Induction heating of bearing
It takes a special kind of company to work for the offshore oil and gas industry. People have to be tough, adaptable and mobile. As for equipment, it has to be compact enough to be mobile, yet rugged enough to perform under demanding conditions. EFD Induction is therefore extremely proud to report on its growing involvement with offshore customers.
To outsiders, Orkanger doesn’t look important. But in fact, this quiet village near the Norwegian city of Trondheim is the site of an important pipe assembly workshop for oil and gas pipes to and from North Sea oil fields. One of the companies working at Orkanger is Thermotite Bredero Shaw Norway. Part of their job is to coat the pipes with a special epoxy prior to further coating with Polypropylene. This helps prevent leakage and corrosion in the pipes —enabling them to remain submerged in salt water for decades. In order to successfully apply the epoxy, the outside of the pipes must first be heated. The heat has to be uniform across the application area, and the temperature must not deviate outside a very narrow band. If these conditions are not met, the epoxy will not adhere correctly to the pipes.
One Friday several weeks ago, EFD Induction Norway received an urgent call at its HQ in Skien, southeast Norway. It was Thermotite Bredero Shaw. There was a problem with their pipe heating, could we help them get back into production on Monday? We said we’d try, and bundled an engineer and an EFD Induction Minac 18/25 demo unit into a van for the 700 km drive to Orkanger. The engineer reported for duty on Monday and started trial heating with his Minac18/25. The job was complicated by having to hold a consistent temperature across areas consisting of weld seams to steel brackets of varying thicknesses. However, the engineer quickly found a way to scan the application area with a low temperature for 2-3 minutes, enabling the epoxy to be applied without any problems. The customer was of course delighted to get back into production by Monday afternoon. But even we were somewhat taken aback when they wanted to keep the Minac 18/25 mobile induction converter. Although it was a “demo” unit, the machine had performed so well, they insisted on keeping it on site!
Rescue at sea
Another example of how EFD Induction staff and equipment helped maintain production for an offshore customer involves the “Sleipner A” gas and condensate (light oil) platform, 240 km off the Norwegian coast. The urgent problem this time was a pump bearing. It was defective and had to be replaced. But the risk of an explosion ruled out the use of gas torches and other open flame heating. Bringing the pump ashore for repairs was ruled out as too expensive. Instead, EFD Induction was called in, and within hours of the alert being raised, one of our engineers and a Minac 18/25 converter were rushed by chopper to the platform. Once on the 210-meter-high platform, the engineer used the Minac to heat the pump’s bearing ring prior to disassembly. He then treated the new bearing before re-assembly. The job went without a hitch, and the pump was back at work within hours.