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Ocean Business


January 2012 Issue

Bedford Buys Virginia Harbor Services Product Lines
Production equipment, tooling, trademarks and patents associated with the SeaPile, SeaTimber, SeaCamel and EcoBoard product lines previously manufactured by Virginia Harbor Services Inc. (Clearbrook, Virginia) have been sold to Bedford Technology LLC (Worthington, Minnesota).

Bedford, which announced the acquisition in November, will continue to manufacture these products at Virginia Harbor Services' leased facility in Winchester, Virginia.

The U.S. Department of Justice in 2009 charged Virginia Harbor Services, formerly known as Trelleborg Engineered Products Inc., with engaging in a conspiracy "to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers and rigging bids for contracts of foam-filled marine fenders and buoys in the United States and elsewhere." Subsidiaries of Trelleborg agreed in 2009 to plead guilty and pay $11 million in criminal fines. For more information, visit www.plasticboards.com.

CSA Introduces Environmental Response Program
CSA International Inc. (Stuart, Florida) in November announced the founding of its Scientific Tools and Equipment Pool (STEP) program.

The program is equipped and staffed to immediately respond to a wide range of emergencies in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world. CSA said personnel in the program are trained in chain-of-custody and other natural resource damage assessment methodologies.

For an annual membership fee, STEP members will have immediate access to specialized scientific equipment and personnel at pre-established rates, with staff that are ready to mobilize on a vessel of opportunity, the company said.

CSA said access to the program eliminates the need to ramp up equipment and services in an emergency situation and the purchase of response-specific equipment that may not be used again. For more information, visit www.csaintl.com.

FarSounder Chosen for Commercialization Program
FarSounder (Warwick, Rhode Island) has been chosen by the Department of Homeland Security as one of 12 U.S. companies to participate in its new Dawnbreaker Commercialization Assistance Program.

The goal of Dawnbreaker is to facilitate the quick transition of technologies into commercial products for key Department of Homeland Security-related priorities. Cheryl Zimmerman, CEO of FarSounder, wrote in an e-mail that the program will consist of services and consulting support and possibly introductions to individuals and programs that could utilize the technology.

"We expect this program to help us with expanding the sensor system and related infrastructure needed for a robust port security system," Zimmerman wrote in an e-mail to Sea Technology. "[The program] may offer practical advice for going forward and accelerating the growth of the company with their value-added services." For more information, visit www.farsounder.com.

General Atomics Opens Electric Motor Facility
The Electromagnetic Systems division at General Atomics (San Diego, California) recently completed a 6,250-square-foot vacuum pressure impregnation and motor winding facility at its manufacturing site in Tupelo, Mississippi.

The upgrades, announced in November, include a 9-foot-diameter vacuum-pressure resin chamber, multiple vacuum storage tanks to utilize several different resin systems, and heating and curing ovens. With this equipment, the company is qualifying to be a U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command-certified supplier of electric motor sealed insulation systems to MIL-STD-2037.

The Tupelo plant presently manufactures and tests large power components for the U.S. Navy's new carrier-based advanced launch and recovery systems. For more information, visit www.ga.com.

Austal USA Opens DC Operations Office
After landing a number of major U.S. defense contracts—the first joint high-speed vessel is under construction and a contract for 10 littoral combat ships is under way—Austal USA (Mobile, Alabama) has opened an operations office in Washington, D.C.

The office, opened in December, will allow Austal Government Programs and Business Development personnel to use the location as a Washington, D.C., base.

The new Washington office director, Ronald Mahaffey, is a veteran of Huntington-Ingalls Shipbuilding (Newport News, Virginia). The business development team will be represented by Mike Webster, who transferred from his post as chief naval architect to serve as the Washington office's technical and business development manager. For more information, visit www.austal.com.

Dresser-Rand Opens Training Facility in Houston
Dresser-Rand (Houston, Texas) in December opened a 8,700-square-foot facility in Houston for training employees and clients to better service equipment in the field.

The training facility has slip-resistant epoxy flooring for safety, a permanent 15-ton overhead bridge crane and two half-ton jib cranes, which will expedite the movement of equipment and help with the dissembling and reassembling of parts for hands-on training. The company said the new facility will allow Dresser-Rand to increase training hours for employees by as much as 22,000 hours a year. For more information, visit www.dresser-rand.com.

Chinese Vessels Acquire UnderwayCTD Profilers
Six UnderwayCTD profiling systems from Oceanscience (Oceanside, California) are to be installed on Chinese Navy vessels operated by the National Oceanic Technology Center (NOTC), the company said in December.

Workers on these NOTC vessels have traditionally used expendable bathythermographs or expendable CTD probes. Oceanscience said NOTC was looking for a cost-effective, convenient way to obtain profiles and salinity data, and after reviewing several options, they selected the UnderwayCTD. For more information, visit www.oceanscience.com.

Liquid Robotics Forms Strategic Advisory Board
A new strategic advisory board will serve in an advisory role to Liquid Robotics' (Sunnyvale, California) executive management team, with the goal of providing insights on potential customers, applications and partners.

The 23-member board, announced in December, will be headed by Marv Langston, former deputy assistant secretary of defense and former deputy secretary of the U.S. Navy, Space and Electronic Warfare. Liquid Robotics said the board draws from experienced business executives and former government officials with expertise in scientific and commercial industries, and defense and national security.

"Wave Glider technology is strategically important and offers enormous possibilities to the government and the military, as well as to commercial industries like offshore energy production, telecommunications and undersea cabling," Langston said. For more information, visit www.liquidr.com.

Gyros in Testing on Wind Farm Support Vessel
Seakeeper (California, Maryland) recently shipped units of its M21000—its most powerful gyro, with 21,000 Newton-meter seconds of angular momentum—for testing with Hvide Sande Skib & Baadebyggeri (Hvide Sande, Denmark).

The gyros, which draw 3 kilowatts, will be used aboard 25-meter and 34-meter monohull wind farm support vessels for offshore wind farm development and construction company DONG Energy (Fredericia, Denmark).

The company already has successful military installations, such as on torpedo recovery craft and an unmanned surveillance vessel. Seakeeper gyros are available in an M8000 model for craft up to 35 tons displacement and the M21000, rated for typical displacements up to 90 to 100 tons. Multiple gyros can be fitted to suit a customer's requirements. For more information, visit www.seakeeper.com.

Femco, JonRie InterTech Enter Joint Project On Repair Services for Offshore Drilling Rigs
Femco Holdings LLC (Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) and its Gulf Coast affiliate, Spencer Harris (Magnolia, Arkansas), have entered into an agreement with JonRie InterTech LLC (Manahawkin, New Jersey), to join forces in the offshore drilling equipment and marine deck equipment industries.

The companies will work on the repair of various drilling components, such as top drives, mud pumps, draw works, iron roughnecks, along with deck equipment such as winches, capstans and control panels. For more information, visit www.femcomachine.com.

Extech Relocates Headquarters to New Hampshire
Extech Instruments has relocated its headquarters from Waltham, Massachusetts, to a new facility in Nashua, New Hampshire, the company announced in November.

In the coming months, Extech said the Nashua location will house the eastern U.S. operations for FLIR's (Wilsonville, Oregon) commercial systems division, as well as FLIR's marine systems division, Raymarine. The new location will house administrative and corporate offices, customer service and technical support, marketing and sales, quality control, calibration laboratories, repair services and an extensive warehouse. FLIR's Infrared Training Center was also planning to move to the Nashua location in January 2012. For more information, visit www.extech.com.

Marsh Bellofram Acquires King Engineering Corp.
The assets of the manufacturer of the KING-GAGE liquid level measurement and inventory tank gauging systems have been sold to Marsh Bellofram (Newell, West Virginia), the companies announced in December.

The manufacturer, King Engineer Corp. Inc., has moved its manufacturing operations from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Marsh Bellofram's headquarters. The KING-GAGE brand will continue to be offered, Marsh Bellofram said. For more information, visit www.marshbellofram.com.


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