Oil & Gas
TechnipFMC, the leading supplier of subsea tree hydraulic control systems for wellheads used to plan the routes for the hydraulic tubing runs that interconnect the valves and other component parts of the subsea trees, and then fabricate the custom tubular part shapes, as the trees were being built. This process slowed down the build cycle and limited the total number of trees that could be assembled in the company’s sophisticated system building cells.
TechnipFMC decided to investigate the use of 3D modeling of tubing, which would allow the tubing system required for subsea tree orders to be designed and bent in advance of system building and then delivered to the manufacturing cells ready for immediate assembly.
The Unison machine’s advanced all-electric architecture was preferred over the more traditional hydraulically powered bending approach because of the greater precision and inherent repeatability that it supports, which allows tubular part shapes to be bent right-first-time – avoiding scrap. This is ideal for the subsea tree production environment which demands lots of tubing parts with unique shapes – which TechnipFMC fabricates as a single batch for each tree project. The tubular materials being bent are often very expensive alloys as well such as Super-Duplex and Inconel 625, so avoidance of scrap is a major saving.
All-electric tube bending machines from Unison are helping TechnipFMC to substantially reduce build times and multiply its manufacturing capacity.
Using the new process, the time required for tubing assembly in TechnipFMC’s cells has fallen by around two thirds, with the additional advantage of introducing a standardized process with a consistent quality that negates possible human error or fatigue.
“The new tube bending process is a win-win solution for our business, as it provides us with a highly consistent and repeatable manufacturing process and is considerably faster than before – boosting TechnipFMC’s productivity and shortening our delivery times to customers,” Richie Barker, Operations manager and Manufacturing Specialist (Global Manufacturing) at TechnipFMC.
Six sites worldwide now use Unison tube bending machines in a new production method pioneered by TechnipFMC’s employees in Norway and Scotland.