Certain encounters are anything but casual. For example that between the Volaviamare group, a leader in fast maritime connections, and Bondioli & Pavesi, leader in the power transmission market. A fine red thread links Naples to Suzzara, in the Mantovano area: excellences that are aiming together at a common objective. And reaching it.
Thus for the refitting of the vessels of Alilauro, the Volaviamare group shipping company that provides fast maritime connection between Naples and the islands of the Gulf and the Eolian islands, Bondioli & Pavesi axial piston pumps with variable capacity and load sending command were used. With a series of advantages for medium pressure oleodynamic operation, from propeller pitch adjustment to helm commands, from the regulation of the hydro jets to the operation of the thrusters.
Vessels that are increasingly fast, reliable and comfortable today ensure voyages to meet the expectations of varied users, including commuters in the Gulf of Naples and tourists. “Having a single supplier,” says Salvatore Lauro, president of Volaviamare, “means ensuring a series of advantages also in terms of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance. In the case of Bondioli & Pavesi pumps they are able to develop new conditions for vessel manoeuvrability, in line with the important updating of the engines of our fleet.” The Volaviamare group has done a lot to favour environmental sustainability, replacing the engines on its vessels and cutting emissions by 2021, as recommended by the European Union. “Increasingly efficient ships, able to sail even in atmospheric conditions that were once prohibitive, and we hope that also port infrastructures, which often today have a series of limits, will improve as our efforts go ahead.” The challenges that Volaviamare aims to face in the future, together with Bondioli & Pavesi, are fascinating and complex. Starting with a gradual conversion to electrical propulsion, to eliminate emissions, in line with the obligation to safeguard the health of the planet (recently relaunched by #FridaysForFuture), and point decisively towards industry 4.0.
A codesign operation
When refitting a vessel that has been operating for a considerable number of hours, one of the problems is finding spare parts. Often the machinery was built in very limited numbers, sometimes as a one-off, and the technical documentation refers to components that are by now obsolete or hard to find. The refitting on board the Alilauro vessels is interesting in that it made use of Bondioli & Pavesi components together with the skill of its technicians and the possible applications of its product range.
A codesign operation in which Bondioli & Pavesi was involved right from the beginning.
“Alilauro explained to us its requirements,” says Giuseppe Binetti, who co-ordinated the projects for Bondioli & Pavesi, “and we, after various inspections with our technicians in their yard in the port of Naples, designed the solution, produced and supplied the pumps and helped with the installation.”
Work began with components derived from standard ones, and on the basis of operational requirements the components were resized and subjected to necessary controls. “We adopted a technical solution which is generally standard and has the advantage of offering the customer a versatile and economic solution that guarantees repairs can be made.”
In this case the fact that Alilauro could rely on a component manufacturer such as Bondioli & Pavesi insured technical and application support together with the factory guarantee covering the component.
The choice of load sensing pumps
Bondioli & Pavesi produces a complete range of hydraulic components including axial piston pumps with variable capacity and load sensing control. For the Alilauro vessels load sensing pumps were used which was suitable for refitting the medium pressure hydraulic operations, for example adjustment of propeller trim, helm controls, the adjustment of hydro jets and stabilising flaps and the operation of bow thrusters and auxiliary propellers etc. Advantages of these pumps are that they exist both in the right rotating and left rotating versions.
It can thus be used without problem on the power intake of diesel engines or on the couplers or gearboxes. It is necessary only to specify the execution according to the direction of rotation. What changes between the two versions is the position of the oil intake and outlet attachments, which are different for left and right rotating pumps.
Bondioli & Pavesi pumps can adjust both the load sensing pressure and the standby pressure. The regulator is easy to access on the side where oil intake and outlet attachments are. The standard field of adjustment is very wide, the desired settings can also be specified when ordering. They are also available with different capacities. It is possible to order units in the HPA4 series with the same bulk and performance with capacities of 34, 46, 58 and 65cc; larger pumps in the HPA6 series have capacities of 70, 80 and 90cc. The capacity most commonly used on vessels is 46cc with pressure between250 and 300bar, depending on the version.
The most common profile for input shafts is channelled according to the SAE standard with 13, 14 or 15 teeth. However there are also cylindrical shafts. The mounting flange is SAE B standardised for capacities from 34 to 65cc, and SAE C for capacities up to 90cc. The pumps can also be fitted with a through shaft so as to operate further pumps in tandem. An example are the gear pumps commonly used for low-pressure lubrication of the gearbox of the propeller inverter. These pumps can be mounted behind the Bondioli & Pavesi pump to avoid the need for further power inputs in the system. An extremely important feature for the marine sector are the compact dimensions of Bondioli & Pavesi pumps which make it possible to install them in confined spaces that would be hard to reach with traditional components.
In addition Bondioli & Pavesi can also supply coupling joint kits to run the pump with a suitable power input. In this way it is possible to complete the kit with the components needed to transmit motion according to the torque and dimensions required.
All these advantages are possible thanks to product industrialisation which permits application on very different vessels without needing particular adaptations. It is thus possible for the shipyard to handle small batches of these plants with great benefits for availability, adapting them for various uses in the refitting of several vessels. Bondioli & Pavesi axial piston pumps are designed and made in Italy.