Advancements in the remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) industry are steadily growing, creating many new applications for Inspection Class ROVs. Inspection Class ROVs are the smallest, most portable class of ROVs and are easy to deploy. They operate on less than 10 horsepower, and use compact thruster motors that attach directly to the propeller for positioning and navigation.
Current and emerging Inspection Class ROV applications include: search and rescue, maritime security, military, hydro industry, offshore oil rig inspection, and science and research. These applications require a low profile design with the capabilities of operating reliably in water and occasionally oil. To meet these demands, BEI Kimco has developed several new Brushless DC Motors that not only meet ROV Inspection Class requirements, but also provide high efficiency and low acoustical noise design configurations. BEI Kimco's customizable motors for this unique market segment feature compact design, low horsepower, both housed and frameless mounting mechanical configurations, voltage options, and can include the added benefits of low noise, which is critical to certain ROV applications.
"BEI Kimco has developed motors within the 10 horsepower range that the ROV Inspection Class needs," explains Walter Smith, Applications Engineer/Project Manager for BEI Kimco. "We have been collaborating with leading OEMs on designs that offer significant improvements on the motor functionality offered by other motor manufacturers." BEI Kimco is also able to provide higher motor efficiencies - ranging from a 10% to 30% improvement - compared to what customers have previously experienced. Higher efficiency motors translate into capabilities for supporting continuous duty cycles and extending battery life for remote applications. BEI Kimco's high efficiency motor performance has been achieved by using proprietary low magnetic circuit design techniques, leading edge manufacturing process technologies and expertise in material selection. "We recently produced an array of solutions from one base motor model for a large thruster manufacturer in the ROV market," adds Smith. "With these recent successes, we fully expect to make major in-roads in this fast-growing area."