Rotork has worked with BAE Systems to upgrade a series of A-range actuators to IQ3 actuators at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth (HMNB Portsmouth).
HMNB Portsmouth is one of three naval bases in the UK that is run by the Royal Navy. Around two-thirds of the Royal Navy’s surface ships are based there. It hosts the strategic logistic and support facilities that ensure constant availability for operational requirements, such as ship maintenance, repair, and upgrades. The docks at HMNB Portsmouth allow for these activities to be safely carried out. Electric actuators operate penstocks that allow movement of the ships from the sea to the transitional locks and dry docks.
A series of A-range actuators had reached the end of their operational life after many years of service in a challenging environment and required replacement. BAE Systems were keen to retain all the benefits of electric actuators, so IQ3 actuators were chosen. These had to be specially adapted by Rotork to overcome problems around confined spaces and difficult access. IQ3 actuators and IS gearboxes were mechanically adapted with a solution that meant that both actuator and gearbox could be manually operated without entering the confined space. Special hand auto levers and through drive mechanisms for the actuator and gearbox were designed to offer a solution to limit the need for confined space access.
By upgrading to IQ3 actuators, BAE Systems was able to use the Rotork Remote Hand Station (RHS). The existing local control panels provided limited information and feedback but by exchanging these for RHS units live positional feedback and diagnostics are available, as well as the ability to reconfigure the actuators remotely without having to enter the confined spaces that they are situated in.