Cat ‘Twin Fin’ System Wins Innovation Award

The 3D Seismic Vessel ‘Polarcus Naila’ equipped with its new "Twin Fin" system. Photo courtesy Damen
The 3D Seismic Vessel ‘Polarcus Naila’ equipped with its new “Twin Fin” system. Photo courtesy Damen

The Caterpillar Propulsion twin fin system has been awarded with the Technical Innovation prize at the Seatrade Maritime Awards for Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa, recently held as part of Dubai Maritime Week 2014.

Focusing on the first commercial installation of the Cat® Propulsion twin fin system onboard the Polarcus DMCC vessel, Polarcus Naila, an independent judging panel voted to bestow the twin fin system with the Technical Innovation Award because it lived up to its fuel and emissions savings claims, while also improving performance and reliability.

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The Cat® Propulsion twin fin system comprises a compact electric motor and gearbox connected via short drive shaft, rotating a pair of controllable pitch propellers whose performance is enhanced by two tailor-made fins. The hydro-dynamically-optimized fins protect and give inboard access to mechanical parts, while also saving cargo space and enhancing maneuverability.

Jim Johnson, General Manager Caterpillar Propulsion, who accepted the Technical Innovation Award, said: “When Polarcus needed to replace an inefficient propulsion system on two survey vessels, we had every confidence in twin fin. What we could not know was that its benefits would be so quickly recognised across the industry. Receiving this Award in such distinguished company is a magnificent accolade.

“We were also delighted that the rigour of the independent judging panel gave us the opportunity to document how Polarcus Naila overcame its reliability problems, improved fuel efficiency by 30% and increased bollard pull thrust. In terms of customer satisfaction, the fact that Polarcus quickly gave the go ahead to retrofit a second vessel speaks for itself.”

Over 750 maritime and shipping personalities gathered at the Awards gala dinner and ceremony held late last month at Atlantis, The Palm to celebrate excellence in all spheres of maritime activity across the region.

Chosen based on a set of fair and transparent criteria, the Technical Innovation Award honors advances in maritime technology, and especially those that are shown to have made an exceptional contribution to the maritime and shipping industry across the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.