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ROV manufacturer SMD to open Houston facility

Posted on 21.06.2010 - 12:00 UTC in GENERAL NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

ROV manufacturer SMD to open Houston facilitySMD are pleased to announce that to better support customers in the Americas, they have made the commitment to opening a facility in Houston, Texas. Customers will be able to get help, spares, training and support for their existing equipment. Clients will have access to thrusters, power packs, control systems and other sub-assemblies, enabling them to upgrade or develop their own subsea equipment. By using proven parts, clients can focus resources on their own unique talents without the need to ‘reinvent the wheel'. Complete SMD vehicle systems will be available, the first Atom ROV will be arriving towards the end of the year.


Ian Griffiths has been recruited as General Manager to set up SMD's operation in Houston. Ian has had a long career in the offshore oil and gas industry spanning 18 years in operations and business development. Prior to joining SMD Ian was with Trelleborg Offshore and has been based in Houston since 2005.

SMD has also retained the services of the respected ROV industry specialist, Norm Robertson, to act as consultant in developing their strategy for their Americas operations.

SMD are headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, where they have nearly 200 hundred people engaged in designing, building and supporting a wide range of remotely operated vehicle systems. The past 4 years has seen a remarkable growth path for SMD. In that time they have delivered over 60 work class ROV systems and a range of very high powered trenching vehicles up to 3200hp. Their customers include Subsea 7, Hallin Marine, and CTC Marine Projects, a subsidiary of Trico.

smd_houstonAlthough subsea oil and gas is their largest market they also have a number of interesting developments in other areas. These include building the first commercial machines for mining seafloor massive sulphides at water depths of 1600msw on challenging topography off Papua New Guinea. The machines will locate, excavate and pump the minerals to the surface where the valuable slurry will then be sorted for high grade copper, zinc, gold and silver. Another is the manufacture of the world's largest tidal turbine which will go for testing later this summer in Scottish waters.

SMD's hugely popular Quantum construction-class and Quasar work-class ROVs will have a new addition in 2010. The ultra-compact Atom is an hydraulic ROV specifically targeted at new entrants to the underwater intervention market or established contractors looking to extend the capabilities of their existing fleet. The Atom still has the same power and manipulator suite expected of a work class vehicle, but its physical size, practical construction and operational flexibility means that it has one of the lowest lifetime cost of ownership. In addition to being compatible with existing launch and recovery (LAR) deck equipment, it can also be supplied with a rough weather LAR option. This means that not only can owners of an Atom compete for the same work using a smaller and less costly vessel, they can operate in challenging weather for longer.

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