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Subhuman PM me Very Happy
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !
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Thanks James and Chief, very helpful information.
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captpaul wrote:
This thread has been very informative and helpful. We've also been in the market for a mini/micro ROV and have so far looked at systems by SeaBotix, VideoRay, AC-CESS, Outland Tech, and GNOM. From a buyer's perspective (limited or no hands on, just from what we've learned from either the dealer, a happy customer, or in dealing with the companys involved)................


captpaul

Just so that the debate may continue what are you hoping to achieve with the system that you are looking to acquire?

Do you have a specific operating environment/task in mind, or are you looking for a portable system that may be adapted/upgraded to suit most situations that a mini/micro ROV might be expected to encounter?
Are you looking for something that will used on one vessel or carted around in boats, by land or air?

best regards
James Mc
James Mc
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Pardon my copy / paste, but you summarized our needs very nicely: "a portable system that may be adapted/upgraded to suit most situations that a mini/micro ROV might be expected to encounter" and "something that will be carted around in boats, by land or air". Although we haven't really considered air travel as much, but it could become a concern in the future. Max operating depth would be less than 100m and I anticipate some projects will take place in poor visibility and/or some current.
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The LBV has a small grabber, as does the AC-ROV.
Has anyone used these in anger? Anyone adapted them for other tasks such as silt sampling?
I'm also interested in doing some CP stabs with a LBV. There is a lack of conductors in the umbilical, but I think it does have aenough grunt to do a stab through various marine growth. Anyone done any CP'ing with an LBV? If so howdid they get over the lack of a spare conductor? Is there a way of using the spare RS232 channel for the CP reading?
Apologies for the number of questions.
Cheers in advance.
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Thanks Chief and James for all the info. I have a lot of work to do! I believe I might at some point need a unit that can dive as deep as 300+ meters but realistically most of the work will be 10 to 50 meters. I was contacted with in hours by AC ROV and then the following day by there nearest distributor. I have written several e-mails to SeaBotix and after my third letter I received a small note from them to call a cell phone number and talk to there sales rep! I have not got round to doing that yet and am disappointed at there response. Hope this thread keeps going as the information has been very useful for me and I assume others as well. Look forward to reading more pros and cons and perhaps the manufactures will learn more of what there prospective clients need or would like from there Vehicles. Very Happy
You can not put the same shoe on every foot.
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Subhuman wrote:
..........I was contacted with in hours by AC ROV and then the following day by there nearest distributor.


Interesting. Was this as a result of you directly approaching AC-CESS (Manufacturer of the AC-ROV) or by them seeing this thread?
One thing I will say is that the AC-ROV network is fairly well supported around the planet, especially in Portugal /Europe Wink

Subhuman wrote:

I have written several e-mails to SeaBotix and after my third letter I received a small note from them to call a cell phone number and talk to there sales rep! I have not got round to doing that yet and am disappointed at there response........

................. Sad


That's two manufacturers.
Should anyone ever try the same approach with VideoRay it might be nice to add your result to this thread.

Quality of service & customer care
No matter how good the system we, as an appointed distributor for AC-CESS, believe customer pre-sales and long term after sales support are important or the business relationship will be lost and the connection broken.
I feel that it always helps our customers when they know they can email or call someone directly in our organisation, which is the way we operate anyway.
Too often people are put off by being passed around the system each time they make an inquiry... or in the case above getting no, or little, response to an inquiry.

As another example of questionable customer care I know of a well known (USA based) manufacturer of work class ROV's that once supplied a UK based company with a new work class system. After the sale the US manufacturer was so slack/slow to respond and quick to slope shoulder warranty problems that when the company came to order more systems they simply went to a different (UK based) manufacturer.
This came as no surprise to anyone except the fist ROV supplier it seems.

With response to your findings so far....
If SeaBotix are slow to respond and at best offer a 'you call us at your expense' service then they will undoubtedly lose sales to the competition, as per my example above.


best regards
James Mc
James Mc
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www.rovworld.com

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Subhuman wrote:
I have written several e-mails to Seabotix and after my third letter I received a small note from them to call a cell phone number and talk to there sales rep! I have not got round to doing that yet and am disappointed at there response.


Subhuman,

If your unhappy with them now, imagine if you got the same treatment from thier service department after you bought something from them...

Chief
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Hello James,
Have heard several times from Callum Magee in Aberdeen and Dave Delaney at Thermacline which is located on the east coast of Canada. This was a week or so before this thread started. Very positive response from the folks at AC-CESS and there reps.
You can not put the same shoe on every foot.
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Subhuman wrote:
Hello James,
Have heard several times from Callum Magee in Aberdeen and Dave Delaney at Thermacline which is located on the east coast of Canada. This was a week or so before this thread started. Very positive response from the folks at AC-CESS and there reps.


Thanks for the positive feedback. Thumb Up

At least it appears we're doing something right.

best regards
James Mc
James Mc
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www.rovworld.com

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I never got an email Embarassed

Well in any event, we make LBL (SBL, Tracking Ranges, etc) systems used by two of the three listed.

VideoRay integrates our LBL systems into their ROV.
Seabotix has integrated our LBL system into an LBV, but only a per customer basis.
AC-CESS has yet to integrate any system. LBL wouldn't work due to the inability to fit anything; however, SBL should work. I've already figured out exactly how....just gotta convince the other side Smile


Ball Park for LBL: To be able to do shiphull inspections, seafloor inspections, and/or dock/pier positioning you need the following (at least from us/me):
4 Baseline Stations (RBS-1H)
1 Vehicle Transponder (VLT-1H)
Software (Shiphull Software and SeaFloor Software)

With everything included, I would say the ball park is about $25-30k for a FULL LBL system capable of shiphull inspections and seafloor inspections.




*Note, I can only speak for myself...not sure what the competition charges.*
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Desert_Star_Systems

I appreciate your candidness in supplying up to date information and prices. Very refreshing and good to read your input into the debate.

best regards
James Mc
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

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I have been using the VideoRay for over nine years, I statrted with their first model and have been upgrading each time they have made improvements. My clients are worldwide and include a full range of applications from Offshore Oil & Gas, Shipping, Industry, Dams, Water Tanks, Port Security, Science, Military and governments.

The VideoRay has never let me down on over 500 jobs. Even when things went wrong, I was able to get the VideoRay working with a few spare I carry or with the great factory support they provide. On one job a few years ago in the Black Sea off Turkey, the client flew his VideoRay into the Prop of a Tug Boat. Since the unit was critical to the operation of setting a jacket onto a gas well, they needed a fast fix. The VideoRay factory put a unit onto an airplane with an employee that day and the next morning delivered a replacement unit to me in Istanbul. Now that's customer service.

Over the years I have done many jobs that other systems have not been able to complete. Recently I did, what was labeled an impossible inspection of an offshore floating cell spar Rig in the GOM. The LBV had been used to attempt the internal inspection of the tubes without success. With the VideoRay it only took a few hours to do the job to the complete satisfaction of the owners and the ABS surveyor. I flew to the rig on a helo with my complete VideoRay system sitting on the seat next to me.

The primary advantage of my business is the portability of my equipment. I can fly anywhere in the world with all the gear I need to work. This rapid mobilization coupled with the reliability of the VideoRay is a super combination.

Regarding currents, depth and other issues being discussed in this thread, all I have to say is the VideoRay has always been able to get the job done. Side thrusters are a smoke screen put up by the LBV folks struggling to have something different than VideoRay. I ahve used their unit with side thrusters and they don't work well. A good VideoRay operator can inspect most structures by flying the rov straight ahead. Working in currents is something you get good at by doing it and learning proper techniques.

Last week I did a salvage survey of a sunken ship in the North Sea about 10 miles off the Dutch coast. Strong current sthat changed direction quickly, however the VideoRay was able to look at the entire 175 meter hunk from a single mooring location.

I have used the VideoRay to go down a twelve and a half inch diameter drill casing 50 meters into a flooded coal mine and then using a Tritech scanning sonar map the mine for 100 meters in each direction. I don't think anything else on the market could do that job.

From Siberia for Shell Oil at the Sakhalin LNG facility to China for Conoco Phillips and the Gulf of Mexico for BP and others the Videoay has proven itself to my clients.

Others have also had the same success with the VideoRay using it for every type of job you can image, from science in Antarctica to observing moose in North America to supporting law enforcement and port security units worldwide. When a microRov is required the VideoRay shines.

If anyone is considering the purchase of a mciroRov I would strongly suggest a head to head evaluation, in the water. This is the only way to understand how they work and how much effort is required to operate one.

ROVSteve Very Happy
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Well i have good experience with all three and the winner for me the videoray is the all round winner. Dont get me wrong the others have there strengths but if your contracts arent specific and you do all sorts of jobs with the ROV then videoray works well. Its easier to work on than the LBV plus does not break down as much as the Acrov. The Acrov has no power in open water, especially deep. The LBV has the power for deep work plus the advantage of a lteral trhuster. Mind you saying that Videoray now has a lateral thruster ad on. Anyway the list can go on and on. Choose well.
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ROVSteve,
I couldn't agree more! I have done everything from evidence/Body recoveries in this countries coldest and warmest regions (we routinely search through the ice) to inspections in South America and I have always been able to finish the job.

I do most all my own repairs because VideoRay has made it possible to do the repairs yourself. Yes there are some things that need to be sent in, but I know I have never waited over two weeks to have it returned to my door.

I recall having an issue with a sonar unit while on a search in Northern Minnesota in February (VERY COLD), and VideoRay sent me a new sonar unit over night so we could finish the search! The family of the man we were searching for was very pleased. Customer service like this is VERY hard to find! The Seabotix that was also on this search failed on day one. The agency that owned that Seabotix has since purchased a VideoRay.

I have also done jobs that I know for a fact couldn't be done with any other ROV.

Try a head to head test and you too will see.


ROVTOM

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