New eROV offers operators cost savings

XLe Spirit XLe Spirit features Forum’s Integrated Control Engine (ICE). Credit: Forum Energy Technologies
Industry Database

Subsea sector operators could see significant cost efficiency and savings with a new electric remotely operated vehicle (ROV) offering outstanding connectivity and expansion capabilities.

Forum Subsea Technologies’ XLe Spirit is the first observation-class ROV to utilise Forum’s Integrated Control Engine (ICE) to bring greater functionality commonly only found in larger work-class vehicles. The advanced control electronics pod is designed to offer market-leading connectivity and expansion capabilities, while ethernet interfacing is designed for seamless integration with other industry sensors using common IP architecture and ease of remote data transfer.

Kevin Taylor, VP of Subsea Vehicles at Forum Energy Technologies, commented: “As the subsea market continues to recover from a sustained downturn, cost efficiency is high on the agenda for the industry. Forum recognised the opportunity to apply our leading software to a more compact vehicle to enhance capabilities and meet the changing demands of the sector.

“By utilising the same system across all vehicles, pilots only have one interface to learn as the skills are transferrable between the smallest observation vehicle and the largest trenchers. This means training can concentrate on operational tasks opposed to control systems, providing further efficiencies.”

XLe Spirit incorporates multiple features to maximise its stability for use as a sensor platform, including regulated propulsion power, optimised thruster orientation and location, accurate thruster speed control and a wide range of auto-functions for positioning and flying.

The ROV has completed a twelve-week test programme at Forum’s test tank in Kirkbymoorside, Yorkshire. It will be sent for sea trials in the first quarter of 2019.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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