The first azimuth thruster for icebreakers was developed in the 1960s. This innovative technology allowed for the creation of more efficient icebreaking vessels capable of moving more agilely through ice.
An azimuth thruster can rotate 360 degrees, allowing the ship to move in any direction without having to turn its hull.
Thanks to their flexible and agile maneuvering capabilities, azimuth thrusters have become a crucial technology for icebreaking ships and have been successfully used in numerous rescue and exploration missions in Arctic environments.
Azimuth thrusters consist of an electric motor that drives a propeller or rotor mounted on a swiveling shaft. This shaft can be rotated in any direction, allowing the ship to move forward, backward, and laterally without having to turn the entire vessel. They are also equipped with a control system that allows for adjusting the speed and direction of the ship’s movement.
Icebreaking ships often use multiple azimuth thrusters to increase their maneuverability and ability to move through icy waters. Additionally, azimuth thrusters are also used on other ships, such as tugs, transport vessels, and container ships, that require good maneuverability in confined waters or with obstacles.
The flange facing of an azimuth thruster of an icebreaker is a mechanical machining process that involves eliminating imperfections or deformations present on the surface of the flange, in order to ensure dimensional accuracy and perfect functionality.
The machining is performed using special portable machines, such as a lathe or a milling machine. The flange is fixed on a work support and subjected to several processing passes, using the processing tools to remove material from the surface of the flange until the desired dimensions are reached.
Machining the flange of an azimuth thruster is an important process to ensure that the thruster operates correctly and is able to transmit torque and thrust from the thruster to the ship, as well as maintaining the alignment of the thruster with the hull. Technical Maintenance Service (TMS) is the Business Unit of VED Srl specialized in performing this type of in-situ processing.
The Technical Maintenance Service (TMS) has successfully carried out several on site machining operations on the flanges of an azimuth thruster of an icebreaker, using laser precision equipment for measurements. Thanks to this accurate and meticulous approach, TMS was able to achieve, for example, a perfect drilling of the collar joint, thus ensuring perfect operation upon its assembly.
It was important that TMS followed correct procedures and used precision equipment because the flange is a fundamental component of the thruster system. The flange is responsible for transmitting torque and thrust from the thruster to the ship and for maintaining the alignment of the thruster with the hull.
Thanks to the use of precision equipment and the following of adequate procedures, TMS was able to guarantee that the flange processing was accurate and met the required specifications. This is crucial for the correct operation of the thruster system and for the safety and reliability of the icebreaker.
The laser tracker is a measurement instrument used in many mechanical applications, particularly in maintenance. Its use allows for precise and rapid dimensional checks on medium to large-sized components and assembled parts, both in the factory and directly at customer sites.
In the field of mechanical maintenance, the laser tracker can be used to verify that components conform to nominal specifications, to measure the wear or deformation of components subject to stress or high loads, or to perform component or system testing before their use.
Moreover, the laser tracker can be used to calibrate measuring equipment or to verify the alignment of components or systems during maintenance or repair.
The laser tracker is a versatile and precise measuring instrument that can be used in many mechanical maintenance situations to ensure the quality and safety of components and systems.