In this Meet Our Dealer series, Sea Machines introduces the builders and specialists that make up our global dealer network via Q&A-style interviews. Sea Machines dealers are strategic partners located around the world who are enabled to sell, install and service the company’s line of intelligent command and control systems for workboats. See the growing list of global dealers here.
In the exchange below, Rio Controls & Hydraulics’ Shane Faucheux, president (shown), shares his rationale for partnering with Sea Machines, what his company offers to customers seeking innovative marine autonomy solutions, and more.
Sea Machines: Describe your company and services.
Faucheux: Rio Controls & Hydraulics (RCH) is a full-service engineering, manufacturing and service company that provides the steering control and automation systems, as well as hydraulic systems, for commercial marine vessels. RCH also has a complete hydraulic machine shop and service group that performs hydraulic fabrication, rebuild, repair, design and service for all industries. We consider ourselves a one-stop-shop for marine vessels, providing everything from the steering systems to propulsion equipment to autonomy tech, cables, generators, electrical systems – we’re the single call for all of it.
RCH is based in Houston, but we have four other locations in the U.S. Gulf, two along the East Coast and we’ve got an office opening on the West Coast soon. The majority of our marine customers are located in the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts, but we can service customers anywhere in the country.
Sea Machines: What is unique about your company?
Faucheux: We stand apart because of our service. Not only do we provide nearly any product a commercial vessel operator needs, but we stand behind what we sell. We have over 100 technicians stationed around the country and can get to any of our domestic customers within 24 hours to provide on-site support should something go wrong. We support our customers for the long term, not just for the initial sale.
All of the products we offer use state-of-the-art technology. In the past five years, we’ve introduced a variety of advanced technologies and products that have provided our customers with significant savings and reduced downtime, and that have made their vessels easier to operate and maintain.
Sea Machines: Why is offering autonomous marine technology important?
Faucheux: The life cycle of today’s marine technology is about 18 months. The marine industry is one of the last to adopt best-available technologies. This is one of the reasons we only offer state-of-the-art technology that integrates fully with our customers’ assets. Autonomy is the next frontier. When commercial marine operators adopt autonomy, we will see less accidents. If you look the data for accidents occurring on the water, you’ll see that most of it is due to human error. If you remove that risk, you reduce the chance for incidents. We also see autonomy as an important tool for capturing data. As an example, the data collected can be used to produce a preventative maintenance program, which could show errors or failures before they happen.
Sea Machines: Why did you choose to become one of our dealers?
Faucheux: Sea Machines has done the research and development to ensure that they are on the forefront of marine autonomy. We chose to work with Sea Machines because we saw the company could be an extension of what we offer and its products integrate seamlessly with the products that our customers are already using. Once this technology is installed aboard our customers’ vessels, we think they’ll be impressed with how robust and durable their operations are, and how easy Sea Machines autonomy is to use.
Another reason we partnered with Sea Machines is for its Boston location. Being there allows us to service new customers and provides our New England customers with another touch point for us.
To learn more about Rio Controls & Hydraulics, click here or contact the company at +1-713-923-3205.