Bowers Group 38
Central Scanning 36
CG Tech 32-33
Hexagon Metrology 34
Indysoft Europe 37
ND Precision 34
Physical Digital 38
Rhopoint Metrology 34
Ringspann (UK) 35
Roemheld (UK) 39
Rud Chains 33
Spline Gauges UK 32
Steinbichler UK 36
DEEP SEA QUALITY !
FACTORY SYSTEMS FOR
OIL & GAS HELP 'ZERO DEFECTS'
Photo, top, courtesy EWT, the global wind turbine
specialist which has a base in Scotland to serve
the UK renewables sector; and, above, from
GTMA member CGTech which has had success
with its risk management software in the nuclear
and power generation sectors.
Quality control in the oil and gas industry is being advanced by
tool probes and calibration products from global leader Renishaw.
The company is playing a key role in the preventive maintenance
programme of Texas-based
FMC Technologies which has a manufacturing
base in Dunfermline, Scotland where it uses
Renishaw equipment to check and verify dimensional accuracy
of its CNC machine tools.
FMC develops and manufactures oil and gas
Production Control Systems (PCSs) which
consist of topside (surface) controls, power
equipment, the Subsea Control Module
(SCM), various sensors, and sub-sea electrical
and hydraulic distribution equipment. An SCM
contains electronics, instrumentation and
hydraulics for safe and efficient operation of
valves and chokes on the well-top 'subsea tree.'
Wells can be 120 km from the production platform, in water
up to 10,000 feet deep. So when
an SCM is installed on the seabed, it has to be
reliable and safe for the production life of the
well, which can be decades. If a critical part
malfunctions, the potential cost can run into
tens or even hundreds of million dollars.
FCM in Dunfermline has 20 CNC machine
tools, and a recent investment includes a £2.5
million, purpose-designed and built SCM
machining cell, with horizontal boring
machines loaded and managed by a Fastems
This is used to machine the stainless steel
hydraulic manifold block, which is a critical
control element in an SCM assembly. The 267
kg block has a complex 350 drilled holes, and
the company makes more than 200 manifolds
a year when the cell is fully operational. If a
tool break occurs during operation, a
Renishaw NC4 laser-based tool setting system
will notify the Fastems system, which will reject
the pallet and replace with another.
To ensure accuracy each of the 20 machine
tools is serviced up to three times a year, with
each checked using a Renishaw ballbar. The
company has also invested in Renishaw's
CNC Reporter software - initially to keep production records
but also now in its maintenance operation.
FMC maintenance technicians Craig Simpson
and Mike West who are responsible for the
service and support of the 20 CNC machine
tools, said of the manufacturing process:
"Traceability is everything." The performance
standard is zero defects and "nothing leaves
the machine shop unless it is exactly right -
but we couldn't do it without Renishaw."
Record keeping and traceability are vital and
by using Renishaw products FCM can trace
back a finished or shipped part if any show a
fault and prove whether the machine was
accurate and aligned when the part was