An example of a turnkey project that the Service Department undertook focused on the complete re-fit of a Palfinger PTM700 pipe handler crane for a major service provider to the oil and gas industry. The pipe handler was delivered in multiple sections to Outreach’s Falkirk facility, which is based in the Central belt of Scotland. The initial phase looked at conducting a detailed examination of each component part, to assess condition and viability for re-conditioning versus replacement. This detailed assessment allowed a parts bill of materials (B.O.M) to be achieved along with a detailed programme to control the refit, that aligned with a schedule to re-instate the crane back onto the oil platform.

The pipe handler crane arrived in poor condition after operating in some very arduous conditions after a 20 year service time span. Multiple systems were found to be malfunctioning, which highlighted wear and leakage in numerous areas due to extensive use over this time period. Whilst structurally found to be sound, the crane’s hydraulic cylinders revealed that a complete overhaul of the internal seals and components were required. However, a significant saving in component costs was achieved by refurbishment as opposed to total replacement. General items such as hydraulic hoses; which encompassed HP and LP lines, including pilot control hoses, were all replaced in line with providing a hose register for major plant. Pivot pins and bushes were also replaced after careful measurement and assessment. The pipe handler’s hydraulic power systems, pumps and motor drives, including control components, were assessed accordingly. This saw a combination of refurbishment and replacement of components which in turn, allowed the system to be overhauled to a status of “as good as new condition”. As well as all of this, the crane’s operator cab was being replaced as an upgrade to provide an enhanced facility for an operator to be more comfortable during prolonged crane operations, whilst also providing greater safety aspects in relation to increased visibility in all lines of sight.

The cab was upgraded to a Scan Cab model, which provided a superior enclosure to the old one in every way, in terms of functionality as well as providing comfort, up to date style ergonomics, and enhanced safety features. Particular attention was given to the main crane structure and boom assembly of the PTM700, with a complete shot blast and material assessment to check material thicknesses were still in accordance with original OEM specifications. In addition to this, a comprehensive NDE examination was conducted, which focused on critical load path areas as well as weld analysis. Once all analysis and remedial works were carried out, each component was re-painted to the original marine standard and colour, with paint coats built up to the correct thickness to provide a level of protection which is able to withstand the extreme weather conditions in offshore environments. The pipe grab attachment, which is an Outreach designed product, was also re-fitted and returned to an “as new” condition.

Once all crane components had been carefully refurbished or renewed, the crane was fully re-assembled and built from the pedestal up, onto Outreach Offshore’s test stand. The now fully re-fitted pipe handler crane was now ready to undergo a series of pre- factory acceptance trials (F.A.T). The pre-trials allowed for crucial settings to be set up to optimise crane performance and ensure that load, speed and functionality met OEM standards. Once pre-trials were successfully completed, the crane was load tested and commissioned in accordance with a detailed (F.A.T) commissioning document, approved for the task. The trials were witnessed by both client and the end-user client, as a joined-up approach to working in partnership. The crane successfully completed its Factory Acceptance Trial (F.A.T) and final NDE examination post-test. A full documentation pack was compiled to include updated work history, and certification for all new components, to allow the technical pack to be fully updated.

On Completion, the pipe handler crane was disassembled and mobilised offshore in a series of modules, which allowed a simple but effective re-build on the platform. The Outreach service team mobilised to the platform to provide the final stage support of the project to be completed, which allowed the crane to be set to work on-board, load tested and re-enter service successfully.