Subsea Expo

Access. Connect. Grow.

Teamwork Results in Award for IHC Engineering Business

18 October 2011

Leading North East Engineering company IHC Engineering Business (IHC EB) has been named Design Team of the Year 2011 by the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEA).

At the ceremony held on October 13 at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, London, IHC EB was highly commended by the judges for the teamwork and innovation that helped deliver an all new J-Lay Tower for their client Saipem for use on their new build vessel Saipem FDS2.

The J-Lay Tower which stands taller than the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle is now in operation off the West Coast of Africa. It is one of the offshore industry’s most versatile pipelay systems, capable of installing large diameter subsea pipelines in water depths of up to 3,000m.

"There is no doubt about it, teamwork was critical to the successful delivery of the J-Lay Tower. The whole team is delighted to have won this prestigious award,” says Neil Baxter, Managing Director.

The design and build of the J-Lay Tower was a complicated project presenting several key engineering challenges. Overcoming these required multi-disciplinary team work of the highest order with input from in-house specialists in mechanical, structural, electrical, control and hydraulic design. The system is the largest that IHC EB has delivered to date with all equipment having to be developed from scratch against a fixed client deadline.

"Communication was the key to successful teamwork given the system weight and performance targets, coupled with the size and complexity of the engineering challenge,” says Barry Malone, Project Manager. "The senior technical team members, including Martin Bingham (Chief Engineer) and Tim Grinsted (Technical Consultant), all had significant roles to play in ensuring right-first-time integration of each design element to deliver a fully working system.

IHC EB won the contract in the third quarter of 2007 and worked closely with Saipem throughout every stage of development, installation and commissioning. The J-Lay Tower was built on Teesside, taking full advantage of the region’s supply chain. It left Teesside in mid-May 2010 to be installed on the FDS2 in Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje shipyard in South Korea.

IHC EB is currently in the process of delivering two further pipelay systems to international clients and is optimistic of securing further orders in the near future.