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  • Hydro Group to increase turnover by 20% through £0.5 Million investment in new equipment

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    Aberdeen based Hydro Group, a global solution provider of optical and electrical subsea products, has invested £500,000 in new equipment for its recently launched premises at Aberdeen Science and Energy Park. The investment will allow the Group to increase turnover by up to 20%.


    The purpose built cable layup machine, designed for short power cables, will be used for the marine renewable sector. The new machine can produce cables up to 110mm in diameter increasing the company’s current capability by 61mm. This increased capacity also allows cable runs for current subsea bundles of up to 10,000m depending on the component diameters.


    Hydro Group managing director, Doug Whyte, said: "The new equipment will enable us to increase our capabilities as it will allow us to make cables of a higher technical specification.


    "Our scope of work to the buoyant and rapidly growing renewable market will increase. The majority of projects require dynamic optical/power cables that we were previously unable to manufacture. In the past we had to subcontract or limit our scope of supply, now we will be able to provide the complete solution."


    Last year the company was turning down one in every five enquiries, in other words losing 20% of potential orders. Thanks to the investment in this new equipment they expect to increase turnover by 20%.


    "Hydro Group develops a range of products from prototype concept through to design, manufacture and project management, supplying the whole package. In order to provide clients with the best quality products and service it is important that we continue to make such investments into the company and our equipment.


    "Keeping up to date with technological advances is essential for our continued success in the subsea and renewable energy sectors. This focus has, and will continue to, greatly aid our successful international expansion, leaving us well placed to move forward with growth plans set out over the next four years - which include increasing our workforce locally."


    With over 28 years business experience, Hydro Group operates on a global platform providing total solutions of subsea cables and connectors to a portfolio of prime contractors, major operators, OEM's, defence agencies, defence organisations and the UK MOD.


    Hydro Group’s £4.2million research, design, engineering and manufacturing facility will aid the company’s future development of new products, including those for the renewable sector. The facility spans a total of 40,000 square feet, reducing Hydro Group’s carbon foot print by utilising rainwater recovery and heat recirculation.


  • Hydro Group Fibre-Link (Deep-Field) Penetrator

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    Hydro Group, a global solutions provider of optical and electrical products in the subsea technology industry has developed a Fibre-Link deep field penetrator. The penetrator is most suitable for sea bed ploughs, ROVs, MUX systems and deep sea programmes, and is operational to 3,000 MSW (310 Bar).


    The Fibre-Link penetrator housing uses a 5/8" 18 UNF-2A threaded body as a bulkhead or flange mounting, however alternative bespoke design housings can be accommodated for individual customer specification. The basic penetrator body is a connector assembly which consists of a fully moulded cable tail and adapter connector plugs. Due to the sophisticated polishing and tuning procedures incorporated into the Fibre-Link manufacturing, connectors are assembled first on to optical fibre at Hydro Group’s new state of the art headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland.

    The Fibre Link can incorporate two main types of optical fibre, multi-mode or single-mode. A multi-mode optical fibre has a larger core (=50 micrometres), allowing less precise transmitters and receivers to connect to it. However, a multi-mode fibre can introduce multimode distortion which often limits the bandwidth and length of the link. The core of a single-mode fibre is smaller (=10 micrometres) and allows much longer higher performance links.


    Two of the most commonly used optical fibres are 50/125 and 62.5/125 types. Like multi-mode optical fibres, single mode fibres do exhibit modal dispersion resulting from multiple spatial modes but with narrower modal dispersion. Single mode fibres are therefore better at retaining the fidelity of each light pulse over longer distances than multi-mode fibres. For these reasons, single-mode fibres can have a higher bandwidth than multi-mode fibres. Fibre optics being used subsea are prone to crushing and must be placed into either plastic tubes or stainless steel tubes, but for greater depths stainless steel is required.


    Hydro Group Sales Director Derrick Reith said: "Hydro Bond Engineering and Hydrocable Systems, both Hydro Group companies, have a 28 year track record of developing and producing outstanding products for the ROV & AUV industries. Our dedication to producing R&D focused solutions has seen our group selected as the tether supplier for some of the world’s most successful ROV manufacturers."


    Hydro Group specialises in the design, manufacture and support of subsea composite electrical, optical fibre and coaxial cables, tethers, connectors and penetrators for the subsea defence, marine and energy markets. The Fibre-Link Penetrator is just one or of a range of new products currently being designed and manufactured by Hydro Bond Engineering.


    Whether it's a complex power, communication, or optical fibre tether with 10,000kg breaking strain for work class ROVs, or a simple optical fibre, high voltage tether for light weight mine hunters or small inspection class ROVs, the experienced team at Hydro Group is well placed to discuss custom design and problem solving.


    The company also designs and manufactures a huge range of electrical, optical and coaxial subsea connectors and penetrators used to connect the communications module to the hydraulic power units, thrusters, underwater video cameras, sonar and lights and can even manufacture specialist field installable mechanical terminations to assure minimum down time, should a tether become damaged and re-termination is required.

  • Hydro Group appoints new French Business Partner

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    Aberdeen-based Hydro Group, a global solution provider of optical and electrical subsea products, has appointed Benoit D’Alancon of French company WENEX Equipments as business partner.


    Mr D’Alancon will help drive Hydro Group forward in France, identified as major market in the subsea sector.


    "Hydro Group is right to identify France as a strong potential growth area for subsea activities. With extensive growth in subsea Defense - with its submarine shipyard, weapons, electronic and counter measures defense industries - French offshore subsea industry and renewable sea and subsea energy, there is large scope for Hydro Group to apply its expertise" said Mr D’Alancon.

    With over 27 years business experience, Hydro Group operates on a global platform providing total solutions of subsea cables and connectors to a portfolio of prime contractors, major operators, OEM's, defence agencies, defence organisations and the UK MOD.


    Hydro Group managing director, Doug Whyte, said: "The application of Hydro Group’s innovative products is best illustrated through some high-profile contract awards.


    "The company was recently awarded a £500,000 contract to work on the Wave Hub, a marine renewable infrastructure project being developed by the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency). Hydro Group was sub-contracted by JDR Cable Systems to provide a new high voltage connector for the marine renewable project which is being funded by the South West RDA, UK Government and the European Regional Development Fund.


    "Marine renewables are a key focus for the company, not only in the UK, but also internationally, as other country’s governments commit considerable financial support to their own energy strategies. Wave Hub is the largest wave and tidal energy project in the UK and Hydro Group is delighted to be involved in this ambitious project."


    Hydro Group also recently collaborated with an Italian systems design company, to develop a ground-breaking intelligent underwater communication system. The project was sponsored by PSTL Science & Technology Park in Liguria, Italy, and saw Hydro Group working with Italian company SMID Technology to help develop The Underwater WEB, the first smart underwater network of its kind.


    The Underwater WEB is capable of interfacing with underwater sub-systems (known as host units) such as sonar, hydrophone arrays and acquisition systems, using only one cable and one control unit - the first time this capability has been made available to the market.


    Hydro Bond Engineering, produced the connectors for the system, and the cable was specifically designed by Hydrocable Systems - both Hydro Group companies.


    Mr Whyte continued: "Hydro Group develops a range of products from prototype concept through to design, manufacture and project management, supplying the whole package.


    "The team here is focused on continuing our successful international expansion and is well placed to move forward with our growth plans set out over the next 4 years. 40% of our business is export; our plan is to increase our manufacturing capacity and bring this nearer to 70%."


    Hydro Group is exhibiting at Oceanology International 9-11th March 2010, stand K720 where representatives will be on hand. The Oceanology conference features an extensive technical programme showcasing the latest technical developments and thinking in the marine science and ocean technology world.


  • Importance of a great sales team

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    “Today’s economic downturn has been many years in the making and there is no fast recovery plan for exit, but there is still business out there to be won, making a great sales team more important than ever.” says Hydro Group’s new sales director Derrick Reith.


    “With over 20 years experience in the Oil and Gas Industry, I, like many of my counterparts and colleagues at Hydro Group are well aware that peaks and downturns are just part of the natural life cycle of commerce, but the business world has not stopped turning, it’s just slowed down a little. Companies must use this time to move forward and plan for the gradual upswing.


    This economic climate is providing a window of opportunity through which competitors can overtake or fall behind one another at speeds double those of normal times. By taking a close look and planning sales and marketing strategy for coming years now, a company can get ahead of the competition.

    Any company whose marketing department is not actively supporting their sales staff during a downturn may be putting their company at risk. Marketing departments need to do far more than just cooperate with sales Staff, they need to become advocates for them. Fostering an attitude across the whole company of ‘we are all in this together’ helps everyone work towards a common goal.


    A sales team can also be hindered by too many negative thoughts in a downturn. The cost of low moral to the business can be missed opportunities and customers not created. It is important to convey a positive internal company message and remember the actions of your team now will reap rewards as the economy improves.


    Over the past year we have seen many businesses make redundancies and those that survived the cut are working even harder, have less time and more responsibility. As a result the last thing they want is sales visits soaking up more of their time. A good sales team can quickly communicate to the customer how value is added to their business, making the customer realise it is time well spent.


    As the market becomes more competitive existing customers might be targeted by aggressive discounting of goods or service. In this situation more than ever, every one involved with the company must become the sales team, helping expand and strengthen relationships at this critical time.


    In this current economic climate it is more important than ever to have a great sales team. By keeping your team positive, looking at the different opportunities this environment creates and helping your team to work together with the same collective goal, you’ll weather the downturn and come out on top when the economy recovers.”


    Derrick Reith is worldwide sales director for Hydro Group, specialists in the design, manufacture and support of subsea composite electrical, optical fibre and coaxial cables, tethers, connectors and penetrators.


  • New underwater WEB designed for Italian company

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    Sponsored by PSTL Science & Technology Park in Liguria, Hydro Group has collaborated with an Italian systems design company, SMID Technology of La Spezia, to develop an intelligent underwater communication system which allows a large number of detecting devices to be continuously deployed at sea in a vast area and to be connected to a receiving centre on shore.


    The WEB is capable of interfacing with underwater sub-systems (known as host units) such as sonar, hydrophone arrays, acquisition systems, using only one cable and one control unit.


    This new WEB system would benefit underwater networks such as port protection, traffic monitoring, seismic research and mammal survey, to name but a few.


    Hydro Bond Engineering produced the connectors for the system, and the cable, specifically designed by Hydrocable Systems, has an overall diameter of less than 20mm; its bend radius provides easy transportation and deployment at sea and it has the added benefit of being able to interface with most sub-systems available on the market.


    The WEB was sea-tested under the supervision of the NATO Underwater Research Centre, witnessed by Italian Navy Officers, Genoa University Professors and PSTL – the sponsors and fulfilled all requested scientific requirements. It’s a huge success at first time launched!