Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions has opened its $2 million pioneering TQR (Test, Qualification and Reliability) laboratory to evaluate and assimilate the long term behavior of deepwater umbilical cables.
The facility is located at Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions' design and manufacturing plant at Rosyth, Fife, Scotland.
Oceaneering's new 600m2 facility will house a team of specialist analysts to evaluate test data and carry out performance tests to meet the demands of project specifications for its customers' and to understand and validate product performance limitations.
Central to this will be the identification of critical failure modes, investigation into what causes these failures and how Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions can mitigate against these occurrences.
Umbilicals generally have a 25-30 year life-cycle, however, operational rigors and stresses due to the effects of ocean currents and tidal wave movement on the umbilicals can cause general fatigue and allows corrosion to set in earlier than anticipated. Oceaneering's investment in this TQR facility will help safeguard against sudden operational failures, as Joao Melo, Test & Reliability Manager Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions explains;
"If an umbilical fails, oil and gas production stops. Although the umbilical is a comparatively inexpensive product within the whole energy production infrastructure it is one of its most critical components.
"Moreover, we have made a significant investment in new plant and machinery for the new TQR center. Part of this will provide a comprehensive 'data shop' generating analysis to add significant weight to our proposition as a complete one-stop-shop for umbilical manufacture, test and supply.
"Given the demands we place on the umbilical cable to perform a wide range of tasks in very challenging environments, the in-house testing of an umbilical's operational behavior at various stages of its life-cycle is vital information for our clients and they'll be reassured that our testing capability will exceed the set industry standards."
In opening its TQR laboratory, Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions carries out testing to industry standard ISO 135628-5. Until now, Oceaneering subcontracted much of this testing, but the TQR laboratory will leverage a better in-house understanding of how an umbilical performs in its environment.
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