November 2014

MDL extends competitive edge with electrical push

When Kevin Cordiner joined Maritime Developments in 2012, the company’s electrical workforce equalled one.

Today, the department boasts a crew of eight and is on the lookout for two more staff to join the team.

Although the figure stands the company out from its competitors, its focus on electrical development is maybe unsurprising, keeping in line with the company’s motto “forward thinking back-deck systems”.

Unlike the vast majority of back-deck offering currently on the market, all of Maritime Developments’ equipment can be supplied in direct electric drive specification as well as traditional hydraulic drive, together with appropriate power units, and operated by the company’s bespoke, user-friendly software.

But how did the north-east back-deck solutions supplier get to this stage in such a short period of time? Kevin Cordiner, Maritime Developments’ electrical manager, explains:

“Originally there were meant to be up to five people in the division.

“We firstly took on an apprentice, but soon realised we needed much more guys, much quicker than originally anticipated. We began to recruit, which was not easy.

“Now, two years on, I have two apprentices, three journeymen and one supervisor, as well as an electrical systems engineer. That is a massive development which i didn’t see happening quite so quickly.

“Before my time here, the company would use third parties for the complete electrical supply, but this has inherent disadvantages of the schedule being out with our control and the cost being higher than if done in house. More importantly, we weren’t developing the systems needed to keep our equipment ahead of the competition.

“Since I arrived, the company has invested hugely in this unit. It started with a purpose built workshop which we had quickly outgrown. A big investment was the testbed about 18 months ago, which has never been empty and is the one thing that has had the tightest schedule, booked up for the whole year.

“That’s where the company’s equipment is going - electrical machinery is more operator-friendly which allows to drive costs down for both sides.”

One of Maritime Developments’ core products is its range of electric winches, available in 5-tonne to 75-tonne specifications. The popularity of the range stems from the amount of control provided by the electric drive, allowing for precise settings of speed and tension on every layer, from the start of the wire to the end of it.

“Companies are delighted with the design and the practicality of our product,” Kevin says.

“We test against hydraulic winches and ours are much easier to control. What we’re putting out to the market is the best in class available.

The company’s expertise in back-deck equipment originated in the fishing industry, where Maritime Developments entered the market in 1999. Since then, the company’s biggest challenge has been to maintain its momentum of delivering innovative solutions to local and global clients alike.

“When I started at MDL, there were 27 people in the company. We have doubled the workforce in this time and with that in mind, I am looking forward to the next few years, to start regularly seeing our equipment on construction vessels across the globe.”