SMD has been honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category in recognition of the development of its specialist subsea trenching technology.
This is the third Queen’s Award for Enterprise that SMD has won in the last three years.
The Wallsend-based company previously won a Queen’s Award for innovation in 2011 for its work-class remotely operated vehicles (WROVs), which was followed up last year with the presentation of a Queen’s Award in the International Trade category for its growing presence and success in global markets.
SMD’s latest Queen’s Award recognises the innovations the company has made to its subsea trenching and ploughing equipment to create a suite of technology suited to Offshore Wind and Offshore Power cable installation.
Originally developed for subsea cable installation for the telecommunications industry, SMD spent five years developing its technology to create three product ranges applicable to different soil conditions and vessel requirements.
The company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of remote intervention equipment, which is operated in hazardous environments across the globe and its trenching technology is being deployed on a number of important energy sector projects.
Among the advances in this field has been the creation of the QTrencher range. SMD has worked closely with Reef Subsea Power and Umbilical Ltd to develop the Q-Trencher 1000 (QT 1000).
The QT1000 is a free-flying ROV jet trencher, which can operate in water depths up to 2000 metres and in a variety of soil conditions.
In addition, SMD’s first Q-Trencher 1400 (QT 1400) has been developed for Fugro Salt Subsea. This model has the ability to support post-lay burial of power cables and low lines and is able to operate in hard clay environments using high pressure jetting systems.
Andrew Hodgson, Chief Executive of SMD, said: “Securing a hat-trick of consecutive Queen’s Awards is testament to the innovative engineering talent we have at SMD who are consistently challenging themselves to develop new and more effective solutions that meet the requirements of the industries we serve.
“Our dedication to continual innovation has enabled SMD to become a world leader in subsea intervention technology. The increasing activity in the global energy sector, particularly the offshore renewables market, is creating new opportunities for technology-led supply chain companies that can deliver innovative solutions to ensure the effective installation and operation of offshore assets.
“This latest Queen’s Award reflects our achievements in this field and we are very proud to be again recognised by these very prestigious and highly-regarded awards.”
Press release, April 22, 2013; Image: smd