News Archive for SMD

A New Generation of Trenching

SMD has recently delivered a Q-Trencher 400 telecoms vehicle to United Arab Emirates based company E-Marine. The vehicle is to be installed on the company’s new build CS Maram; E-Marine’s dedicated Submarine Cable Installation and Maintenance Vessel which is currently undertaking dock trials ahead of its maiden voyage later this year.

SMD has supplied E-Marine with the full trenching system, including control system and gantry style telescopic Launch and Recovery System, and has worked closely with E-Marine to integrate the bespoke gantry system into the state-of-the-art cable ship. The Q-Trencher vehicle is rated to 2500m water depth and, with high specification Curvetech thrusters, capable of operations up to 4.0knots. Read more…

CSR Announces Acquisition of SMD

Zhuzhou China South Rail Times Electric Co. (CSR Times Electric), Ltd., a subsidiary of China South Rail (CSR), today announces the completion of a £130m formal acquisition of the UK-based manufacturer of ocean engineering products, Specialist Machine Developments (SMD) Limited, the top holding company of the SMD group.

Liu Hualong, the president of CSR commented: “SMD is a global leader in its sector that brings with it deep expertise and a strong reputation for quality products. We are excited about working alongside the company to grow its operations and further unlock opportunities in the global market.”

Following the acquisition, SMD will remain independent in its business operations and the day-to-day functions will still be controlled by its original management team. A new board of directors will be set up to take charge of business strategy, investment decision-making, financial monitoring and important decisions related to government and public relations. Read more…

Horizon 2020 programme to Develop Revolutionary Underwater Mining System

As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, a new 42 month Research & Development Project, has been launched to help provide an opportunity to tap into the wealth of unexploited European mineral resources. The estimated cost of the Project is approximately 12.6 mlllion Euros.

The aim of the ¡VAMOS! (Viable Alternative Mine Operating System) project is to design and build a robotic, underwater mining prototype with associated launch and recovery equipment, which will be used to perform field tests at four EU minesites.  Three of these are inland inactive submerged mineral deposits and the other is offshore.  Building on successful deep-sea excavation techniques, this prototype will provide a safer and cleaner option for extracting currently unreachable and/or uneconomic mineral deposits. Read more…

SMD to Supply KT Submarine with QT1000

SMD are delighted to announce a contract award with KT Submarine for a QT1000 high powered cable installation and maintenance ROV.

The relationship between SMD and KT Submarine began in 1998, with the supply of a standard cable plough. This was followed by the supply of an MD3XT Plough in 2012; the latest generation 500kW jetting assisted, telecoms cable plough. Read more…

SMD Further Strengthen Sales Team

In order to further develop our business while maintaining the strong customer relationships that are key to our success, we have added two new members to our sales teams.

Ian Bryan, who qualified as a chartered engineer while working on nuclear submarines in the Royal Navy, joins our team from the Crown Estate. Ian brings with him a range of experience and expertise in renewable energy technology. In his previous role as a senior development manager Ian was heavily involved with the development of commercial scale wind farms as part of Round 3, and more recently with the Crown Estate’s test and demonstration programme for offshore wind, wave and tidal technology. Ian will be working across our Trenching, Mining and Renewables teams, supplementing and further supporting the team’s existing skillset. Read more…

SMD Announce New Shareholder

Specialist Machine Developments (SMD) Ltd (“SMD”) are pleased to announce that our shareholders have signed a sale and purchase agreement with Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric Co. Ltd a subsidiary of CSR Corporation Limited of China, for the sale of the entire share capital of the SMD group.

Andrew Hodgson, CEO of SMD, commented “Becoming part of CSR will be a key step in SMD’s development as a business and we look forward to continuing to deliver to our markets in this new and exciting phase of our history”. Read more…

SMD supply Quasar MkII ROV to Jan de Nul

Industry leader in dredging and marine construction activities Jan de Nul have confirmed an order with SMD for a Quasar MkII 150hp 3000m rated work class remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The high specification system including Tophat Tether Management System, A-Frame, Umbilical Winch and dual control system (vessel bridge and control cabin) will be delivered in the second quarter of this year.

SMD is one of the world’s leading subsea engineering companies designing and manufacturing Work Class ROVs, trenching systems, and subsea mining machines. They have a worldwide customer base operating in oil and gas, telecoms, mining, salvage, renewables, defence and scientific markets, with offices in the UK, USA, Singapore and Brazil. Read more…

SMD – Work Class ROV Systems


Building on a strong and unique legacy of over 40 years in subsea engineering, SMD entered the work class Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) market in 2004 following the acquisition of Hydrovision. Since then SMD have designed and manufactured over 125 ROV systems for the oil and gas, oceanographic, defence, salvage, telecoms, special projects and renewables markets. Read more…

Energising the Future of the Next Generation

SMD were joined a host of local businesses and education establishments at the Skills North East event held at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle last week. The two day event allowed local businesses to showcase career opportunities for young people.

SMD are keen to dispel stigma surrounding apprenticeships, and the myth that this type of qualification limits young people to low level roles, with little opportunity for career progression. Read more…

Ultimate Trenching Spread Delivers

Long-standing SMD customer DeepOcean, have now received delivery of their 1000hp QTrencher (QT) 1000 and successfully completed a number of projects. The recently upgraded T-3200 heavy duty trenching tractor is set to sit alongside the industry‐leading free flying, jet trenching ROV on DeepOcean’s Havila Phoenix vessel. Read more…

SMD Release Advanced ROV Training Simulator

SMD are delighted to announce the release of the new advanced ROV Training Simulator. SMD’s R&D department have been working together with technology partner TreeC to develop a new dynamic and intuitive simulator which addresses current training market needs and requirements, with a particular focus on operator/pilot training and mission planning and rehearsal. Read more…

Versatility of a Modern Work Class ROV

Work Class ROV models have historically been configured to satisfy requirements for distinct market sectors.  Smaller units were aimed at Drill Support, medium sized units at IRM (Inspection Repair and Maintenance) and Survey, whereas large units were intended for Heavy Construction.  These distinctions were mainly driven by contractors who were purchasing equipment to fulfill their particular corner of the market.  Read more…

QT1400 Over 100km Trenched

Fugro Salt Subsea took delivery of the 40t tonne QTrencher 1400 pipeline and Flexible product trenching ROV in summer 2012. The vehicle has since trenched over 100km of subsea Products (cables umbilicals, flexible pipelines), achieved trench depths from 400mm to 1800mm and speeds of up to 800m/hr. SMD talked to Fugro to find out a little more about the vehicle and its track record… Read more…

Soil Machine Dynamics selects IFS Applications to integrate business processes and improve project management

IFS, the global enterprise applications company, today announced that Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) has chosen IFS Applications as its new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. With IFS Applications, SMD will integrate the project-centric business’s processes across a number of locations, delivering benefits including improved operational efficiency and better project management. The contract represents a substantial investment by SMD and is the single largest IT project in the company’s history.

Founded in 1971, SMD provides the world’s largest range of subsea remotely operated vehicle systems (ROVs) from work-class to more specialist vehicles such as trenching and cable burial, which are used when, for example, organisations need to lay and protect telecoms cables under the sea. The company’s specialist equipment is also used in subsea mining, marine renewable energy and nuclear decommissioning sectors.

Richard Lowery, Finance Director at SMD, said: “SMD currently has a number of disparate IT systems, used for managing different aspects of the business. As the business has grown significantly over the past few years, we realised the need for an integrated end-to-end IT solution that would provide a platform to support growth and improve efficiency across the entire company.”

IFS Applications 7.5 will be used to handle the design, engineering and manufacturing of SMD’s systems, and the management of the projects for a wide range of customers. As part of the contract, SMD will also receive Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) functionality via IFS Applications, ensuring that the company can keep track of each system – from its initial design to its assembly and use in the field.

According to Richard, SMD selected IFS for a number of reasons, including the company’s track record in the industry and its proven ability to deploy its ERP application seamlessly and on time. “Most importantly,” said Richard, “the solution offered by IFS closely matched our requirements – better than other options we considered. IFS Applications allows our business to be more agile and adaptable: better able to meet our constantly changing operational needs, and our evolving business needs. At the same time, it helps us to retain the high quality of customer service that has led us to be the number one independent designer of ROVs.”

Paul Massey, Managing Director, IFS Europe West, said: “IFS Applications enables businesses to be more agile. Its project-centric functionality in particular offers companies like SMD the ability to manage a project, such as ROV design, production, maintenance, operation and decommission, from beginning to end, and in the context of the entire business operation. We look forward to helping SMD exploit the potential of our ERP application and stay at the forefront of its industry by, among other things, increasing the efficiency of its business operations, improving visibility of data across the business, and enhancing its customer service levels.”

Source: SMD

SMD to supply Hallin Marine with more Quantum XP WROVs

SMD is pleased to announce a contract for supply of two Quantum XP construction class ROV systems to Hallin Marine. The two high specification systems include Quantum XP 200hp ROVs, Tophat TMSs and built in control consoles. Hallin have also ordered two SMD 12te Telescopic launch and recovery systems (LARS).

Read more…

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