Utility meets comfort in uncompromising solution for drilling rig
R&D participated when SubC Partner needed experts to complete a large offshore project on the drilling rig, West Hercules.
The tower on the oil rig was exposed to the rough weather conditions at sea and a solution was needed which could create shelter without compromising the work performed inside the tower.
SubC Partner’s task was to create a variety of constructions and improvements aboard the drilling rig West Hercules, but they needed help with a particular challenge. The bare metal framework composing the drilling tower aboard the rig did not provide any shelter for the employees, especially during rough weather conditions, which often delayed the work or completely prevented it.
In collaboration with SubC Partner, R&D had to create a solution which could create a comfortable environment for the employees aboard the rig without compromising their work.
Least possible increase in weight
The solution was to cover the metal framework of the drilling tower with aluminium siding to create shelter inside the tower. To prevent compromising the relocation of tools and equipment, two aluminium sliding doors were mounted on the tower to ensure that the tower could be opened and closed quickly. One of the challenges of the task was that the total increase in weight caused by the solution had to be kept at a minimum. R&D's skills within calculation combined with SubC Partner’s experience with the use of aluminium provided the optimum solution.
Time also proved to be of the essence. There was a limited time window to create the construction itself as well as the calculations. The existing drawings of the platform were insufficient for construction and calculation purposes, which meant that R&D and SubC Partner had to send two employees to the rig to complete the measurements needed to ensure a sufficiently solid solution.
The following four weeks, 3-5 employees at R&D worked simultaneously to complete the task, ensuring that drawings, calculations and documentation would be completed on time.
A technical solution to a human need
Søren Kellenberger participated in the project. ”Our first task was to measure the tower to find the right dimensions for the solution. The sliding door gateway is 15 metres tall and 7.5 metres wide and allows tools and equipment to be moved in and out of the tower, while the sliding doors allow the employees to close the tower to create a comfortable indoor climate,” Søren Kellerberger explains. ”The large aluminium sliding doors needed to be able to withstand strong winds, but thay also had to be easy to move on rails. In this case, our task was not to create a technical solution to a mechanical problem, but rather a technical solution to a human need.”
SubC Partner received 2D/3D documentation of the project, as well as FEM-calculations which show the load capacities on the sliding doors. Along with a description of the installation procedure, SubC Partner was able to install the structure on West Hercules, where the employees now can work even during rough weather conditions.
“Good working conditions also serve as a sort of efficiency improvement,” Søren Kellenberger remarks.
“By ensuring that the employees at West Hercules can work in the tower in all kinds of weather, downtime is reduced – especially at critical times. The employees can focus solely on their work, and we have not compromised the movement of tools and equipment in and out of the tower.”