Prepared for the great giant

Soon, fabrication of the Johan Sverdrup Drilling Platform modules will begin. Aibel's yard in Haugesund has already been preparing the job for months.

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Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.

Following the award of the Johan Sverdrup Drilling Platform contract, Aibel's yard in Haugesund has made a full review of all departments and work processes. Risks, facilities and competence have all been under investigation in order to achieve the best possible ability to deliver.

"It's important that we're open to new possibilities. There is always something we can do better," smiles Tom Falkeid, Vice President Haugesund Yard.

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About 1,750 employees work at Aibel Haugesund. Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.

New technology

The review has led to several improvements. Falkeid can show a yard with the most advanced equipment. In the big North Sea assembly hall, where the drilling support module (DSM) will emerge, the traverse cranes have been upgraded to endure considerable heavier loads. In the Ship Builder's Hall, where steel profiles are connected to larger building blocks, a traverse crane has been replaced by a brand new crane with a lifting capacity of 50 tonnes.

The yard has also invested in several new welding machines as well as a brand new and modern welding robot (K-Tig), making the work more automated and enabling each operator to work more efficiently.

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K-Tig, the yard's new and modern welding robot. Photo: Aibel.

"The investments we've made also provide a positive HSE effect, facilitating better ergonomics and less exposure to welding fumes. Our employees now have more varied work tasks and are facing less long-lasting static work positions. Efficiency improvements and HSE fit together like a hand in a glove," confirms a pleased Falkeid.

More efficient

The yard has also bought a fully automatic pipe saw. This means that heavy, manual work have been replaced by a few keystrokes. New, specialised system tables for plumbers also make the work more efficient. Instead of large workbenches, often shared by two employees, everyone now has their own table, positioned in a way that makes it easy to help one another.

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The yard's new, specialised system tables for plumbers have already been to good use. Photo: Aibel.

"These are only a few examples of recently installed equipment, which all represent important improvements for the yard. To make sure that we perform our work in the safest and most efficient manner, we need to keep ourselves updated on the latest technology. We will also defy established methods and standards if we find more appropriate ways to work," Falkeid says.

The management has had a good cooperation with the unions throughout the streamlining process. Head of Fellesforbundet's club in Aibel, Trond Skree, is happy with the changes that have been done.

"Particularly the improvement work related to steel production is good. This will improve Aibel's competitiveness," Skree says.

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Yet another of the yard's new investments: A powder arch tower robot for welding of pipes. Photo: Aibel.

A lot going on

In February 2016, the first cut for the drilling support module will be made. The staff is now looking forward to a new peak in activity, following a quiet autumn in the aftermath of the DolWin beta project.

"The Johan Sverdrup Drilling Platform is just one of several ongoing projects here in Haugesund. Ivar Aasen Hook-up, Maria WI and Aibel's frame agreements will all require resources. In addition, we're expecting a visit from the Glen Lyon FPSO, which will undergo some final preparations," Tom Falkeid tells.

As of spring / summer 2016, the yard manager reckons the yard will be buzzing with activity.

"From there on we will have a high level of activity until late 2017," he says.

Besides installing new technology, Haugesund Yard has developed new HSE courses and launched ten absolute safety rules. Now they're well prepared for the great giant.

"I have a strong, highly competent team behind me, holding a lot of experience from pervious projects. We will plan all work properly and work together as one team. A good cooperation between all involved parties – that will be the key to success," says Tom Falkeid.