Caterpillar Propulsion has announced that a new range of azimuth thrusters will form part of the new integrated propulsion packages intended to target the tug market.
The first models in a family of rotating units will be a 60-tonne bollard pull Cat® Propulsion Marine Thruster Azimuth (MTA) optimised for tug operations. The first installation will be delivered for a commercial trial by the end of 2015.
The MTA range has been tailored to optimise performance as part of an integrated propulsion train. The complete package for tugs includes engines, high-speed shafting, controls, and clutches. The MTA’s consoles will display and control engine and thruster functionality.
“This MTA is a key component in our concerted drive to bring the twin benefits of performance excellence and economy to the tug market,” said Jim Johnson, Caterpillar Propulsion’s general manager. “The harbour tug sector is intensely competitive, but it is also a market that will benefit in terms of bollard pull and reliability from a consolidated control-engine-thruster package where component parts are optimised to work together.”
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The new thruster development has been made with an eye on simplified installation and easy access for maintenance without compromising the conservative design principles on which Caterpillar has built its reputation. The clutch and mechanical power take-off will be contained in a single unit, while the thruster and engine assembly can also be installed as a complete unit.
“With its 60-tonne bollard pull capability, our first MTA is aimed at the volume end of the tug market, reflecting the strong share achieved by Cat marine engines in this segment,” Johnson said. “Ultimately, up to six MTA sizes will be available to cover a wide range of tugs, all of which will be supported by the Cat dealer network worldwide.”