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Published: Jul 2015
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  • Deck Machinery

Hawboldt: From Local Roots Grows a Global Power

Hawboldt Industries was founded in 1906 in Chester, a small town in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. After more than 100 years, the company still resides in the same town but its business and product focus has changed dramatically. From its humble beginnings primarily servicing the local Nova Scotia marine and fishing market, Hawboldt products now reach a global customer base and serve a dynamic group of market segments.

Hawboldt Industries was founded in 1906 in Chester, a small town in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. After more than 100 years, the company still resides in the same town but its business and product focus has changed dramatically. From its humble beginnings primarily servicing the local Nova Scotia marine and fishing market, Hawboldt products now reach a global customer base and serve a dynamic group of market segments.

In 2005, Hawboldt Industries became a member of the Timberland Group of companies. As a member company, Hawboldt contributes to and is supported by a wealth of engineering design experience, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and an impressive history of successfully completing several major projects around the world.

Supported by a diverse group of companies and being able to provide a diverse product offering has been important to Hawboldt’s success.

However, no matter the market segment they are serving, Hawboldt products share the same theme; they get their customers equipment in and out of the water safely and efficiently whatever the sea state. Whether the application requires a hydraulic or an electric driven solution, Hawboldt is able to provide the best option in each particular situation based on the strength of its business unit teams.

Hawboldt strives to hire skilled, highly qualified and enthusiastic personnel with varied and diverse backgrounds. Business development professionals and sales application engineers look to ask the right questions early on in the discovery process to ensure complete understanding of the particular customer application. It doesn’t matter if the customer is a naval architect, the vessel builder or an operator / end user, care and attention will be taken to ensure their needs have been heard before suggesting a product solution. It is a very collaborative and iterative process, sometimes with many touch points before the proper solution is provided.

“I am very proud to be a part of our technical sales and marketing team here at Hawboldt” says Paul Phillips, General Sales Manager. “Over the past two years, we have added key staff members that have improved our response time, increased our market presence and strengthened our customer facing team. Our customers have shown their approval and we appreciate their trust by giving us new and repeat orders.”

“Quality of Equipment is an important aspect of why we choose to do business with Hawboldt. However in my opinion what positively differentiates Hawboldt to us is the prompt service and attention we receive from the team there,” says Dany Jabbour, Operations Manager at Clearwater Seafood.

Hawboldt Industries Market Segments

  • Ocean Sciences/ Research: CTD winches, CTD Launch and Recovery systems, Towed Array winches, Scientific winches, Acoustic winches, Traction winches, Traction winch systems, A-Frames and Hydraulic Power Units
  • Offshore Oil and Gas: ROV, AUV and Subsea Drill Launch and Recovery Systems, Umbilical Docking Heads, Tether Management Systems, Hydraulic Power Units and Active Heave Compensation (Scantrol)
  • Commercial and Fishing Equipment: Trawl Winches, Net Reels, Fishing Winches, Crab Haulers, Fishing Systems (Scantrol), Steering Gear, Planetary Winches and Hydraulic Power Packs
  • Marine Cranes: tonne Fixed Boom, Knuckle Boom and Telescopic Boom cranes
  • Commercial Deck Equipment: Anchor Windlasses, Capstans, Mooring winches, Anchor winches for Offshore Supply Vessels, commercial ships, workboats, barges and diving support vessels
  • Propeller and Underwater Gear: Propeller and Propeller Repairs, Nozzles, Shaft replacement

Ocean Science

Hawboldt has been successful in securing significant contracts in the new Research Vessel markets both in Canada, the United States and Asia over the past two years. Hawboldt has been awarded two contracts from Seaspan — Vancouver Shipyards (VSY) for the deck equipment on the Offshore Fisheries and Science Vessels (OFSV) for the Canadian Coast Guard. Hawboldt Industries will be responsible for the entire scope of deck equipment for the fisheries and science missions, which includes deck cranes, all fishing winches and controls, the science winches along with specialized CTD and Side Scientific area launch and recovery systems. In total, Hawboldt is supplying over 25 unique pieces of custom designed electric winch and handling systems for the each of the three vessels. The OFSV are the first vessels to be built under the $8 billion NSPS program for Non-Combat vessels, awarded to VSY in 2011. “This is a significant order for Hawboldt and demonstrates the confidence and trust shown by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and the Canadian Coast Guard in our ability to meet the schedule and technical requirements for these modern vessels,” says John Huxtable, General Manager of Hawboldt Industries. “This is another step in reinforcing Hawboldt as a total solutions provider in the global market for Research Vessel deck machinery.”

Hawboldt is not only interested in supporting the larger vessel projects. The USGS Research Vessel (R/V) Arcticus, based at its homeport, the Cheboygan Vessel Base in Cheboygan, Michigan is used for science and fishing research in the Great Lakes. Its primary field-sampling capabilities include bottom trawling, plankton and benthic invertebrate sampling, hydroacoustics, gill netting, and collection of environmental data. Hawboldt delivered a complete deck equipment package to the R/V Arcticus (built by Burger Boat Company) and although it was much smaller in scope and complexity than some of other recent projects, the R/V Arcticus equipment package still required the same attention to design and manufacturing as the larger projects to ensure the vessel operational capabilities could be met.

As a matter of fact, all of Hawboldt’s products receive the same attention. “Great products, great service” says Todd Langley, Science Technical with Lake Simcoe Fisheries Assessment Unit a division of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources with regarding his new research fishing winch delivered in early 2015. “The winch and HPU are a great improvement over our previous system, and everything is working great.”

Marine Cranes for Any Application

Today and for the foreseeable future, the global research market will be an area of focus for Hawboldt. However in keeping with the diversification theme, Hawboldt realized that it needed to continue to add to its product offering. It was at that time that the management team looked at acquiring a marine crane company. Although attempts to purchase an existing product line or company never materialized, it did cement Hawboldt’s aspiration to enter into the marine crane market.

Hawboldt decided to hire an experienced crane sales and product manager to lead their entry into the market, and Reed Okawa came onboard in 2014. Reed has more than 37 years in the marine crane industry and there are not many applications that he has not seen before.

Leveraging Hawboldt’s extensive engineering experience, and efficient production capabilities, the company developed an extensive Marine Crane line to complement its other product offerings. Having sold over 1000 cranes in his career, Reed has secured contracts for numerous cranes already. Using state-of-the-art, 3D modeling techniques and the American Petroleum Institute guidelines for its designs, Hawboldt’s cranes are designed and built to the highest standards of quality. Hawboldt can supply marine cranes for almost any market, including workboats, fishing boats, offshore platforms, oil terminals, barges, docks, military and research vessels. Fixed, Telescopic and Knuckle boom models are available between 2 and 150 tonne capacities with multiple winch and rigging arrangements.

“Our customers seem particularly interested in knowing that we have the full line of marine cranes they need as well as many specialized accessory packages are available to enhance safety and explosion proof ratings for applications such as LNG, Oil, and chemical barges”, says Reed Okawa, Business Development Manager — Cranes. “We are being responsive to the market needs on that front as well as offering many other special accessory packages that will also enable Hawboldt marine cranes to do side tow work of sampling nets, side scan sonar fish or deploy and retrieve scientific packages, CTD, ROV’s and various bottom coring devices if they so desire.”

As with many of its other products, Hawboldt has experience working with most regulatory groups to provide certifications if they are required and customize any standard design to fit almost any application. ABS, DNV, Lloyds, ZC, BV, and many other certifications are well known to their design teams and available for purchase.

The same is true for a suite of other options including wired or wireless remote controls, full operator stations, operator cabs, hydraulic power units, lighting, multiple winches, custom rigging, electronic load monitoring, maintenance platforms, hydraulic grapples, and other accessories.

Hawboldt identifies the Marine Crane market as a vital part of their future business and are investing in the engineering designs and dedicated manufacturing infrastructure to keep up with the anticipated demand. Having a dedicated and experienced marine crane product leader helped Hawboldt enter the market by differentiating themselves in a very competitive marketplace.

International Markets

The same can be said for another of Hawboldt’s markets, Asia. Hawboldt recently hired Jackie Guo as Business Development Manager for the Asian market. Based out of the Chester facility, Jackie works closely with Hawboldt’s distributor network to service and support current business efforts while also developing future opportunities. The Asian market has played an integral part of Hawboldt’s recent success and Hawboldt is currently manufacturing three different winch systems for the first of four research vessels due to ship this year into the market. Customers in Asia have come to trust Hawboldt for their complex traction winch systems used for ocean science applications. The complex integration and arrangement of these traction winch systems into the overall vessel design ensures the systems work flawlessly. The equipment is placed in dedicated winch rooms below the vessel main deck and hold between 8,000-10,000m of electro-mechanical (EM), electro-optical-mechanical (EOM), wire or synthetic rope on a storage drum. The systems are custom designed to meet the various requirements of the different end users mission profiles. Feedback that Hawboldt has been getting from the market has been tremendous. Adding a dedicated sales professional from the region to support their in-market partners further demonstrates the commitment of the market to their existing and future customers.

Finding the right valued added reseller or distributor partner has been crucial to ensuring Hawboldt can support its customers globally. Hawboldt looks to partner with companies that are already working in the ocean sector but does a lot of research and due diligence before working with any company. John Millett, responsible for Hawboldt’s Ocean Science and Latin American markets and their other Business Development Managers invest heavily in using experienced, highly technical and customer oriented companies represent them in each market. In the past few years Hawboldt has signed on numerous partners in South America, Europe and the UK to care for customers in their home markets. Companies like DefenSea / Intelligent Maritime Solutions and RS Aqua represent Hawboldt and many other trusted maritime brands in the Brazilian and UK Oil and Gas and ocean science markets respectively with a great track record in customer service and support. Hawboldt’s unique product offering and after sales service and support is what attracted each company to want to represent Hawboldt’s products.

After Sales Support and Service

Hawboldt’s customers are very pleased with the high quality products Hawboldt manufactures and the skilled personnel leading the installation and technical service teams. Hawboldt Industries has built a reputation for having a highly responsive and knowledgeable technical services group. Besides leading the variety of factory acceptance tests, they are also support commissioning and installation services at customer sites. Whether the service or support requires a quick response or an extended stay onboard the customer vessel, Hawboldt is equipped to handle Hawboldt offers many types of service contracts that meet the needs of our customers which ultimately safeguard the operation of our products throughout years of operation. Detailed manuals and technical training during commissioning ensure proper operation and maintenance of the systems. Led by Service Manager John Baxter, an experienced mix of hydraulic technicians, electricians and mechanical and electrical engineers take great pride in offering “best in class” installation, commissioning and technical support services for all the products they manufacture globally.

Launch and Recovery Systems

There is not a market segment that requires a greater level of support combined with robust reliable design than the highly competitive ROV Launch and Recovery market. With a wide range of experience, Hawboldt is one of the industries trusted suppliers and has been providing Launch and Recovery Systems for the fleet of Work Class ROV’s for the past number of years. Their customers trust Hawboldt to provide reliable, robust products and Hawboldt offers quick delivery to meet the demands of tight mobilization schedules. Despite the recent downturn in the oil and gas market, Hawboldt has seen only a modest decline in sales of their dependable range of Launch and Recovery products. Although Hawboldt’s most popular LARS system is comprised of a 15mT A-frame, 4500m umbilical winch and a 250hp HPU, they can provide LARS systems in various sizes and configurations, including 6, 10 and 27 metric tonne, hydraulic or electric and with heave compensated winches. They can also manufacture a variety of ROV LARS crane based solutions. Hawboldt has experience deploying ROV’s from various points on the vessel including port, starboard and stern and are familiar with moon pool deployments. To meet the demand of the industry Hawboldt stocks 15mT LARS for Work Class ROV’s.

ROV LARS is not the only LARS product the company makes. Besides the aforementioned CTD and SSOA LARS for the ocean research market, Hawboldt has successfully designed and delivered LARS for the emerging AUV market. As deep sea exploration grows, companies and organizations that work in this space are looking for safer ways to operate. Hawboldt designed with their client’s guidance, a lightweight self-articulating ramp to launch and recover an AUV. It allows customers to get the AUV on and off the vessel in various sea states. Deploy the ramp, winch it up and recover it; simple and easy. Hawboldt can supply a standard system for a variety of different AUV’s but can modify the system to meet various sizes of AUV’s with different weights and dimensions.

The AUV LARS is a great example of Hawboldt’s product development process. As is the case with most of Hawboldt’s products, they are developed based on a close relationship with a customer that becomes more like a partner. Within the partnership, they develop a concept for a particular application and then Hawboldt designs, manufactures and test the product to meet the desired application. The product development process works so well in large part due to the great customers Hawboldt works with.

Heart of the Business

One thing is for certain, Hawboldt Industries would not be successful without its dedicated and diverse group of people. Hawboldt currently employs over 55 dedicated customer-service orientated, highly technical and experienced labour force. Hawboldt’s modern and recently updated 40,000 square foot facility is ISO 9001 registered and has the capacity to handle both large and small projects, as well as repairs and maintenance. The facility includes a comprehensive machine shop featuring CNC cutting, milling and lathe equipment, a CWB certified welding facility with certifications for both steel and aluminum, a fully equipped hydraulic shop and modern blast and painting facilities. The manufacturing team consists of various highly skilled tradespeople. Welders, machinists, pipefitters, hydraulic and electrical technicians form the basis of a solid professional workforce. A robust trades program in the local area and a historical shipbuilding industry in the province give Hawboldt a pool of talented workers to choose form as the company expands.

The company has embraced modern project management methodologies and has project managers on staff to oversee project plan development and execution. Whether the project is big or small, Hawboldt Project Managers interface with a client’s to ensure successful program completion. To ensure a great customer experience the project management team coordinates with all of the Hawboldt departments including sales, applications, engineering, production and service support based on the specific equipment, commissioning and installation provided. Communicating with the customer and meeting the project overall schedule is critical as Hawboldt strives to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations for quality, performance and delivery on-time.

Hawboldt ensures this by having a project kick-off meeting (customer attended if possible) after receiving a contract / purchase order. This is the opportunity for the specific project manager to establish the contract deliverables to the various teams responsible for each deliverable and set aggressive goals to keep the project on time. Prior to the project kick-off, the Hawboldt project manager develops a project schedule and Gantt chart in order to visually monitor the activities and milestones. The Gantt chart becomes the visible indicator that is used to monitor progress for the customer and internal stakeholders. Further to this, Hawboldt has a weekly production schedule meeting, where each project and key project timelines are discussed and the necessary adjustments are made to ensure on time delivery of projects.

Customers have come to trust and rely on Hawboldt designs and a large reason for this is the dynamic group of experienced engineering staff the company employs. The design team consists of professional engineers, junior engineers, designers, technologists and draftspeople are capable of designing a variety of custom deck equipment. Hawboldt uses modern design techniques and software including Autocad, Inventor, ALGOR Finite Element Analysis and MasterCAM to meet the needs of their customers and specializes in advanced mechanical, electrical and hydraulic engineering design. The team produces all of the required drawings, calculations, test procedures, and engineering documents necessary to confirm the application engineering designs developed and the release to the manufacturing group. For each contract requiring substantial design activities, a Design & Development Plan is created for the customer, which is approved during final design review.

Trusted Advisors

Hawboldt strives to be a trusted advisor to its customers. At the end of each project, Hawboldt holds a lessons learned meeting with key stakeholders of the project, in which customers are invited to attend. These meetings along with the feedback from our customers (received both directly and via our customer satisfaction surveys) ensure continuous improvement of their product and service offering. The continuous feedback is critical to their continued support of their customers. Its modest beginnings in a small town have ensured that Hawboldt stays humble and committed to the needs of its customers. No matter how big they get, they know their customers are the reason they exist.

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