US-based Thrustmaster of Texas is targeting further business in China for its Z-drives and thruster systems after earning widespread references in its domestic offshore industry se...
US-based Thrustmaster of Texas is targeting further business in China for its Z-drives and thruster systems after earning widespread references in its domestic offshore industry sector serving supply vessels, crew boats, pipelaying barges, crane barges and construction vessels. Tug operators and the US Department of Defence are also regular customers of the company.
Designs are verified through finite element analysis with 3D modelling and strain gauge testing, and manufacture is carried out at Thrustmaster’s plant in Houston.
Thrustmaster is reportedly benefiting from the increasing popularity of azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs worldwide, citing references in vessels operating in the ports of Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico as well as in the USA.
In Hawaii, ASD tugs with Thrustmaster Z-drives are working at Chevron’s refinery loading terminals and in the US Navy’s Pearl Harbour, where they handle and dock nuclear aircraft carriers, submarines and battleships.
“Z-drives offer some unique advantages for ASD tugs, “ asserts Thrustmaster sales manager Bert Ault. “The drive has a low profile and the input shaft is at a very low elevation, allowing the vessel designer to place the drives higher in the hull with space for larger propeller diameters, without the need to raise the aft deck.
“Additionally, the low input shaft elevation results in lower cardan shaft angles, fostering smoother operation with less vibration. This translates into reduced noise and maintenance, and extended longevity.”