The Orion Electrical Rotary Actuator is a product that has been three years in the making. This innovation was designed to be a green efficient product. It was launched at Monaco Yacht show and some of the big shipyards are already in discussion with this product.
It is compliant with all major classification societies and the benefits include: no hydraulic piping & ease of installation saving time and money, the 3 phase motor will run (clockwise or anti clockwise anti clockwise to move the vessel port and starboard) only when there is a steering demand. This will minimise any noise. It can be fitted to vessels with multiple rudders and the rudders can be synchronised electrically.
The Orion product has a bevel helical gear box and as standard is available in the following sizes: 0.25TM, 0.5TM, 1TM and 5TM. The units can be modified to suit each vessel. The gears will be designed accordingly and the output torque can go extremely high if required to cover boats in excess of 100m.
There is an electric brake fitted which allows the rudder to stay in position if there is no override.
Initially Wills Ridley looked at developing the ball screw actuator to comply with classification rules. It was found that the ball screw actuator was susceptible to damage in the event of a shock load to the rudder and the replacement would be costly. The emergency steering was also a challenge to comply with classification rules. The main reason for this is it is difficult to bypass the ball screw. The emergency steering on the ball screw could be achieved with a hydraulic back up. Wills Ridley did not want to do this, because our market research with the yards came back with valuable information confirming; the main reason for opting for the electric system was to avoid any piping and be a cleaner system.
The bevel helical gearbox is not new technology, it has been tested for many years in industry and is extremely reliable. Wills Ridley has used the technology and designed an electrical control system that is safe and compliant with class rules for marine steering purposes.
If you have any questions relating to this product please email – installation drawings are available for the standard models and they can be modified for the custom models.  Ryan Kitchener will be attending METS and The Super Yacht Forum so he can discuss this product and also hydraulic steering, electrical controls and rudders. 

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