OMS wins Queen’s Award for Innovation

Oil & gas pipe measurement specialist Optical Metrology Services (OMS) is proud to announce that it has won the coveted 2014 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for its SmartFit™ service, a system for managing pipe preparation and fit-up in readiness for welding prior to pipe laying.

Used in the oil & gas industries, SmartFit™ ensures accurate fitment of pipes prior to welding and laying in trenches, thus preventing environmentally damaging leaks.Whilst innovating this service, OMS developed bespoke laser measuring equipment and methodologies with supporting software, for optimising pipe fit-up. The service reduces costs through faster pipe laying and improves quality by eliminating mismatched pipe ends.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is the UK’s most prestigious Award for business performance, recognising and rewarding outstanding achievement by UK companies. The Innovation category is for continuous innovation and development, sustained over not less than five years to levels that are outstanding for the size of a company’s operations.

Hugh Davies, Client Solutions Director at OMS comments:

“Everyone at OMS is honoured to receive this Award because innovation has always been a priority here and a cornerstone of this company’s growth and financial success over the years. Innovation is something that the UK excels at and so the competition for the Queen’s Award must have been intense.”

The Company

Founded in 2006, OMS is a privately held company based in Stansted, Essex, with over 30 employees. The company also has an office in Houston, Texas, USA. Since 2006, OMS has grown company sales revenues by at least 100% per year – with around 90% of annual turnover from overseas customers.

2013 was OMS’ most successful year to date, achieving sales revenues approaching £5.1 million. In 2014, OMS expects to achieve sales revenues of more than £6 million. The company will also be spending more than half a million pounds on new product development over the next 12 months. In the last six months, OMS has increased its workforce by more than 20%.

The technology in oil and gas pipeline projects, the welding of fatigue-sensitive SCR (Steel Catenary Risers) and flowline pipes to tight specifications is critical. Counterboring the pipes might not be a viable method of controlling pipe geometry due to cost considerations or to limitations on pipe wall thickness. In order to prevent bottlenecks during welding and to minimise project delays and risks, oil industry owners, pipelay contractors and welders need to capture, record and analyse pipe end geometry quickly and accurately. This measurement data can help to ensure that pipes delivered into the bead stall will fit together within the welding specification requirements.

Typically, end dimensioning and fit-up involves collecting pipe measurement data. Automatic, laser-based measurement tools are used to measure geometrical features of pipe ends, performed onshore or offshore.

Data from laser measurement tools can then be made available to OMS’ pipe optimisation software, SmartFit™, which uses pipe measurement data to analyse, predict and control pipe fit-up, before the pipes are brought into the bead stall for welding. This averts production issues relating to poor fit-up and manages the assembly of problem pipes in order to maximise welding productivity.

Each pipe end is measured, identified and entered into SmartFit™, which then analyses fit-up of pipes, allowing the operator to mark the best rotational position on each pipe end. In the bead stall, these marks are aligned to achieve best rotational position so that misalignment is minimised. Any problem pipes that won’t fit at a specified HiLo are also indicated and re-sequenced or removed completely so that fit-up problems do not occur, which avoids any production delays due to mismatched pipes.

Recent Awards

• 2012 – Pipeline Industries Guild, Land Based Pipeline Award
• 2010 – Subsea Global Exports Award 2010
• 2008 – Pipeline Industries Guild, Award for Significant Contribution to Subsea Pipeline Technology
• 2007 – Queen’s Award for Enterprise, Innovation category
• 2007 – Pipeline Industries Guild, Land Based Technology Award
• 2004 – Pipeline Industries Guild, Award for Subsea Rigid Pipeline Technology

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