The electrical and automation systems aboard a ship are synonymous for its heart, veins and arteries: without them there is no life. They include the alarm systems, all communication, control, propulsion, the entertainment, and more. Modern vessels are equipped with advanced circuits and large quantities of cabling, and chances are that Alewijnse designed, manufactured and implemented the installation. Maritime Northern Netherlands magazine interviewed Alewijnse experts Minne van der Valk en Martin Terpstra to find out more about their inspiring work.
Versatile in installations and innovation
On visiting the Alewijnse website and viewing the company’s projects, one notices the company has built up an impressive, comprehensive expertise. Alewijnse not only provided the complete electrical installation for the Poseidon and the Arizon, two Hybrid explorer yachts built at Holland Jachtbouw, but also developed the hybrid system, consisting of two diesel engines, power generation system, battery set and electric motor for zero-emission and silent propulsion. "When needed, you will have brute strength on board, whilst you will be able to sail energy efficient and environmentally friendly whenever possible," says Minne van der Valk, director of the Alewijnse business unit in Drachten.
"The environment is of course important to us, but to most it is clear that we need to take action now in this regard," adds Martin Terpstra, Manager Operations. "Perfect examples are the Windcat Crew Transports Vessels, which we equip with electrical installations at Dock & Shipbuilding Woudsend BV shipyard. A new feature here is the replacement of the conventional batteries with Lithium-Ion equivalents for their high energy density. As a result, and compared to the first generation Lithium batteries, we have achieved a weight savings of 50%, a price reduction of 10%, and a higher reliability and starting capacity."
Alewijnse is committed to cost effective procedures. "More savings on material costs are generally not feasible. However, considerable savings are yet to be had through efficient planning, excellent communication between parties, and proper procedural alignment. When your daily operations are running as smoothly as possible, and all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, then you did well," says Minne.
"That does not only apply to building a vessel; also with regards to maintenance, thorough efficiency and foresight are important and cost-effective aspects. To this purpose, we developed the Health Check Service, a proactive preventive maintenance service focused on identifying defects before these occur. Currently, this service is successfully being implemented on multiple vessels."
Tapping into new markets
Alewijnse provides total solutions for new build, maintenance and refit alike, in the maritime sector. Building on their achievements and on their extensive expertise accumulated over the years, the company is now tapping into new markets. "Of course we will continue to do what we have always done, but there is also room to extend to new markets," says Martin. Regarding the latter, Alewijnse not only focuses on the offshore industry aiming at wind farm support vessels, but also at installations in mid-range yachts that need to comply with the laws and regulations, as is customary for everything carried out by Alewijnse. Various services at government and semi-government level are being considered as well, such as the KNRM, Loodswezen (Dutch Pilotage) and the Rijksrederij (Government Shipping Company).
"Recently, we noticed that international cargo vessels increasingly require installation of a new system, due to the new legislation on ballast water," says Minne. "Because of a continuous discharge of ballast water, too many exotic plant and animal species are migrating from their original habitats to foreign waters. The still living invasive marine organisms in the discharged ballast water may then cause damage. A problem that can be prevented by a ballast water management system (BWMS). Before the ballast water is discharged, the invasive marine organisms must be neutralised and rendered harmless. This can be achieved through a special UV treatment system, an electrolysis system, or an electro-catalysis system; and we already have successfully installed a number of these systems."
At Alewijnse we aim to deliver high standards and added value for the customer. "We all contribute in our own right," says Martin. "Working together on a great project is really very inspiring."