As Demand for Energy Goes Up, Regal Rexnord Marine Solutions Team Here To Help

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Richard Mayberry started his career as an engineer for Wichita™ Clutch in Wichita Falls, Texas, creating custom heavy-duty brake solutions. Over the course of his career, he personally oversaw the creation of many new technologies and services, such as the air-cooled AquaMaKKs SSB brakes to robust in-house testing and field service programs.

Today, however, Mayberry thinks about a lot more than just brakes.

He is now a Senior Engineer for the Regal Rexnord® Marine Industrial Powertrain Solutions Team -- a group of industry leaders designing strategic systems to meet the toughest above- and below-deck marine challenges.

Every day, Mayberry is thinking about how to best blend together couplings, shafts, gearboxes, bearings, clutches, brakes, and IIoT from across Regal Rexnord’s 60-plus brands.

“With the tremendous horizon of products we have, there's a lot of history and legacy here,” Mayberry said. “From the Twiflex™ TLB [Turning, Locking, Braking System] to Svendborg Brakes™ ... Jaure™ and CENTA™ couplings ... We have so much to choose from. And now we can truly be a one-package solution for a marine customer.”

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisc. with more than 36,000 associates worldwide, Regal Rexnord is a global leader in the design and engineering of custom Powertrain Solutions for mission-critical marine vessels that support pipelay and cables, construction and dive support, floating production, and more.

As global demand for oil increases, offshore OEMs working in renewable wind, oil, LNG, shale and other markets can harness the simplicity, reliability, and innovation of ONE Regal Rexnord.

Below deck challenge? Regal Rexnord takes ‘full responsibility for the complete driveshaft’

Decades of engineering and innovation excellence enables Mayberry to partner with his colleagues across the globe to provide the most reliable and strategic solutions possible for customers.

For example, Falk is already incorporating Wichita Clutch into its popular Marine Reduction Gear system.

“Falk MRH series Marine Reduction Gears have incorporated Wichita Clutch clutches and brakes and CENTA elastomeric couplings as default system components with exemplary performance,” Falk’s Don Willis said.

Regal Rexnord is a leading supplier of torsional stiff and flexible couplings, which are combined with steel or carbon fiber shafting to meet the specific needs of a vessel. When creating a total drive package for the user, Jaure and CENTA engineers work together with colleagues to integrate the most appropriate braking systems, bearings, and bulkhead seals into couplings packages.

“Our engineers design customized solutions to reduce complexity of intermediate shafting in between the main engine and gearbox,” Jaure’s Ana Arrizabalaga said. “As a company, we take full responsibility for the complete driveshaft."

Whether they are sold as single components or part of a larger drivetrain package, Regal Rexnord components are highly customizable. Heavy duty brakes used in draw works, for example, are custom designed down to the size, padding, materials, and more.

“We do the entire system,” Svendborg Brakes applications engineer Tyler Calvert said. “We design the controls and the hydraulics in house. We do the design in-house. Most other brands will outsource that ... If you go to a hydraulic supplier down the road, they’re going to make some design choices that don’t make sense for a brake system.”

Credit: Regal Rexnord Corporation

Whether it’s a high-torque propulsion drive or a low-speed propellor shaft, selecting the right coupling is paramount to a below-deck application’s success. In an effort to protect the rest of the drivetrain, CENTA offers in-house Torsional Vibration Analysis (TVA) during the design process.

Through TVA, engineers can help choose the best solution for the end user, CENTA’s Bob Lennon said.

“By specifying a Stromag™ 2-in-1 engine flywheel clutch/coupling, CENTA torsional couplings, or CENTA/Jaure intermediate drive shaft solutions, we can ensure marine drives are built to withstand torsional vibration,” Lennon said. “Understanding the properties of each component, along with the operating conditions of the system, allows us to design a trouble-free operation ... be it a traditional, alternative fuel, or hybrid system.”

Dynamic braking for cranes? Winch challenges? We’ve got your above-deck needs covered

Regal Rexnord has a full program of both torsional stiff and flexible couplings that go inside the azimuth thrusters that support the dynamic positioning of crane vessels, which are used in offshore heavy lifting.

Sometimes, the best option is to think outside the box.

A worldwide offshore heavy lifting OEM recently worked with Regal Rexnord on an end-to-end shafting solution for a crane vessel. After learning more about the unique needs of the customer, engineers designed a 3-in-1 combination of a CENTAX torsional flexible coupling, a Jaure MT gear coupling, and a Jaure JCFS carbon fiber shaft.

This solution had dynamic positioning ensured by eight underwater mountable thrusters, four of which were retractable. The OEM connected the retractable shaft to an electric motor.

Credit: Regal Rexnord Corporation

At Regal Rexnord, “engineer-to-engineer collaboration” aren’t just buzzwords.

Credit: Regal Rexnord Corporation

Winching systems, which are designed to withstand high winds and water pressure in offshore conditions, are a frequent source of engineer collaboration. In 2018, a winch OEM in the Netherlands working on building ship-to-ship towing winches tapped Twiflex to design caliper brakes.

Twiflex engineers devised a unique “parked-off” system (a maintenance condition under which no hydraulic pressure is present in the brake, and the spring pack is fully relaxed; the unit may be set, adjusted and maintained with no stored energy present). The operation repeats itself (in bad weather) several times until the ship is alongside.

Regal Rexnord creates solutions for various above-deck needs, including winches for anchors, davits, fishing, gangways, mooring, towing & positioning, abandonment, and recovery.

Designing the most strategic drivetrain is particularly important for winches, as vessels are often working to install offshore wind turbines – a growing source of renewable energy.

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As the offshore skills gap grows, tap into Regal Rexnord engineering expertise

With a growing skills gap in the industry, leaning on a Regal Rexnord engineer to service components or even troubleshoot operational issues in the field is a huge advantage.

CENTA was an early leader of Torsional Vibration Analysis. When done properly, TVA will study the complete marine propulsion system, predicting stress levels and heat loads across all connected equipment – not just couplings. CENTA offers TVA on new designs using Regal Rexnord products and existing systems in the field.

Those investing in heavy-duty brakes may take interest in Regal Rexnord’s growing portfolio of IIoT/predictive maintenance capabilities from Perceptiv. These investments can give vessel architects and shipyard owners alike peace of mind that components and drive systems are fully operational in the field.

Data collected from Svendborg Brakes’ Soft Braking System (SOBO), for example, recently predicted the necessary replacement of fading brake valves in a draw works on an Italian drill ship. Utilizing an in-house Universal Control Case (UCCase), Svendborg engineers were able to remotely monitor braking torque and pressure curves without having to be on site for service.

“Engineers are always just a phone call away,” Mayberry said. “We know and understand these applications. We've been in this business for a while.”

The benefit of working with a strategic partner like Regal Rexnord doesn’t stop at point of sale. From self-serve tools and condition monitoring upgrades to on-site testing and repair and rebuild programs, Regal Rexnord goes the extra mile – knot – for your offshore vessel.

Jump start your next marine project today by connecting with a Regal Rexnord engineering expert.

March - April 2024