Shipbuilding Product range

VEM has many years of experience in building ship motors and it also has the licences from all of the important ship classification companies. We build and supply motors and generators for a wide range of all ship models. They range from the large-scale machine with a weight ranging from 200 tonnes to the broad spectrum of accessory drives. Our scope of delivery includes shaft, diesel and on-board electrical system generators, propeller drives, bow thrusters and transverse rudder drives, pump drives and drives from on-board auxiliary equipment.

Special drives (low and high-voltage)

VEM asynchronous motors designed for the upper low-voltage and medium-voltage range are in wide use in a variety of forms as deck and auxiliary equipment drives.

Applications include cutter-head drives on work barges and pump motors for suction-dredge ships or tankers.

Output range:500 – 5,000 kW
Voltage range:400 – 11,000 V
Frequency:50 Hz, 60 Hz or for converter operation
Speed range:500 – 1,800 r.p.m.
Number of poles:4- to 12-pole
Cooling types:IC 8A1 W7 and IC 01


VEM generators are manufactured as nonsalient or salientpole machines with welded housing and brushless excitation.

The machines are equipped as required, with digital controllers and accompanying monitoring systems.
The majority of our generators use sliding bearings with flange mounting, though antifriction bearings may be used for machines with a lower output. Generators with a particularly high output also come with pedestal bearings, along with the complex oil-feed units these require.

Output range:500 – 30,000 kVA
Voltage range:400 – 11,000 V
Speed range:500 – 1,800 r.p.m.
Number of poles:4- to 14-pole
Cooling types:IC 8A1W7

Shaft generators

The use of shaft generators in modern shipbuilding allows fuel consumption to be reduced in comparison to the use of conventional, separate diesel units. These special-purpose machines are located right on the main shaft between diesel engine and propeller. The energy needed on the ship can therefore be produced with the help of heavy oil, increasing overall energy efficiency compared with high-speed diesel units. The benefits are substantial, particularly in the case of container cargo ships with their considerable power requirements due to the refrigerated containers on board.

The shaft generator’s stator is delivered directly to the shipyard for installation. The salient pole is installed on-site, right on the ship's main shaft, and can be carried out by the VEM service team. The machines are designed for a protection degree of IP 44, complete with air-to-water heat exchanger.

Voltage range:400 – 6,600 V
Frequencies:7 – 20 Hz (on a converter)
Speed range:40 – 200 r.p.m.
Output range:500 kVA / 500 kW – 7,500 kVA / 7,500 kW
Number of poles:16-pole (24-pole upon request)

Thruster drives

Electrical motors are used on almost all types of ships, e.g., as thrusters, but also as pump jets. As positioning systems they are indispensable on larger ships nowadays. They also play an important role on pipe and cable-laying ships, as well as on crane barges.
For special-purpose ships of this sort, the bow or stern thrusters can have an output of up to 5 MW.

The machines can be operated directly through the mains (DOL) in S1 or S2 mode or through a frequency converter. Variable-speed control is essential, however, when using them as positioning drives.

Voltage range:400 – 11,000 V
Output range:500 – 5,000 kW
Speed range:900 – 1,800 r.p.m.
Number of poles:4-, 6- or 8-pole
Protection categories:IP 54, IP 23

Combi drives

The combi drive is the result of combining the compact design of POD drives with the robust technology of standard drives.

Advantages of the combi concept

  • extremely compact unit with integrated drive motor
  • minimal installation costs at the shipyard
  • greater efficiency by eliminating above-water gearbox
  • external testing on testbed possible before installation
  • easily accessible after installation
Voltage:675 V
Output range:2,750 – 3,300 kW
Speed range:750 – 800 r.p.m.
Number of poles:8-pole
Protection categories:IP 54

Asynchronous propulsion motors

Large, low-speed asynchronous motors are becoming more and more common as a means of powering diesel-electric ships.

These motors are designed for use with medium-voltage converters. But it will be also possible to have a design with 4 independent winding systems for LV – inverter operation in the upper power range.

Possible drive variants:

  • direct drive (DOL)
  • startup with a soft starter till maximum outputn
  • operation with a PMW converter, sometimes with multiple winding systems
  • combination of direct and regulated drive (tandem)
Voltage range:400 – 11,000 V for direct drive
500 – 4,500 V for converter operation
Speed range:125 – 1,800 r.p.m.
Output range:500 – 15,000 kW
Number of poles:4- to 16-pole

Synchronous propulsion motors

Synchronous propulsion motors are the standard drive for electric propulsion systems on ships, particularly for high-torque applications. These machines are manufactured with two separate winding systems and are sized for use with mediumvoltage synchronous converters.
Applications range from powering mega-yachts, where quiet operation is absolutely essential, to more robust drive systems for tankers and cruise liners, as well as for navy vessels, the latter requiring extremely high operational availability.

Voltage range:690 – 4,500 V for converter operation
Speed range:120 – 200 r.p.m. (-1,200 r.p.m.)
Output range:5,000 – 30,000 kW
Number of poles:16-pole (6- to 24-pole upon request)
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