SISTEMAR is a Spanish company highly specialised in ship propulsion and mainly in the propeller design field. It was created in 1987 thanks to the sponsorship of professionals and companies of great prestige related with the naval sector with the intention to continue the developments started ten years ago by Dr. Pérez Gómez in Astilleros Españoles related with high efficiency propellers with end plates at the blade tips.
The main objective of SISTEMAR is the design and commercialisation of CLT propellers®, which improve notoriously the performance of the conventional propellers, being actually the only company worldwide which has the design technology of said propellers. Among its activities it is also included:
Design, marketing and supply of conventional and CLT propellers.
Technical assistance and advisory services in propulsion systems and hull lines, noise and vibrations problems, ship manoeuvrability, etc.
The main milestones in the development of technology and commercialisation of CLT propellers can be summarised in three stages.
In a fist stage, between 1987 and 1995, significant steps forward were achieved as the application for the fist time of the propellers concept with tip plates in controllable pitch equipments and the CLT propellers were fitted in a wide number of fishing vessels of different types. At such time a wide international project was conducted with the ship “Spectrum” of Shell Tankers and the first CLT propellers applications were carried out in Japan, Korea and Indonesia (“Mina Jaya” Project).
During these years an important progress in the theoretical field was done. The design theories of this type of propellers were presented in different conferences and publications specialy outstanding the presentation at the New York Metropolitan Section of the SNAME in 1993.
In a second stage between 1996 and 2006, the CLT technology progessed very significatively thanks to the several R&D national projects in collaboration with AESA (after named IZAR) and CEHIPAR. Said projects allowed to develop and to validate a specific extrapolation procedure at full scale of the results obtained with CLT propellers in model tests, to define the necessary procedure to conduct cavitation tests with this type of propellers taking into account the scale effects and finally the application and validation of the previous developments by means of the installation of CLT blades in the ship “Fortuny” of ACCIONA TRASMEDITEARRANEA and the performance of a wide experimental program both in model field and at full scale.
The extrapolation procedure was presented in The Motor Ship Conference in 2005 while the results obtained with the ship “Fortuny” were presented in the World Maritime Technology Conference in 2006.
The papers presented with the ship “Fortuny” received the Award of the 75th Anniversary of AINE (Spanish Association of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers) in 2006. Previously in 1998, SISTEMAR was awarded AINE as the best Spanish company dealing with the naval sector.
In 2005 SISTEMAR has become a member of the CINTRANAVAL GROUP, created with the intention to reply to the market demand in relation with the necessity of an integral service in the design areas, production, inspection, technology transfer, etc.
In 2007 a third stage was started until nowadays where the consolidation of the CLT concept in the international market has been produced.
In November 2006 the cooperation with AP MOLLER MAERSK was initiated and during three years CLT propellers projects were carried out with the necessary tests programs with models for three ships of said group: a 2500 TEU’s container vessel, a 35.000 DWT product tanker and a 320.000 TPM VLCC.
Finally it was decided to continue the project at full scale with the the product tanker, so in October 2009 the CLT propeller was fitted on the ship “Roy Maersk” and its performance has been monitorised in service during more than one year and a half. The final result has been satisfactory, deducing improvements in the CLT propeller efficiency versus the conventional propeller similar to those deduced from the tests. The collaboration between SISTEMAR and AP MOLLER MAERSK will be extended to new projects.
In this last stage CLT blades have been also fitted in the BAC (replenishment vessel) and BAM (offshore patrol vessels) projects, built by NAVANTIA for the Spanish Navy and licence agreements to manufacture CLT propellers in Portugal, Italy and China have been signed, further to those signed some years ago in Spain and Germany.
Although the CLT technology can be considered enough developed, SISTEMAR is continuously advancing with the aim to optimise the performance of said propellers both from efficiency and cavitation points of view. In this sense, it is specialy significant the close cooperation held with CEHIPAR and other European institutions which are allowing to analyse the CLT propellers with CFD technologies, panel methods, etc.
Recently, SISTEMAR has participated in R&D European Projects as SUPERPROP and SILENV, and is participating actually in the FP7 call of the European Commision TRIPOD and AQUO projects. With the Office of Naval Research of the US Navy (ONR) an R&D project with CLT propellers applied to a Navy vessel is being developed.
It is relevant the fact that a small company so specialised as SISTEMAR has been able to keep its activity during more than 25 years with an important international presence in such a difficult market as the naval sector. The continuous interest to generate knowledge in a so specific theme as it is the design of high efficiency propellers, always considering the innovation as a basic tool to improve the service to its clients, has been without any doubt one of the reasons which justify the success obtained by SISTEMAR.