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When engineering is all at sea…

30/01/2019 09:08:23
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ImagesClick Image for 300dpi jpg fileWhen engineering is all at sea…When engineering is all at sea…When engineering is all at sea…

In most engineering sectors you have to pay some attention to the possibility of corrosion. But it is different for marine engineers, who must eat, sleep and dream about the subject, while also maintaining a laser-focus on robust reliability to avoid failures at sea. Engineering components supplier WDS Component Parts Ltd. puts a lot of effort into understanding and supporting the special requirements of sea-going engineers and makes its full service available to them.

Seawater and salty air are a deadly combination for most steel and, therefore, for most engineered products, machinery and equipment. As such marine engineers are constantly looking for ways to protect their ships, boats and every metal thing they are responsible for. Much the same can be said in relation to shoreside and offshore installations and even for freshwater vessels and river- and lake-side equipment.

WDS supplies an enormous range of engineering parts and components to all sectors of industry and also provides support with high level technical and commercial back-up. It makes considerable efforts to bring its expertise to specialist and non-mainstream sectors such as medical equipment engineering and off shore engineering. It has long served and supported the marine and related industries, so has products and expertise that are particularly relevant.

Louise Helliwell, the International Sales Co-ordinator at WDS, is down to earth about her role: “We supply all sorts of engineering components, from the simplest nut and bolt to gas struts and hydraulic boosters. If you go on our website,, you will see that for each type of product we have a wide range of sizes, styles and options, plus a good choice of alternative materials.

“This is the key to our success in the marine fields. We can meet most needs, even the more obscure ones, with our standard products and operating procedures.”

For marine applications WDS generally recommends stainless steel products, typically 316 grade, which has a very high corrosive resistance. However, 303 or 304 grade may be more appropriate for applications where the environment is not so harsh, say below deck or a short distance inland from the coast.

Almost the full range of WDS corrosion resistant products could be used in marine applications, and certainly large volumes of fastenings, bolts, wing nuts, hinges and handles are dispatched to the docks on a regular basis.

“Our gas struts are also popular on ships, as they build safety into things like lids and hatches that might otherwise slam shut in choppy seas,” says Louise. “These we supply in stainless steel with brass adjusting valves so they are completely corrosion resistant.”

Other items popular with marine engineers include quick release pins, which will hold parts securely together in rough weather but which can easily be operated by cold, wet hands, and anti-vibration mounts, which isolate machinery and equipment from the constant throbbing caused by the ship’s main propulsion system.

Many of WDS’s products are designed for demanding environments, so are robust but also include thoughtful details such as rounded corners which aid fresh water washdown and minimal grooves and crevices where salty deposits could build up.

Another reason for WDS’s popularity amongst the seafaring community is the rapid and reliable delivery of parts. Put simply, ships make their owners money when they are at sea but are a cost item in port, so there is an imperative to spend as little time as possible at dockside. Thus a delay waiting for a £10 part could actually cost the shipping company many times as much in port fees.

Similarly WDS ships goods around the world every day. It has delivery services in place that are able to get parcels to most docks and harbours quickly, efficiently and reliably. Thus a ship’s engineer can order a part in one port for delivery to another place and know it will be ready and waiting as soon as the ship docks. These days it is quite common to place an order with WDS via the web or phone (0845 606 6677) mid-voyage for delivery to the next port of call.

In fact the website and helpline can be a godsend to a ship’s crew. The website has photos of nearly all products, technical data tables, equations and sample calculations: it even has videos and animations, plus email for one-to-one support.

On a final note, thus far we have considered commercial shipping, but WDS also serves leisure sailors and narrow boaters on inland waterways with equal enthusiasm, commitment and expertise. After all, if you have worked and saved hard all year, you won’t want your fortnight on the water ruined for want of an efficient delivery.

Image 1: WDS supply all sorts of engineering components, from the simplest nut and bolt to gas struts and hydraulic boosters.

Image 2: For marine applications WDS generally recommends stainless steel products.

Image 3: Other items popular with marine engineers include quick release pins.

About WDS

WDS are the UK’s leading manufacturer of standard parts for use in machine build components, standard parts, jigs & fixtures, and consumer products. The range of products available from WDS grows daily and so has the methods available to designers and engineers for identifying, specifying and purchasing any of the 20,000+ parts currently held in stock. For example, WDS has made ordering workholding solutions cheaper and quicker by removing small order surcharges.

The WDS range covers five main divisions, Standard Parts, Machine Accessories, Spencer Franklin Hydraulic Workholding, Broaching and General & Modular Workholding.

The image(s) distributed with this press release may only be used to accompany this copy, and are subject to copyright. Please contact DMA Europa if you wish to license the image for further use.

Editor Contact

DMA Europa Ltd. : David Bedford
Tel: +44 (0)1562 751436 Fax: +44 (0)1562 748315

Company Contact

WDS Component Parts Limited : Sarah Gray
Tel: +44 (0)113 2909852 Fax: +44 (0)845 601 1173

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