With the introduction of our parts in offshore markets, we’ve also been introduced to unexpected and exciting opportunities — including training in helicopter escapes!
As Click Bond’s Sales team, under the leadership of Sales Manager Keith Regester, makes headway in the introduction of our parts in offshore markets, we’ve also been introduced to unexpected and exciting opportunities — including training in helicopter escapes!
In any emerging market, there are bound to be hiccups as mechanics installing unfamiliar parts become accustomed to proper installation procedures. This was the case with the bonded studs (CB9522) on MODEC, Inc.’s MV-27 Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel located off the coast of Brazil.
Last fall, the Click Bond Sales team became aware of several studs having become disbonded from the deck of the MV-27 when initial pictures of the studs revealed an appearance that was not consistent with Click Bond’s installation process specifications. However, determining the source of the disbonding issue would require an on-site inspection and survey of failures in the bonded studs’ installation.
This meant that Click Bond would, for the first time ever, travel offshore to investigate the issue. MV-27 is anchored 150 nautical miles off the Brazilian coast in the South Atlantic, and although MODEC was more than willing to give me, as Click Bond’s representative, access to the vessel for the survey, I was first required to successfully complete Certified Basic Safety Training (CBSP) and Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET).
In October, I traveled to Macaé, Brazil, about three hours north of Rio de Janeiro, to begin the seven days’ worth of CBSP and HUET classes.
The CBSP program consisted of five days’ worth of classroom study that covered safety, escape, first-aid, firefighting, and personal interaction procedures on the offshore vessel. Pool exercises included demonstrating that I could properly put on a life vest, follow safety protocols, jump from a platform wearing survival gear, successful turn over an upside-down life raft (with a partner), climb into a raft, and work to signal a rescue aircraft.
In the HUET program, I spent two days in a classroom learning the proper procedure for escaping a helicopter in the event of a crash landing in water. Following the classroom sessions, I was taken to a pool, where I was strapped into a simulated helicopter to demonstrate my understanding of the proper way to handle a crash landing and escape as a helicopter was both sinking to the bottom of the ocean and spiraling in the water. Of course, any participant in such training must first be a strong swimmer and able to remain calm in highly stressful circumstances!
Once I had completed the training, I was ready to board the MV-27 and inspect the disbonded studs. I boarded a helicopter for the hour-and-a-half ride to the vessel, where I remained for three days to fully evaluate the issue. Throughout the three-day period, periodic safety drills were staged to ensure my survival skills remained sharp.
My survey revealed that improper surface preparation, misalignment of fasteners with retention plate holes, and excessive preloading were the reasons for the disbonding of the studs, and that the quality of the Click Bond studs themselves remained high and that they would perform as advertised when bonded in accordance with Click Bond specifications.
In the end, Click Bond’s recommendations included the implementation of proper training and quality control assessments, new tooling to ensure proper fastener alignment, and effective removal of oxidation and scale from the deck of the vessel.
It was an exciting and challenging two weeks in Brazil for me the Sales team, and all of us look forward to more opportunities to develop emerging markets and ensure the successful use of Click Bond parts!