Equipment maintenance helps energy operators in harsh enviroments

Jon Lawson

John Curno explains why proper maintenance of equipment enables offshore energy operators to meet the demands of harsh environments

No matter the industry, equipment is specifically designed to meet the demands placed on it every day. When it comes to offshore, those demands are fierce. Not only does equipment have to deliver round the clock with operations running every day of the year; it also has to perform in the harshest of conditions. For Subsea 7, the seabed-to-surface engineering contractor to the offshore energy industry, maintaining equipment is essential to ensuring the smooth running of projects in even the most challenging of environments.

When excessive vibration was identified on its 120-tonne crane – a piece of equipment critical to offshore operations – Subsea 7 carried out detailed checks on the entire system to reduce the potential impact of this abnormal vibration on other components. Taking proactive steps to protect critical motors from damage, a full inspection and overhaul of equipment was arranged with the component OEM, Bosch Rexroth, as part of a planned maintenance stop.

With every component contributing to the successful flow of operations, maintenance becomes essential. When it came to carrying out the inspections of Subsea 7’s equipment, collaborating with Bosch Rexroth ensured that maintenance was carried out to the highest standards, in line with the original specification.

Alongside restoring equipment to deliver optimum levels of performance, doing so in a short turnaround time can help to maintain efficient operations by reducing downtime.

Improving uptime through efficient maintenance

During the maintenance operation, the Bosch Rexroth team repaired a total of eight A4VSG 1,000cc units. With these components playing a crucial role in day-to-day operations, the team was able to adapt to client expectations by returning three units within 19 days, enabling production to commence sooner than initially anticipated.

Thanks to the capabilities within the firm’s in-house test facilities to check the pumps at their maximum flow and pressure, the team was able to quickly understand the current health of each pump, as well as reset them to their original specification. Although this process can sometimes be time-consuming, collaborating with the OEM is an essential step to ensuring the long-term performance of each component.

Throughout the reconditioning process, it is possible to understand the full history of individual components, enabling the expert team to identify if products have been repaired by companies other than the OEM, and if they had been assembled and installed incorrectly.

A global partner

Will Talbot, F&E Hydraulics Superintendent at Subsea 7, says: “When we needed a service partner to carry out essential maintenance on components of our vessel, we contacted Rexroth. As the OEM, we knew it had the core knowledge of each component to ensure they were running optimally. Alongside that knowledge, we were impressed by the global support Rexroth was able to provide, in this case co-ordinating activities between our operations in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. With our business operating around the world, having a technical partner with essential knowledge of our equipment, as well as the manpower to react quickly to projects, is critical to the efficient running of our operations.”

With the high level of service supplied by the team of experts, combined with the company’s global reach, Rexroth has been able to deliver further value to Subsea 7 in other regions. This includes carrying out work on various components for lifeboat davit systems in the UAE, the smooth operation of which is essential when lifeboats need to be quickly deployed from a vessel. To facilitate this global support, Bosch Rexroth UK has provided a single point of contact for Subsea 7 – something that, in practice, has enabled it to simplify its supply chain and deliver services against a critical delivery schedule by relying on a partner with a strong technical knowledge.

John Curno is with Bosch Rexroth

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