As a statement of excellent technical service, engineers at Oceanvision, Asia Pacific's leading ROV, survey and support company, have breathed new life into a Panther Plus by totally rebuilding the vehicle, down to the last nut and bolt.
Oceanvision's managing director Ian Johnson says the skills learnt have made Oceanvision a better service company and distributor. 'Stripping, rebuilding and upgrading the ROV from the inside out has given our engineers the opportunity to extend their knowledge and technical competence concerning every aspect of Saab Seaeye vehicles.'
The project came about when Oceanvision's customer, Fugro in Singapore, wanted a 'life extension' of their Saab Seaeye Panther Plus 909, battered from years of rugged use. A team from Oceanvision, Fugro and Saab Seaeye worked together to develop the rebuild programme. Saab Seaeye's Nik Pyle flew to Singapore to help in the evaluation of the project, during which time it was decided that as the electronics were still in good condition, it was more economical to refurbish the Panther Plus rather than replace it with a completely new vehicle.
The technical skills required for such an operation are exceptional. Not only did Oceanvision engineers have to rebuild the ROV, but they significantly upgraded the vehicle with the addition of fibre-optics that included new cameras and sensors. They also stripped and rebuilt the manipulators, the control cabin, the winch, the slip-ring and serviced all of the thrusters.
During this time they moved the fibre optics into the ROV from the TMS. This made it possible to increase the number of cameras to five, with four direct video signals running continuously. Additional communication paths also allow equipment such as pipe trackers and other sensors to be added.
During the winch refurbishment they were also able to fit a longer main lift umbilical which means the ROV can now reach greater depths.
Overall, Ian Johnson sees the outcome of the project as offering a skill base of ROV engineering service unrivalled in the Asia Pacific area, with a knowledge base relevant not only to the Panther Plus, but to other Saab Seaeye work and survey vehicles.
Oceanvision already has extensive technical experience and capability in ROV survey, support and rental to the oil and gas industry across the growing Asia Pacific market, and is Saab Seaeye's exclusive full service distributor for the region.