Not all projects for clients come to fruition, but the work done along the way can lead to greater things as Norway’s Inovatum Lifting is finding out. Elaine Maslin reports.
Two 150-tonne INOshackles. Photos from Inovatum.
For a client in Brazil, turnkey prototype solutions firm Inovatum developed a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) shackle that used sea water instead of hydraulic oil to operate the hot stab, eliminating the risk of any oil leakage.
It was a one-off project. But, once designed the firm realized their product, since named INOshackle could offer a new improved, single stab operation shackle alternative to the market. They have also made further improvements, introducing remote and multiple unit activation with one stab.
The INOshackle is a 15-1000-tonne working load limit range of shackles that can be operated with one hot stab operation from a work class ROV, on either the “arm” or the “disarm” stab port. The hot stab uses one hydraulic hose supplied with high pressure water supplied from and ROV standard high-pressure water jetting pack.
“Compared to other shackles, it is faster and easier to use,” says Lars Skjold co-founder and general manager at Inovatum, based just north of Bergen. “On others, you maybe do three different things to connect and disconnect and have to move the ROV from one side to another of the shackle. The only thing they have to do with ours is stab it. This is cost and time saving, which is key when it comes to using big support vessels – the time adds up.”
The Shackles are manufactured by Brødrene Haukås Mek. Verksted, in Haugesund. Skjold and marketing manager Janny Angvik Aasen set up Inovatum in 2010 to develop turnkey prototypes for ROV tooling. Skjold has worked in the ROV business for more than 20 years, and had become a “go-to” man for problems others couldn’t fix.
Since launching INOshackle and a new subsidiary company called Inovatum Lifting in 2013, Inovatum has sold INOshakles to clients including NeoDrill (which was first to use the INOshackle on a suction anchor installation project) and Technip, which used them on the pull in at Eni’s Sevan design, Goliat FPSO project in the Barents Sea offshore Norway.
But Inovatum hasn’t stopped there. The firm’s latest innovation is enabling multiple shackles to be disarmed from one stab point. On a subsea lifting projects, typically there are multiple shackles. By connecting these to one central lifting shackle (the control hoses are available built into the soft slings) all can be released at the same time by stabbing the central lifting shackle. Inovatum also offers an acoustic release alternative, with a transponder and accumulator to operate the shackle and it is looking to increase the load to 2000-tonne.
Inovatum’s new remote release with feedback system will allow several INOshackles to open at the same time from one stab point – subsea or on deck.