Fooling the client into believing that a brand new nozzle was sent back by mistake, is the greatest possible compliment Damen Marine Components (DMC) can get for its nozzle refurbishment specialism. “Once we’re finished, it basically is what it looks like indeed: a new rudder propeller nozzle”, DMC production coordinator Dik Verhoef said.
Total overhaul of used DMC-built azimuth rudder propeller nozzles is a growing business with a new annual record of 25 orders set by late September 2013 already. Nearly all of them involved assignment from Schottel GmbH to whom they had originally once been delivered brand-new. The nozzles are collected and returned in an almost weekly truck service between the Schottel main plants in Spay (on the Rhine) or Wismar, Germany and DMC Gdansk, Poland (DMCG).
“Refurbishing a basically worn-out nozzle is a minimum eight-stage operation”, Dik Verhoef added. “If repair is required too, a single nozzle may take a few weeks.” Judging from the astonishing photos enclosed, this is no surprise.
The work includes:
- Damage inspection
- Measuring (and adjustment) of mounting plate alignment
- Non destructive testing of major connection points
- Search for leaks
- Replacing anodes
- Final shotblasting and 3-layer painting.
The nozzle service has gradually been growing over the years, leading up to the new whole-year record of 25 makeovers set in September already. Verhoef: “If a rudder propeller unit is repaired on location abroad, we’ll pick-up and redeliver the nozzle there.”