Systems

Averfin Delivers Hi-Tech Hydraulics for Maritime

article picture: Averfin Delivers Hi-Tech Hydraulics for Maritime

Finnish marine is really firing on all cylinders right now. Averfin is one of the high-expertise companies in the national maritime cluster, making e.g. demanding hydraulics systems for the heavy-hitters of the industry.

Presently, the maritime sector brings in 70 % of the company’s turnover, says Managing Director Jaana Hyttinen – adding that marine operations are still looking to improve on that figure, too.

“Maritime as a sector is very appealing to us, and we have been fortunate enough to be involved in many memorable projects together with our customers. This way, we’ve also learned a lot,” she says.

Hyttinen also believes that the outlook of the industry is quite positive, even though the sector is still subject to various economic fluctuations. “The quality of the Finnish craftmanship and the ability to deliver under pressure is what has kept the maritime above the surface during the leaner years,” she says. Nowadays, also other factors have emerged:

“Customers are keen on issues such as responsibility, environmental consciousness and energy efficiency.”

Facing the sea
Founded in 1998, Averfin Oy began its operations as primarily a machinery maintenance provider. The transition towards maritime eventually started through cooperation with Wasa Dredging. Averfin offered a helping hand in the maintenance of Hitachi dredgers on one of the company’s ferries.

After that “marine kick-off”, the services became more focused on designing and building new systems for the industry. According to Hyttinen, Averfin has been really focusing on maritime for the past five years.

Designing and installing hydraulics and machine electrification are the core activities at Averfin. Over the years, Averfin has delivered more than a thousand hydraulic applications. The Pori-based company also builds control systems and measuring instruments for existing equipment as well as completely novel inventions.

“In addition, we design special devices as small production batches as well as tailored products,” says Hyttinen.

Mastering hydraulics - Also globally
Presently, the company is engaged in developing guidance systems for marine winches and hydraulics pipe systems and their remote automation systems, says Hyttinen.

“Our projects right now are all located in Finland, but we do work globally with projects in various countries.” Most recently, Averfin has been busy in the Netherlands installing hydraulics pipe systems on barges.

The company’s forte lies in designing and building large hydraulics systems where there is a lot of oil being consumed and high pressure involved. “In addition, we are a highly flexible organisation with low hierarchy – meaning, in essence, that we can respond to customer’s changing plans quite rapidly, with little or no extra cost,” explains Hyttinen.

Eye on components
The making of hi-tech hydraulics and guidance systems for maritime still has its share of challenges. Hyttinen says that the selection and availability of high quality components is always an issue:

“There are classifications and other demands that add to the component challenge. When there are special components involved, this can mean longer delivery times which calls for planning in advance and being mindful of the timeline of the project,” she says.

From the point of view of the client, of course, the quality of the work and expedient delivery are the most important factors. “Making deliveries within the agreed upon timeframe is obviously a key concern and we have good track record on that side, too.”

Small team, big expertise
Sometimes the Averfin crew really has to go “the extra mile,” since the core team is a relatively small one. “We have five people in our hydraulics and machine electrification design team,” says Hyttinen. The size of the installation team, on the other hand, varies from project to project.

Hyttinen credits her design team for being a tight-knit group that is constantly coming up with innovative ways to serve the customers. One emerging area of business is safety:

“We are making adjustments to our hydraulics systems so that they are able to spot people who have entered, for one reason or another, onto the safety zone and are therefore in danger.”

Never stop running
According to Hyttinen, technology in the maritime is now advancing so quickly – and on various fronts – that suppliers need to educate and re-educate themselves over and over again.

“Our team is constantly participating in various training to make sure that they have the appropriate skills and knowledge at their disposal,” she says.

By: Sami Anteroinen
Photos: Victoria Mäkipää

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