OMS Measures Up for Innovation Award

Hertfordshire-based Optical Metrology Services (OMS) has notched up another award for innovation. The UK company, which specialises in precision measurement services and tools for the oil and gas industry, has just scooped its third prestigious Pipeline Industries Guild award.

OMS have added the Guild's award for 'Significant Contribution to Subsea Pipeline Technology' in 2008 to other recent awards. The company has previously won a Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation and a Pipeline Industries Guild award for 'Land Based Technology' in 2007 and 'Subsea Rigid Pipeline Technology' in 2004.

The majority of the UK-based company's work is international with work being undertaken on major oil and gas projects all over the world from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil and Norway. OMS' recent clients include Shell, Chevron, National Grid, Technip, Acergy, Tenaris, Sumitomo, V&M Tubes, BP and Sandvik.

Founded by Dr Tim Clarke in 2004, OMS is now a leader in highly accurate Laser based dimensional solutions, employing 11 people with a projected turnover for 2008 of more than UK1.5 million.

The slightest mismatch in the fit up of a pipe in oil and gas developments could cause an ecological disaster. It is therefore critical that pipe which is used to transfer oil and gas from the seabed to the surface fits together to less than 0.5mm and this requires the measurements to be exact.

Dr Clarke explains, "Even half a millimetre can make a difference and, as pipes are never round, the industry must have measurement devices on which they can totally depend. A gap larger than 0.5mm could lead to an imperfect weld and the eventual fatigue failure of a subsea riser, which could in turn lead to an environmental hazard or significant costs due to costly shutdowns and repairs."

Through working closely with clients and applying their engineering expertise, OMS has developed a range of tools that are portable, easy to use, robust, fast, reliable and accurate. For example, the OMS Pipe Checker tool takes over 2,000 measurements in less than 20 seconds, providing engineers with analysis data which, allows them to achieve a good weld ensuring the integrity of the pipe being laid.

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