Australian reel designer and manufacturer ReCoila attributes its outstanding engineering skills as one of the major reasons it was head-hunted to find a solution for a major global exploration company in the offshore energy sector.
With rugged, unpredictable working conditions and corrosive operating environments amongst the deepest challenges in this sector, ReCoila, along with other subcontractors, came on board to provide specialised input.
As ReCoila carries more than 30 years proven experience supplying to all major Australian industries as well as export markets, it was seen as the right solution for a very difficult challenge, said Managing Director, Michael Pawson.
"This was no ordinary assignment – the reel is transported onboard a ship that supplies offshore platforms with an anti-corrosion chemical which is used to flush the insides of the pipes on offshore rigs," he said.
"We were approached for many reasons to assist in this project; arguably the main reason is that our expertise is long-time renowned. We design as well as construct, we are based in Australia, meaning we're quick to respond with technical support and maintenance, and of course we focus strongly on the needs of the customer."
"The engineering required was also fairly complicated and we are well equipped to provide this level of input. In addition, some components and fittings were purpose-built because they were not available off-the-shelf. Yet again, this is another example of our flexible and comprehensive engineering capabilities that saw us chosen for this project."
Stainless steel was the material of choice. This was used for life cycle and corrosion control as the finished product will spend a lot of time offshore, immersed in salt-laden air and exposed to sea water.
ReCoila designed and manufactured the reel to a high life-cycle expectancy, and the project included a long list of safety factors such as complete guarding in and around the unit for safe operation and product protection.
Test procedures were in abundance before dispatch to the client. The reel formed part of a transportable pumping facility which was designed to withstand 2.4 Gs of force, and a test load of 10 tonne was applied to ensure structural integrity against the sudden, violent movement on board a sea-going vessel that can often be operating in 10 metre swells.
Breakaways – where a sudden movement or 'drift-off' can jolt a hose to disconnect from the reel – minimise damage to the environment, to the reel and hose, and of course to personnel as well.
The hose reel also had to be designed so that it could be dismantled within the frame of the pumping station and the components that were situated around it. Load tests on the gooseneck of the finished hose reel were equivalent to 900+ kg.
"At all times ReCoila worked in conjunction with other subcontractors to meet quality and expertise standards required by the end client," Pawson said.
"The finished result was a stainless steel reel so well engineered and constructed for its demanding environment that I would expect it to outlive humanity."