Page 42: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (November 2019)
WORKBOATS SOUTHERN TOWING COMPANY
That’s signi? cant … were questions in the industry as to the solution. In my ? rst 12 months my con- gether.” And from that point on, we have
It is signi? cant. There are still naysay- units robustness. versations with ZF were challenging to re? ned the Z-drive we presently use, and ers, but that’s what makes the world go At the time ZF acquired ownership of them. There was friction, but there was the uptime has improved to a point that ‘round. Why does someone like a Char- HRP, a Dutch manufacturer, in 2009, it also a push to work together to solve the in 2017 we had 100 percent uptime on donnay and someone like a Cabernet? had taken a thruster designed for blue problem. I think too many customers all of our ZF thrusters.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but water and brought it straight to the river. point at vendors and say, “you have to
I think we have strong, factual evidence In my belief, it’s kind of like the ? rst- solve the problem” So what were some of the physical and we believe in it enough that we’re year model of a car, not just a car but a And vendors should solve problems, manifestations of the changes that continuing to build. revolutionary car. Typically those ? rst- but sometimes vendors don’t take the were made to the thrusters?
year models – one, two or three – were care to get close enough to see it from One was how the nozzle and lower
As you know, technology only moves not as re? ned as they were later. And the customer’s point of view. And one of unit were attached to the steering tube the ball so far, so fast. Without sup- there were design criteria in a Z-drive the neatest things that ZF did was they that goes to the vessel. We worked with port, particularly when it’s a new ap- that could be improved. sent their head of R&D to Memphis for ZF to change the design and spec of the plication, even the best tech can fail. My ? rst year here, I spent a good three days to understand our application hardware.
We understand that you’ve built a amount of time looking into the issues of their product, and to see if a better That, along with some other design good relationship with ZF that covers we were having, speci? cally asking why understanding on their part of the ap- modi? cations, resulted in the connectiv- the lifecycle maintenance. were we having these failures? What plication could help them in looking at ity points strengthened so much that it
When I came to Southern people contributes to the failures? Are they hu- solutions. eliminated that issue. would ask ‘why are you going there? man in nature? Are they environmental And while they were here, we present- Another was using vibration analysis
Those Z-drives are horrible.’ I think in in nature? Are they design in nature? We ed them with a bunch of our failure anal- to detect minor changes in the propel- the early years that Southern owned the brought in an outside failure engineer, a ysis and they went back to Germany and ler from striking debris in the water,
Z-drives, they had operational reliability consulting company, to help us analyze did their homework. They came back thus catching it early and changing out issues, meaning the percentage of the the actual failures and see if we could and said, “We think you have something a propeller versus leaving it on, with the year were they up and running. There point to the causes to help us look for a on this particular area. Let’s work to- vibration causing damage.
Photos: Southern Towing Company
C’est La Vie: Every day Ed Grimm enjoys a glass of champagne to celebrate life. Why? Ed survived a pulmonary embolism, right afer a triple bypass surgery, something that only 1/10th of 1% survive. Pictured with
Ed on the left is Chris Sullivan, who represents STC’s new ownership group, CC Industries of Chicago.
ZF ... From Supplier to Teammate: Pictured above are mem- bers of the ZF Marine team that earned STC Service Award jackets, a rare accomplishment for anyone outside of company.
Pictured are: L to R: Gerald Rowe, Head of R&D ZF Marine,
Wolfgang Schmid, Head of ZF Business Unit Marine and Spe- cial Driveline, North America; Andre Koerner, Head of Product
Line Commercial and Fast Craft, ZF Marine and Reiner Viebahn – Plant Manager ZF Krimpen (commercial thruster production). 42 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • NOVEMBER 2019
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