Thin Jack is a patented, two-millimeter thin envelope capable of exerting hundreds of tons of force to jack, lift and separate difficult-to-move objects, such as pipeline flanges and concrete weight coatings.
Constructed from two sheets of high tensile (grade 316L) steel and TIG welded to form an envelope with a narrow metal tube protruding from the envelope, Thin Jack is inflated with oil or water using a hydraulic hand pump at pressures up to 8700psi (600 bar), thus expanding the envelope to 10 to 12 millimeters. The steel sheets are forced apart, converting all the energy from the pressurized fluid into forces perpendicular to the steel sheets. The force achieved is a function of area and pressure and can amount to up to 400 tons from a single Thin Jack.
"We're pleased to be appointed the North American distributor for Thin Jack and will primarily focus on the Gulf State region spanning Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida," said Andy Bogle, president of ETS. "Our dedicated sales staff know the pipeline and well servicing business and look forward to introducing this new technology to the marine construction and other industries."
Thin Jack is available in a range of shapes, sizes and thickness to address nearly all flange API 6A specifications. Designed to provide optimum performance in a range of applications, Thin Jack can also be custom manufactured for specific jobs. Depending on the size deployed, the Thin Jack will expand a gap of just a few millimeters to up to five or six times wider. Shims or wedges can be inserted to maintain the gap and the expanded Thin Jack discarded. If more pressure or higher lift is necessary, additional Thin Jacks can be inserted.
Using Thin Jack, engineers can increase productivity by quickly separating and removing otherwise immovable objects. This highly portable, hand-operated device promotes safe operations by providing better contact and application of pressure, which also means less damage to faces of flanges. There are no sparks from welding and cutting tools and Thin Jack is certified for work in Ex zones. The use of Thin Jack also significantly reduces separation service time. For example, Thin Jack has been used to reduce production tree separation from 31 to three hours.
Thin Jack is a product of Industrial Solutions International Limited of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Introduced in 1996, the device has completed hundreds of tree workovers, including more than 3000 applications of Thin Jack to separate 30.35" flanges on cellar deck production trees.
Although the potential applications for Thin Jack appear unlimited, field experience and proving trials have shown the device to be ideally suited for specific tasks, such as closing gaps between different parts of structures, jacking of heavy objects in confined space, and splitting concrete between modules on platforms to be decommissioned.
Because of its relative simplicity, Thin Jack has the capability to perform various subsea applications by diver or ROV, such as the safe and speedy removal of connector covers, and the removal of concrete weight coating. To date, Thin Jack has been used to perform nearly 4000 successful operations both onshore and offshore.
ETS provides a wide range of equipment and technical services to the offshore and marine industries. Based in Houston, the company is also a leading equipment provider to survey, marine construction and energy companies operating onshore and offshore.
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