AWARDS 2020 | Best Propeller Supplier – VEEM
Best Propeller Supplier – VEEM
West Australia-based VEEM has been supplying Australia’s and, more recently, the world’s maritime industry with propellers, propulsion and stabilisation systems since 1968. Now an ASX-listed public company, VEEM has 180 staff plus independent distributors in many parts of North America and Europe.
As with so much of Australia’s maritime industry, VEEM grew out of the fishing sector, especially the rapidly evolving lobster industry of the seventies and eighties with its constant need for better propellers for better performance. The fishing sector evolved into fast ferries, patrol boats, navy and offshore support vessels along with super yachts. All needed improved propellers to achieve their designed performance. VEEM more than kept up with those desires.
The company now designs and manufactures high quality propellers, propulsion and stabilisation systems for all manner of vessels. As regular readers of these pages well know, VEEM products feature on many of the vessels we review in many parts of the world. VEEM never stands still and constantly improves its products in line with its vessel owner customer’s requirements.
“We manufacture the most accurate propellers available in the market,” VEEM told Baird Maritime. “They are fully CNC machined over every surface making them truly unique, outperforming competitors in every output: speed, vibration, smoothness and noise – making them a favourite amongst boat owners, boat builders and propeller shops all over the world. People who demand the best recognise the high-level of performance that is achievable, time and time again, through our manufacturing and engineering excellence that has been leading the industry for decades.”
VEEM added that it is one of the few manufacturers in the world that use pattern-less propeller castings to design precise, custom propellers to exact specifications every time. The result is that there are no compromises in the propeller design because of existing pattern limitations, which is case with most propellers. This then not only maximises performance output specific to vessel requirements, but being fully CNC machined over the entire propeller surface, including the boss, it is possible to create absolutely identical propellers for entire fleets with no inefficiencies and imperfections.
“Side to side, boat to boat, year to year,” claimed VEEM, “customers’ propellers will be identical within microns!”
The company’s propellers are also 100 per cent CNC machined to “hair thickness accuracy” over every square inch of the propeller, including the boss and high BAR overlapping blade propellers. This production accuracy eliminates imperfections that can cause vibration, noise and cavitation.
“A 100 per cent, five-axis CNC machining coupled with pattern-less moulding virtually eliminates human error from the entire manufacturing process, guaranteeing high-strength propellers that can withstand anything a commercial application can throw at them.”
VEEM added that it also operates one of the largest non-ferrous foundries in the southern hemisphere (castings up to 15 tonnes) and undertakes all metal alloying in-house. This guarantees the highest quality materials are used in manufacturing, creating stronger and better performing propellers every time.
VEEM spent 2020 introducing improvements in its propellers, a move which is in line with the company’s desire to continually push the boundaries of performance and innovation.
“The VEEMSuperyacht series of propellers has recently been upgraded to include Interceptor technology as standard for certain, high-speed applications,” the company told Baird Maritime. “This enables superyacht owners to change the effective pitch of their propellers whilst the vessel is still in the water, without changing the geometric qualities of the actual propeller.
“Surface piercing propellers that have been design enhanced using CFD to enable speeds up to 60 knots have also been manufactured and are currently being evaluated in the market.”
VEEM said that it is also currently undertaking sea trials to enhance the efficiency of its propulsion system solutions (including shaft lines) to further optimise performance and speed on high-speed applications. These trials are being conducted in Western Australia.
The company claimed that 2020 was a “very strong” year for doing business.
“Our entire marine division has experienced higher sales volumes, particularly with regards to our gyrostabiliser range and propeller range. With traveling restrictions in place across most of the world, it appears that luxury boat owners and operators are using their vessels more (as to escape mainland crowds) and any comfort enhancement, such as smoother propellers and stabilisation systems, are suddenly becoming non-negotiables.
“Conversely, we have also seen a strong spike in the retrofit market on account of owners seeing travel restrictions as an opportunity bring upgrade projects forward.”
VEEM said that down-time in commercial applications in 2020 needed to be eliminated as much as possible, to be able to continue consistent operations and maximise outputs.
“This has meant that operators are looking at technology and innovation that can improve and extend the envelope of their vessels. This has included stabilisation solutions, but also the investment in high-quality propellers and other equipment that should support further industry growth over 2021.”
VEEM commented that the growth in the industry that it has been anticipating has already begun to take shape, as evidenced by the increasing demand for significantly improved propellers.
“Now that manufacturing technology has advanced,” the company told Baird Maritime, “smoother, more efficient, stronger propellers are more accessible to the market. Boat owners and operators will demand nothing less than the best to maximise the performance of their vessel at all times.”
VEEM further said that the recent spate of travel restrictions have led to the industry’s adoption of new technology in doing business. Among other things, the company innovated its entire support network around the world to account for the lack of technician availability, and this resulted in the development of the VEEM Avatar virtual servicing solution that can turn any technician into a VEEM technician.
“This kind of technology breaks down geographic locations. Consequently, the industry will most likely discover new products and solutions from all corners of the globe that were previously restricted by geographic location.