MarFlex develops, manufactures and maintains electric driven deepwell pump systems and portable pump systems for the marine and offshore sectors.

Interview with Peter Raaijmakers, Corporate Manager Technic at MarFlex.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Peter Raaijmakers: With 40 years’ experience in pumping oil and chemicals with its electric driven deepwell pumps for inland barges, sea going tankers and offshore platforms MarFlex has specialized their products and services for the harsh operational conditions and challenging behavior of a constantly changing crew.

Throughout our existence we have always listened to our customers and responded precisely to the needs of the market.

Our “pumping for life” story revolves around three essential themes that are crucial to our customers: Energy conservation, extended lifetime, and safe operations.

Our products are carefully designed to last a lifetime, and to be used in the highest possible efficiency resulting in energy savings. This is good for our planet, and for the future generations that will live on it.

In addition, our products contribute to a safer working environment. Less maintenance on deck means less risk for the people working on the ships, increasing crew safety.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

P.R: Deepwell pumps and their control systems for the maritime market. 

The design and manufacturing all take place in our headquarters in Oud-Beijerland the Netherlands. This dedicated to quality facility holds several certificates such as ISO 9001;2015 // ISO 3435-2;2005 and ATEX 2014-34-EU – Annex IV -Module D for their zone 0 equipment.

Installation, commissioning, and service is done by well trained personnel located in strategic locations around the globe.

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

P.R: The MarFlex Smart Pump Solution advises or automatically secures the most efficient pump speed based on discharge requirements set by the crew or time set by operations. The system optimizes and simplifies cargo, slop and ballast pump operation, cargo heating, cargo inhibitor agitation and tank recirculation (e.g. used for cleaning) operations. The system comes in 3 variants.

Basic Smart Pump Solution: 

This variant helps crews to set the most efficient pump speed to achieve the preferred discharge plan and achieve optimal saving.  

Focus modes are available to emphasize time saving or energy saving. With these modes it is possible for the crew to calculate the ideal pump speed to complete discharge within a specific discharge time or with maximum energy saving. 

This system needs no integration of any sensors or actuators, the crew only needs to input the specific gravity and density of the cargo and the specifications of the terminal, such as desired pressure and flow. The Smart Pump basic variant returns the ideal pump speed for either lowest possible energy consumption or fastest discharge while not cavitating the pump.

  • Real data showed that this system can save about 20% of energy consumption.

Enhanced Smart Pump Solution:

This variant is the same as basic but with automated best efficiency pump operation per tank while simultaneously discharging with multiple pumps into a general manifold.

Pump speed per tank and valve positions are continuously monitored and controlled to complete the discharge at best efficiency or fastest discharge. It reduces crew workload, minimizes energy consumption, and increases pump life.  

If desired the crew can choose the discharge to emphasize on time saving. In this case the system will automatically finetune pump speed and valve positions for each tank to complete the discharge within the least amount or a specific amount of time, while in most cases also saving energy.

This variant requires input like the discharge pressure, tank pressure, manifold pressure, cargo height and shall be able to control the position of the valves. This kind of equipment is usually already available on board from third party suppliers and MarFlex only needs to simply connect through a ModBus connection to use and control these signals.

  • Real data showed that this system can save about 40% energy consumption.

Autonomous discharging process:

This variant is the same as enhanced but with full integration with the cargo loading computer or any kind of discharge plan, even autonomous loading can be done through our system. 

Following this plan and activating pumps and valves according to our best practice procedures all manual activities by the crew are taken over by Smart Pumping. 

  • It increases safety on board and assures operational excellence.

For more information, please visit our website.

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

P.R: MarFlex is an electric drive pumping solutions manufacturer for maritime, offshore, and industrial markets; our pumps are currently installed on inland and sea-going ships, as well as at offshore platforms and tank storage. We also provide after service globally to support our customers maintaining our installed pumps throughout the lifetime of the vessel.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

P.R: The increasing demand of sea going logistics, and the green transition initiated by IMO is developing the maritime industry rapidly. We need to bring value added products and solutions to help the stakeholders in the industry, but it is promising for our Electric Driven Deepwell Pump. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

P.R: With the open dialogs to owners, design companies, fleet managements, we hear the trends for cargo handling pumps are shifting from hydraulic to electric driven. With the combination of our new patented technology “Smart Pumping Solution”, we can lead the trends toward electric, by creating customer delight towards owners and stakeholders.

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

P.R: Smart Pumping Solution, because it is the ideal cooperation between our mechanical pump specialists, our data scientist and the electrical hardware and software engineering. Customer feedback has always been captured through data and through extensive interviews with crew members and ship managers. 

The result is a system that saves energy, extends product lifetime, and ensures safety on board. All of this is achieved in a way that is very easy for the crew to use.

In other words, it is a truly multifunctional effort that considers all stakeholders.

Please also look at our website for more information.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2024?

P.R: We are already seeing double amounts of inquiries for our products and solutions from the market. Which will bring results for MarFlex, but more importantly, we see the trends of green transition are being realized this year. The maritime industry is becoming more serious about energy saving, efficiency, and safety on board. For us we are well prepared to support our customers to move on with the trend.