Forum sets pod quality standard

18 Jun 2004

At the recent Posidonia shipping exhibition in Greece members of the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) led Pod Quality Forum, which comprises ABB (Azipod), Rolls-Royce AB (Mermaid) and Siemens/Schottel (SSP), signed the first version of the Common Quality Instructions for pods.
The three major suppliers of podded propulsion technology have been working together for more than a year to harmonise and improve the Quality Instructions and the signing is seen as proof of this sector of the industry?s willingness to share its collective experience for the benefit of its customers.
Around 150 pod propulsion systems with an available power range of 0.5-25 MW per propulsion unit have been supplied to a variety of vessels, including cruise ships, ferries, supply vessels and ice breakers, during the past few years. The pods offer flexibility in the arrangement of machinery installations, requiring relatively little space, and provide excellent vessel maneuverability.
This relatively new technology is said to have accounted for just 0.2 per cent unscheduled operational downtime, though the Pod Quality Forum aims to even further improve pod quality and operational reliability. The agreed common quality instructions are a major factor in achieving this.
Tor Svensen, Chief Operating Officer Maritime for DNV, which acted as secretary to facilitate the work, said: "Our role is to initiate and facilitate processes within the industry to ensure conformity among the suppliers of pod propulsion systems regarding pod quality. That a common internal quality standard has been established proves that the pod industry has attained an even more professional level." He adds: "The instructions are general and apply to generic pod units. As a consequence, the technical differences between the manufacturers? systems will remain."
The quality instructions have been divided into three relevant phases: Production; Post-production (including transport to yards and installation); and operational phase.
The new instructions are additional to that normally required by the classification societies and will be implemented as an "industry standard" by each of the pod manufacturers involved.

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