7/22/2008 In-situ solution avoids lengthy downtime for drilling platform

NEWS RELEASE from FURMANITE International

In-situ solution avoids lengthy downtime for drilling platform

Furmanite’s ability to design and build a bespoke machine and undertake in-situ machining avoided the need for lengthy and costly downtime for a crane on a drilling platform in the Caspian, minimising the impact on production.

The main king post bearing on the platform crane had failed shortly after an overhaul, due to having been incorrectly fitted. Traditionally, repair would have involved a lengthy stripping down of the crane to fit a new king post – a procedure that would also have been hazardous due to the position of the king post, as liquid nitrogen would have been required to remove the journal. Instead Furmanite, the specialist engineering and technical services company known for its high level on-site machining expertise, was called in to repair the 300mm diameter journal in-situ, as quickly as possible.

Failure of the bearing had resulted in severe scoring damage to the king post over a 490mm area. Furmanite identified the requirements, which involved machining the damaged journal back to a 90% clean up, or rectification of the damage, to enable the installation of a stainless ring and composite low friction ring to be fitted over it, instead of the bearing. Tight access around the journal, limited to just 100mm radial clearance, however, meant a standard machine could not be used.

Furmanite was able to design and build a custom machine to carry out the repair within just six weeks. The machine incorporated a flange facing machine to provide the main drive, with a drop down arm designed and manufactured to rotate within the 100mm of radial clearance. Due to the distance along the shaft that the machine needed to cut, a follower was designed and fitted to run opposite the toolpost, to guarantee a parallel finish on the shaft, so that the bush or sleeve could be manufactured and fitted. The journal sleeve was also produced to fit over the damaged journal.

Cutting trials were carried out on a full scale set-up at Furmanite’s Kendal workshop to confirm the machine’s capability to perform the task, which proved successful.

The work was undertaken in-situ, in just 36 hours, involving machining the journal to remove 3.95mm off the diameter, producing the 90% clean up required. This allowed the sleeve to be fitted over the journal, and the crane could then be built back up and put back into service.

“We are well known for our on-site machining expertise and ability to provide custom solutions to meet specific requirements, and this is typical of the service we offer; proposing the solution, designing, building and testing the equipment, and undertaking the work on-site, “ Furmanite technical support engineer Martin Gibson comments. “This is one of the range of services we offer to help our customers keep their assets operating and earning.”

Sarah Manwaring-White, Keep in Touch Ltd,
Tel: +44 (0)1451 844 488
Email: sarah_mw@keepintouch.co.uk

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