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SSC Laser

Oil & Gas

In an industry where site downtime costs millions, be assured that partnering with SSC Laser Cutting will mean you have the peace of mind that when you want something quick, we will deliver. Dealing with all grades of mild steel and stainless steel, free-issue or complete supply, flat or folded, we will have laser cut parts delivered to get you back up and running quicker than you ever thought was possible.

There are a multitude of factors that may cause delays within the oil and gas industry, which can have large impacts on the timescale of a project and more significantly on the budget, due to the necessity to employ contractors for longer periods, and any deviations made away from the original specification.

One of the main aims of oil and gas projects are to expand the oil or gas supply and replace existing systems with more innovative and effective models – which is where SSC came in!

One issue that is listed as being a contributing factor to delays and increase in budget is ineffective planning due to lack of foresight to involve suppliers and contractors in the initial planning and design stages of long-lead equipment (Yeo and Ning, 2002)¹, which is only too common and something that a client of ours experienced and got in touch with us to help out with.

We received a request to help with an automation retrofit to a series of burners on an Ethylene cracking plant in the Middle East.

During the redesign and modernisation of their plant, it was decided it was necessary that the emergency shutdown of multiple burners needed to be automated from a central control panel.

The Issue:

The emergency shutdown of the burners was done by manually pulling a lever on each of the 256 burners. The engineers we partnered with for this project had devised a series of tubular components to link the manual shutdown levers together, however, as all the tubes and spigots needed to be accurately machined with 4 pairs of aligned holes and slots at each end (over 4,000 slots and holes in total!), this would take weeks to process through the client’s workshops on drilling and milling machines, delaying the project plan – so it was decided that a different approach was needed.

The Brief

Each link tube needed to be arranged in banks, and they were to sit between pairs of burners, with spigots sitting in bearings to support the links. They needed to be arranged in lines of up to 32 burners, attached to an actuating motor. This was then linked to a central control room panel, allowing the burners to be shut down in banks with the touch of a button.

The Solution

Each tube varied between 3.5m to 3.9m long, and as material came in 6m lengths, initial estimates of material usage was high with one part to a bar. Our client therefore re-designed each tube in 2 pieces, which were to be welded together.

We were contacted relatively late in the design phase and we had to respond quickly to the requirement for 256 link tubes from 90mm diameter, 5mm thick in 304 stainless steel, and 256 spigots from 73mm diameter tubes so that the link tubes could be joined together.

Our new Adige LT8.10 Tube Laser Cutting Machine enabled us to react to the brief quickly and efficiently, due to its active pierce feature meaning that we can complete a pierce motion in as little as 0.7 seconds!

To further reduce costs, we put the parts through our nesting software, which allowed the tubes to be nested from the minimum amount of material, and suggested that only one of the tubes needed to be produced in two parts. This resulted in a 50% reduction in the amount of tubes that needed to be welded, from the initial suggested 128 tubes.

SSC quickly produced a prototype which was quickly shipped across to the client to showcase at a final consultation meeting.

Once approved, we organised the tubes to be cut on the tube laser and then MIG (metal inert gas) welded with stainless steel wire. We chose to MIG weld over TIG (tungsten inert gas) weld to further reduce costs and meet budgets as accurately as possible.

Finally, we delivered the finished project all in one batch, only 21 days from receiving the initial order.

If the above scenario all sounds a little too familiar, please do get in touch with SSC Laser on 01889 270241, filling out our contact form, or firing across an email to and we’d love to help provide you with rapid solutions to complex and time-critical problems.

¹Yeo, K T and Ning, J H (2002) Integrating supply chain and critical chain concepts in engineer-procure-construct (EPC) projects. International Journal of Project Management

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Contact SSC Laser

Contact SSC Laser