Case Studies

Subsea Structure Completes Inspection Checks in 30% Less Time with FARO Solutions

Subsea Structure Completes Inspection Checks in 30% Less Time with FARO Solutions

Dimensional calculations on components can be done directly on the shop floor with the portable FaroArm.
 

Customer-driven quality is a common approach that businesses adopt in order to satisfy and retain clientele. It is easy to see how customers have the power to influence a company’s decisions, and to understand the effect that customers’ preferences can have on any aspect of a business. In the case of Singapore-based Company, Subsea Structure (SUBSEA), the customer’s voice helped determine the selection of equipment when an upgrade was due.

SUBSEA is an integrated engineering solutions provider that serves the Oil & Gas industry through providing turnkey fabrication, machining services, non-destructive testing (NDT), and load testing. The company’s service department also helps to repair, modify, and refurbish oilfield-related components and equipment. Incorporated in 2006, SUBSEA works primarily with major offshore oilfield services companies specializing in the field of drilling and subsea services.

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Subsea Structure’s 70,000 sq-ft facility located in Tuas, Singapore.
 

Quality Checks on First Articles and Outgoing Products

For SUBSEA, its metrology needs include machine alignment and dimensional calculations for quality control, mainly for the components that are fabricated and machined in its facility. The team had all along relied on hand tools such as Inside (ID) and Outside (OD) micrometers for its inspection needs. Typically, the subsea and surface components produced by the company ranged from 0.5 to 2.0m in measurement volume, 50 to 200kg in weight, and quality checks were vital on first articles and outgoing products.

In 2011, however, a search for better inspection methods was prompted. “The team realized that existing hand tools lacked the desired level of precision they were gunning for,” said Mr. Choo Tuck Wah, Director of SUBSEA. He continued, “The tools led to human error and it did not allow our team to maximize their productivity. After all, manual methods required more time and care. Plus, objects had to be moved from shop floor to measuring room, which made it labor-intensive.”

At around that time, SUBSEA heard about FARO solutions – specifically the FaroArm – from its customers. The FaroArm is a portable, articulated-arm coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that offers accuracy, reliability, and convenience to users. The ball probe at the end of the arm is directed at various positions on an object to collect individual 3D data points that are then processed by CAD/CAM software on a computer. Instead of bringing parts to the device, the portable CMM can be deployed directly on the shop floor. This offers huge savings on time, labor, and cost, all at once.
 

Guided by Performance and Reputation

In that same year, SUBSEA decidedly purchased an 8-foot FaroArm to replace the hand tools for its inspection needs. Mr. Choo shared, “On top of all the benefits we knew we would enjoy, FARO came highly recommended by our customers and had a good reputation in the Oil & Gas industry. The choice to invest in this equipment made perfect sense.”

For starters, the SUBSEA team could now bring the measuring device to the shop floor, for measurements to be taken right at the production site. Not only does this save time and labor, it also reduces the exposure of health risks on the personnel where movement of large, bulky objects are concerned. Mr. Choo revealed, “We were pleased to see tangible improvements since the switch. Our statistics show that inspection time has reduced by a significant 30%!”

As productivity increased, SUBSEA also noticed a marked improvement in accuracy and repeatability. The FaroArm is capable of achieving required tolerance levels of 0.00125 inch, and provides much better consistency even between technicians. Mr. Choo further explained, “In the past, measurements had to be taken several times to ensure that they were accurate. The FaroArm basically eliminates any concerns of human error and allows us to confidently show these figures to our customers to resolve any dispute.”

The availability of digital data also means that reports can be easily generated for customers who require hem. Using the intuitive software that accompanies the FaroArm, technicians can churn out reports to validate the dimensional accuracy and quality of outgoing components. When asked about how SUBSEA’s customers played a part in their final decision, Mr. Choo said, “When our customers request onsite inspections in our facility, they have full assurance on the quality of the components we supply, because we speak the same language.”

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Reports can be easily generated with the user-friendly software that accompanies the FaroArm.

Ultimately, even though customer-driven quality had a hand in influencing SUBSEA’s investment decisions, there were several tangible benefits that were obvious to the team, including better productivity, precision, convenience, and cost-savings. Business is doing well for SUBSEA and expansion plans are in the pipeline. Mr. Choo concluded, “Our goal is to expand our geographical footprint, in order to become a global integrated engineering solutions provider. We are hopeful that our partnership with FARO can help us get there.”
 

About Subsea Structure Pte Ltd

Incorporated in Singapore in 2006, Subsea Structure (SUBSEA) is an integrated engineering solutions provider capable of providing turnkey fabrication of drilling and offshore production related equipment with the support of in-house capabilities in engineering, procurement, fabrication, specialized welding, CNC machining, load and function testing, and NDT services. In addition, our service department undertakes repair, modification and refurbishment of oilfield related equipment and components.

SUBSEA is accredited with the following certification: ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2004 Environment Management System, and OHSAS 18001:2007 Health and Safety Management System by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance and BizSafe Star by Singapore Workplace Safety & Health Council (2012).

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