnish archipelago? It’s about being the best at what you do. Steerprop together with Suomenlahden Telakka have now completed a highly efficient retrofitting project for Finferries’ Prostvik passenger and car ferry.

This project represents a big step forward in energy efficiency.  The old diesel-mechanic system was replaced with electric distribution using Steerprop’s 10 CRP LM propulsion units with an integrated 400 kW permanent magnet motor. The delivery also included a modernized control system and intuitive control panels. Steerprop provided these highly customized units on a short delivery schedule.

“The ferry was originally built in the 80s.  The good and close cooperation with Finferries and Suomenlahden Telakka made this retrofit project possible. It was essential that we could do all checks onboard during the design phase when the ferry was still in operation as well as at the yard during the conversion,” says Olli Knihti, Sales Manager at Steerprop.

Meeting more stringent regulations

Suomenlahden Telakka, the largest small-tonnage vessel repair and maintenance shipyard in Finland, strong advocated the technology to Finferries. “We know Steerprop’s LM configuration saves space in the vessel and brings a greater level of simplicity to the engine room,” says Jukka Jaatinen, Managing Director of Suomenlahden Telakka. “Additionally, it was a more straightforward installation process for us, since the propulsion system is extremely compact with lower weight.”

Now in operation, the electric propulsion system brings greater economic advantages to Finferries. “The diesel engines can run according to the power requirement, and fuel consumption is optimized. The ferry also has a DC link, which allows future upgrades such as adding a battery to the vessel,” states Olli Knihti, Sales Manager at Steerprop.

Steerprop’s solution is ideal for the numerous ferries operating around the world, as regulations become even stricter, not only on a global level but even more so at the local and regional level, such as in the Finnish archipelago.  

“Steerprop is committed to the principle of where meeting customers’ needs is at the core. And only the best will do. This ferry retrofit is good proof that our solutions and way of thinking create great results for our customer and also for the environment,” Knihti continues.

Innovative contra-rotating propeller (CRP)

The Steerprop 10 CRP LM propulsor system offers excellent efficiency. The dual-end CRP combines the exceptional maneuverability of azimuth propulsors with low pressure pulses and noise levels. The integrated vertical permanent magnet motor provides reliable high-power propulsion, increased fuel savings and lower emissions. Steerprop has delivered over 140 CRP units to vessels throughout the world.

For more information, please contact:

Olli Knihti, Sales Manager, Steerprop Ltd., Tel. +358 40 019 1943

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Focusing on innovations that challenge the industry

Our company goal and long-term vision is to bring to the market superior propulsion units with outstanding efficiency, exceptional reliability and the lowest lifecycle costs on the market. This strong product vision has always guided the brilliant minds of the Steerprop R&D department.

As we’re concentrating on creating more efficient propulsors, we plan to lower mechanical losses and improve propulsion efficiency with high-quality propeller designs and by optimizing the shapes of underwater parts. Our gear design specialists, technical analysts and hydrodynamists are working hard toward this end. As we create more efficient propulsion units, we are creating more environmentally friendly solutions, while also providing better returns through lower fuel consumption.

The reliability of our propulsors is essential. They are used in critical operations, such as ice management, on icebreakers, oil platforms, wind farm maintenance vessels and cruise vessels, where any interruption can cause huge losses. Our technical department makes lots of calculations, taking into account challenging conditions in both open and icy waters. For example, our gear designers look at different kinds of load cases so that the propulsor tooth contact patterns are ideal for every condition and situation.

To ensure the best lifecycle costs, we have developed Steerprop Care, our online monitoring service, which enables us to support operational quality. Steerprop Care allows us to turn unplanned disturbances into planned service. For example, we can save customers time and money by monitoring the life of the propulsor unit’s power transmission line. This gives customers the assistance they need to avoid unnecessary downtime and maintenance, which negatively affects lifecycle costs.

Creating a powerful and engaging product vision

To achieve our goals, we are always open to new ideas and developments. This requires close cooperation with our component suppliers and manufacturers, listening to their research projects and continuously learning more.

The maritime industry also presents new challenges. When customers ask us for larger propulsors, this creates more complexities when it comes to material properties and manufacturability. By working in close cooperation with the world’s leading component manufacturers, we can meet these industry challenges. For example, we work in close cooperation with companies that specialize in gears to achieve the proper hardening depths for gear sets. In this way, we can shape the lower body and get even greater results in efficiency.

We’ve developed the CRP ECO product line to focus primarily on improving efficiency. The whole propulsor is pressure lubricated to lower mechanical losses compared with the commonly used oil bath lubrication technology. To ensure reliability, our comprehensive factory tests verify system functionality.

Only the best is good enough for us. We do not make any compromises when it comes to reliability. As we are determined to create even more efficient propulsion systems for the market, we concentrate on optimizing the shape of underwater parts to minimize flow resistance and take greater advantages of the contra-rotating propellers. In our optimization studies, we use model tests and CFD calculations.

Another big development area is our Steerprop LM unit, which uses an integrated permanent magnet (PM) motor that offers much better efficiency compared to a traditional induction electric motor. Moreover, by replacing our upper gear with an LM motor, we get more room in the ship for other components and can also avoid upper gear excitations in the ship hull, which is especially important for cruise vessels. Currently, we are working in close cooperation with our partners to make LM units possible also for larger units.

Steerprop W-series propulsion unit with an integrated permanent magnet (PM) motor.

Teamwork all the way

Creating and executing a strong product vision is not a one-person process or project. Numerous internal and external factors are guiding this process. To succeed, it is important to be surrounded by visionaries and brilliant individuals.

Steerprop’s R&D department has highly motivated in-house experts from many different fields – along with external specialists – working closely together to produce outstanding propulsors. They do their best every day – bringing skills from mechanical design and analyzing, hydraulics, hydrodynamics, materials, and sealing systems to create superior products for our customers.

In this way, we can fulfill our customers’ demands for more efficient and more reliable propulsion systems with the best lifecycle costs on the market.

Jari Vanhatalo

About the author:

Jari Vanhatalo works as R&D Design Team Manager at Steerprop. He has specialized in mechanical analysis while working in various positions on Steerprop design team.

Today as R&D Design Team Manager, he works closely on developing more efficient propulsion system with the best lifecycle cost for the Maritime industry.  Since joining the company, his passion has been to design the most reliable propulsion solution for every customer.

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Open Position – Foreman

We are looking for reinforcement to join our Steerprop team in Rauma, Finland:

FOREMAN FOR ASSEMBLY AND TESTING

As a foreman, you will supervise our skilled assembly team in their daily operations, keeping our production unit organized and on schedule.

Assuring the quality and safety of our production is one of your main responsibilities. Previous experience in the engineering industry and from supervisory positions will help you succeed in your job.

This position requires:

  • A determined touch in your job with good communication skills
  • Experience in the engineering industry
  • Basic computer skills, with experience of production management programs being an advantage
  • The ability to read drawings and good technical knowledge
  • A good command of writing and speaking in English

For more information, please contact our Production Manager Jukka Mäkilä, jukka.makila@steerprop.com / Tel. +358 40 730 1900. The best times to contact him are: April 16, 2020 from 10–11 am and April 20–22, 2020 from 12–13 pm.

Please send your application latest by April 30, 2020, with your salary request and curriculum vitae, by email for confidential review to steerprop@steerprop.com.

Steerprop’s response to COVID-19

At Steerprop, the well-being and safety of our customers, partners and employees are of our highest concerns.

Due the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Steerprop has encouraged its employees to work remotely, avoiding travel and face-to-face meetings. Our production unit is running with fewer personnel to secure that our deliveries run as smoothly as possible.

Spare part sales and deliveries will take place as usual. Emergency spares will be sent out during the same day, but non-urgent deliveries may take some additional time due to the situation.

If this situation extends, it may be difficult for us to receive parts from our suppliers, causing delays in our outbound deliveries.

Steerprop Care data analyzing service will not be affected. Only short delays may be possible in our scheduled reporting process. Our Steerprop Service 24/7 number can be reached at all times.

During this unusual time, we are fully committed to providing you with the best customer care and service possible. All of our team members can be reached by phone or email and are happy to answer your questions.

Open positions in design team

We are looking for reinforcement to join our Steerprop team in Rauma:

CHIEF DESIGN ENGINEERS

You are a Mechanical Engineer or M.Sc., a confident user of 3D design software and know the basics of material strength calculations.

You have at least three years of experience in machine and equipment design and are willing to work with the mechanical development of demanding and versatile products. You will be involved in the development of new products, as well as designing project-specific applications.

You have good social skills and are a persistent and focused planning professional. You can effectively manage technical functionality and can work under tight schedules and changing conditions.

Strong written and spoken English is necessary, and other languages are an advantage.

For more information:
Jari Vanhatalo, tel. +358 44 7501116. Contacts from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Please send your application with your salary request and curriculum vitae, by email for confidential review to steerprop@steerprop.com.

 


DESIGN ENGINEER

You are a Mechanical Engineer or M.Sc. and a confident user of 3D design software. You have experience in machine and equipment design and are willing to work with the mechanical development of demanding and multifaceted products. Basic knowledge of hydraulics and machine dynamics is an advantage.

As a member of an experienced development team, you get to take part in new product development and designing project-specific applications. The position gives an opportunity to become a top professional in the field.

Strong written and spoken English is necessary, and other languages are an advantage.


For more information:
Jari Vanhatalo, tel. +358 44 7501116. Contacts from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Please send your application with your salary request and curriculum vitae, by email for confidential review to steerprop@steerprop.com.

The propulsor as a noise source

On seagoing vessels, propulsor systems cause two types of noise. There’s the noise you hear onboard the ship, called onboard noise. And then there’s the kind you hear underwater, also known as underwater radiated noise (URN).

Although the former has been of concern for some time, the latter is gaining in importance. What’s being done? Well, as you’ll see, we’re designing systems and conducting research to reduce both onboard noise and URN.

A whale of a problem

Ultimately, the requirements for noise reduction hinge on the type of shipping being done. While onboard noise tends to disturb passengers on passenger ships, URN is much more harmful to delicate underwater ecosystems. Take, for example, the Arctic or the Antarctic, sensitive areas where URN might affect seagoing creatures and habitats.

In the areas surrounding the Port of Vancouver, officials implemented reduced harbor fees for ships that met certain URN criteria, due to the sensitivity of the local native whale and mammal populations.

Around the world, fishing vessels are concerned with URN causing evasive behavior of fish, and research vessels often cite this noise as degrading the quality of underwater signal measurements.

Classification societies, such as DNV-GL, have also started implementing noise limits. Currently, not many vessels are URN classified, but that’s expected to change in the near future.

Noise Illustration 1
Figure 1: Example distribution of sound pressure level near a CRP ECO unit.

What causes the noise?

To meet demand for new or modified URN classified vessels, designers and shipyards should give due attention to all major noise sources on board.

On the propulsion side, they should concentrate on mitigating the two primary sources of propulsor noise. That means designing propellers and drive trains to be more silent. Propellers cause noise through water cavitation, and drive trains make noise with mechanical power transmissions and gears.

 

At Steerprop, we’re addressing both problems. Our CRP solution limits propeller noise by having two separate propellers, each with a lower loading, which helps prevent cavitation and lowers both onboard noise and URN.

We’ve also worked to reduce drive train noise with our special LM unit. Integrated with a permanent magnet (PM) motor, the LM unit removes the upper gear, replacing it with a more silent electric motor.

Noise Illustration 2
Figure 2: Example distribution of sound pressure level on the structure interface of a CRP ECO unit.

Studies for deeper insight

We also continue to seek new ways of understanding and reducing noise through joint research projects. We have been collaborating with Finland-based ATA Gears to study the impact of various geometries and components on noise. Using FEM calculations, we’ve studied noise excitation and noise transmission mechanisms in our Z, L and M units.  

For a RoPax ferry and an expedition cruise vessel, we have made both structure-borne noise and URN measurements. The latter were made together with Luode Oy, which specializes in underwater measurements.

While we’ve made some strides, many issues with onboard noise and URN are still difficult to predict since there aren’t public databases on the issue, especially for URN. For example, navies around the world hold URN data dear since they can use the URN to determine a vessel’s signature and figure out what type of vessel is in the water.

Regardless, we’re intent on conducting ongoing research and doing what we can to improve our solutions. That includes researching absolute noise levels, as well as gathering data and determining methods to help design and engineer quieter and quieter vessels.

We’re proud to be carrying out measurements with reliable partners and doing what we can to address the needs of customers and the environment.

Kari Kyyrö

About the author:

Kari Kyyrö, Consulting Naval Architect. With 25 years working at a shipyard and 4 years working for Steerprop, Kari has accumulated vast experience in the various facets of designing ship hydrodynamics. One area in particular that interests him is how to reduce the amount of noise that ships produce, creating more comfort and sustainability with shipping.

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In shipping, it’s not easy being green

In a competitive international shipping industry, it’s not easy to balance environmental concerns with business demands.

But the world is changing, and something needs to be done. After all, 97% of all research shows that climate change is caused by humans and is harmful to the earth and everyone on it. And shipowners should also be willing to change their ways. If not, there are new regulations and prohibitive fee structures in place to encourage them to do so.

Sure, there’s a lot of talk in boardrooms about the issue of climate change and what to do about it. But business is business.

When capital is tight, shipowners and financiers tailor investment strategies to address short-term budgetary constraints. Too often, they are not in thinking of the environmental benefits of making a wise large capital investment that will pay out considerable operational savings down the road.

A shipowner, for example, might consider investing in a new ship – or upgrading an existing vessel – with an energy-efficient hybrid or electric propulsion system based on a permanent magnet (PM) machine that not only delivers long-term cost savings but also helps the environment. But these high-end components are often the first to be axed if a company is looking to keep costs in line in the near term.

At Steerprop, we think this needs to change. Therefore, we encourage the industry to take a more long-term view. It might cost more up front to invest in new technologies. However, the future savings from increased efficiency coupled with more eco-friendly operations can quickly lead to a sizeable return on investment. Upgrading to newer technologies means making a difference in the short run, while also future-proofing your vessels for the long term.

At Steerprop, we design each of our propulsor systems with unrivaled reliability, energy efficiency and low maintenance requirements – helping limit overall costs. Plus, you can reach the dock quicker, because azimuth propulsors allow excellent maneuverability.

Moreover, integrating our propulsors with the latest PM machines reduces the system footprint and makes it easier to install them into the vessel. Together, these technologies lower energy consumption and deliver more added value over the vessel’s lifetime. What’s more, each of our propulsor units features a Steerprop Care condition monitoring system. This tool provides predictive maintenance oversight that enables service scheduling at future port stops to help eliminate the need for emergency repairs on the high seas. As a result, we can help maintain service intervals that are significantly longer than any other system supplier on the market.

These are just the latest capabilities of a company that has proven dedication, experience and expertise. Since 2000, we have supplied over 800 propulsors to cruise, arctic, passenger, workboat and offshore vessels, as well as outfitted more than 85 ice-class units and made deliveries to 8 icebreakers. Now, with solutions such as Steerprop propulsors integrated with PM machines, we’ve begun a green revolution in the maritime industry. Our aim is not just to save fuel and improve operational performance – but also to shape the future of the world’s environment.

Mika_Koli_web

About the author:

Mika Koli heads up the Sales and Marketing for Steerprop. Since joining the company in March 2018, his vision has been to drive a lasting change for the world by enabling vessels to operate in an environmentally sustainable and future-proof way.

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Industry expert appointed to drive Steerprop strategic ambition

Steerprop’s Board of Directors has appointed Riku-Pekka Hägg as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. Hägg will begin in his new role at the start of January 2020.

As former Vice President of Ship Design at Wärtsilä, Hägg brings decades of maritime technology know-how, digital and strategic experience to Steerprop. This appointment will help strengthen the company’s strategic ambitions to take advantage of the upcoming changes in the marine industry.

“Steerprop shares my passions and values to ensure efficient and sustainable shipping in the future. Together with Steerprop’s skilled personnel, we have the possibility to make great things to happen for the company, the industry and the environment.” says Hägg.

Hägg is a well-known maritime technology strategist and thought leader internationally. He has been a strong advocate for safe, efficient and sustainable shipping in his role at Wärtsilä as well as in his role as Chairman of the Management Board at the ONE SEA alliance, an organization that is leading the way toward an autonomous maritime ecosystem by 2025.

Hannu Heino, Chairman of Steerprop’s Board of Directors, describes Hägg to be an experienced business leader and strategist with strong experience in numerous leading positions. With his experience and technical background, the company can achieve a stronger position as a solution provider in the fast-changing maritime industry.

Riku-Pekka Hägg_crop

“I’m very much looking forward to being part of one of the leading azimuth propulsion companies in the world. My main focus will be to bring greater value to Steerprop’s partners, suppliers and customers,” adds Hägg.

 

For more information:

Mrs. Johanna Innola
Marketing Communications Planner
Mobile: +358 44 750 1125
johanna.innola(a)steerprop.com

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