Landmark maintenance contract

Rotork has won a landmark contract with Fleet Support Ltd for the maintenance of seventy-three electric valve actuators that control the safe movement of millions of tonnes of water during the flooding and emptying of giant dry docks and locks at the HM Naval Base in Portsmouth, UK. Capable of handling warships and commercial vessels of virtually every size and description, the 350 acre Portsmouth Naval Base has four locks and twelve dry docks, mainly dating from the early twentieth century. These are served by a network of several miles of subterranean two-metre diameter culverts, connecting three main pumping stations to the locks and docks. Cast iron penstocks and gate valves on the network were retrofitted with Rotork electric actuators in five phases between 1983 and 1996, replacing pneumatic equipment as part of a major refurbishment programme. Fleet Support Facilities Plant Maintenance Manager, Mick Huitson, explains the significance of the actuator maintenance contract: “Actuator failures would cause severe disruption whilst back-up measures were instigated. The contract gives us peace of mind with this critically important operation. Rotork engineers have surveyed and serviced all the actuators and maintenance has been carried out in accordance with their recommendations, either in-situ or at the Rotork factory. Repaired actuators are re-commissioned with a new 12 month warranty – by handing over care to the manufacturer it’s a win-win situation for both companies. We have developed a good working relationship with Rotork, who are very helpful and provide excellent technical support.”

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