Offshore platform

Size does matter

Christian Borrmann - 4 June 2015

Size and weight are two key components when dealing with offshore applications. But should they be challenges?

About the author

Mr Christian Borrmann
Christian Borrmann is the Editor-in-Chief of Valve World magazine and is the coordinator for the Valve World Conference in Europe.
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A couple of years back, it may have been about three years now, I was invited to report about a conference combined with a dedicated expo taking place in the US. During that conference, I attended a presentation about the problems of users/EPCs not being clear enough about their orders for actuator manufacturers. The presenter was really great and was able to play with the audience to make them understand how important it is to be clear and at if necessary to step up and say something about it if it is not going according to plan.

Weight comparisonIn a recent article, this topic came up again and here it was explained how one can avoid that size and weight of an actuator turn into challenges for users of offshore facilities. The author, Mr Tom Jeansonne from Emerson Process Management, points out that the problem is that “by themselves, actuators are a relatively small percentage of the total weight or size envelope of a topsides facility or hull. However, reduction of their weight and envelope can have a noticeable impact on total tonnage (a reduction of 10 to 100 tons or up to 50% of the total actuator package weight) can be achieved when integrated into a total lightweight design. Additionally, actuator weight and size envelope can greatly impact structural members, skid packages, piping runs and deck layout. Indirectly, weight reduction can also translate to other concerns of the facility such as mooring costs, hull weight and buoyancy.”

So how can you work on a solution to reduce size and weight in order to a) save costs and b) without losing of the crucial aspects that have to be covered in an offshore environment, such as safety, quality, etc.?
Mr Jeansonne explains in great detail that the key solution lies with design and materials of the actuator. He uses a scotch yoke actuator to show how external design and the materials needed for the internal construction of the actuator can be reduced without losing important feature of it.

The link for the article is given above – perhaps you can let me know, once you have read the article, how you see this development?
Is it true that companies go for ‘the bigger, the better’ formula and by doing so challenging the original design plans of the whole valve/actuator set up?

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