Best Motion Controls Supplier – Humphree
Our old friends at Sweden-based Humphree crop up on a very significant proportion of the vessels we review here as well as many in the leisure sector that we hear of. Every imaginable kind of patrol, pilot, rescue and assault boat as well as ferries, tour boats, OSVs and wind farm service craft are fitted with Humphree motion controls. The manufacturer’s good reputation is now global and we continue to hear of how much its products improve the ride of all kinds of vessels.
“We believe our offerings address two principal needs for workboats,” Humphree CEO Hannes Norrgren told Baird Maritime. “First, to get the job done at best possible efficiency, and secondly, to run vessels at the desired attitude and stabilisation. You spend less money on fuel and with stabilisation, you guarantee the crew conditions to get the job done in sea states where it would otherwise not be possible. That’s what’s unique with our solution; A combination of improved cost of operation and increased mission availability for planing vessels in one system.”
In 2021, the company introduced its range of fin stabilisers to the workboat market where demand is high, particularly among operators of pilot boats, ambulance boats, patrol boats, and survey vessels. Stabilisation at all speeds is seen as a growing trend and that there’s much more to come once owners see the benefits of an 80 per cent stabilisation across the speed range, where interceptors top out at 40 per cent dampening at speed.
“We have also made major ‘under the hood’ improvements, reducing the number of control units and boxes needed. We have been able to do this with more advanced sensors and the design and materials in our control units, which will allow us to automatically update firmware over the air, reducing service costs and down time.”
Norrgren added that the new system structure makes the incorporation of feature upgrades much easier. For example, if a vessel has been delivered with automatic trim and the owner later would like to upgrade to underway stabilisation, it can be done through a purchase of a software license, over the air update, and a guided on-board calibration procedure, a process that will, all-in-all, take a couple of hours, resulting in completely different vessel behaviour.
Norrgren said that 2021 was a fantastic year for Humphree as revenue growth reached close to 40 per cent year on year and that was also stronger than the previous year’s growth.
“We believe it’s due to a combination of the short-term with rising energy prices and the long-term trends where sustainability and onboard comfort are increasingly important for vessels to stay relevant to the market,” Norrgren told Baird Maritime. “As is the case with most in the manufacturing industry, we live in a world of material and capacity shortages, though we have managed those very well to date. We’re extremely proud to keep our normal lead times and deliver more than 95 per cent of our orders on time, we believe we’re among the very few who have managed that well in the times we are in.”
Norrgren believes better vessel efficiency will have a growing impact in the motion control industry.
“This is due to more and more businesses requiring a climate declaration. Whether you’re upgrading an existing fossil fuel-powered vessel or building a new hybrid vessel, the energy savings from the interceptors bring down the required installed battery size, making the overall electrification business case more attractive.”
He added that Humphree also believes in a trend where the digitalisation of everyday life will also raise expectations on ease of use, as evidenced by the dwindling number of people who take time to read instructions thoroughly.
“As units get connected, we bet on collaborating with vessel owners to develop data-driven services based on the motion control data. It really opens up for very interesting future value propositions that are not at all connected to interceptors or fin stabilisers but our ability to process motion data into key insights about vessel or fleet operations!”
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