Engineering innovation

Paul Boughton

There is one thing that offshore containers, tanks, baskets, refrigeration modules and accommodation modules have in common: the need for continual innovation in their design and production

Dr Julian Poyner, group engineering director at Ferguson Group explains: “We are value engineering our product range to ensure that each piece of equipment can meet its function and, more importantly, investigate where we can enhance safety features. Customer feedback is essential to this, and we use that to assess how we could build the best tank, container or accommodation space possible.”

It may be as simple as changing the position of a valve but every innovation is necessary and cost effective.

Poyner continues: “Sometimes the most basic problem can also be the most challenging, as it has to be delivered in a way that is cost effective and have multiple applications. We are not making bespoke units for every customer, we are looking at industry applicable developments.”

Ferguson Group supplies offshore baskets that are commonly used for moving long or unwieldy equipment/tools offshore. For a client that was transporting specialist equipment, the company designed a cradle that provided added protection for the valuable cargo.

Another area where the company has recently developed is in its range of offshore chemical and acid tanks. The chemical and acid tanks can now discharge from the top, and the cryogenic tanks provide a 25-day hold time, which is useful when transporting liquid nitrogen to more remote areas. All the tanks are fitted with D rings to enable safe inspection and the cryogenic tanks are designed so that they can be easily stacked with their slings or shackles in situ.

The tough exterior of the Ferguson Group’s A60 module accommodation and workspace range encloses a high quality designed interior, which can be fitted with customised layouts to meet specific requirement. The design team has carefully considered the needs of the clients – the safety, security and comfort of the personnel, the footprint space, weight and hook-up capability for rig and vessel managers, the transport and lift for the carriers and the overall value for money.

And it isn’t just the modules themselves that are being value engineered. Clients often look for whole solutions and the Ferguson Group has recently completed a large order for an accommodation complex designed with walkways, stairwells, sewage and water systems. The solution was designed and installed in a matter of weeks.

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Ferguson Group is based in Aberdeen, Scotland

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