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Process specialist is the first manufacturer to attain Marine Type Approval for complete range of control valves.
The focus by offshore oil and gas operators on equipment safety and integrity is something that continues to sharpen every year. This focus extends to material sourcing, procurement, and manufacturing activities, with the objective being that all equipment used in offshore vessels and installations meets rigorous industry operating and safety standards.
With this in mind, Emerson Process Management made the decision to undertake a program to ensure that its line of Fisher valves and FIELDVUE digital valve controllers were fully and independently approved for offshore use. The approval process took more than a year.
At a briefing during the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston on April 30, Emerson announced it has now received Lloyd’s Register’s Marine Type Approval for process control applications within the offshore oil and gas production industry. This “Marine Type Approval” ensures that the Fisher products can be installed for critical duties on ships, mobile offshore units, and floating structures moored at a fixed point such as drilling rigs or platforms.
According to Emerson it is the first manufacturer to have a complete line of control valves and digital valve controllers Marine Type Approved by Lloyd’s Register. Lloyd’s Register is an impartial certification service that provides third-party verification of a product’s conformance to specific standards or specifications and to the use of appropriate, quality manufacturing systems.
According to Ken Kleemeier, industry business development manager at Emerson, there is growing international awareness of the importance of third-party certification such as Lloyd’s Register, particularly in the oil and gas industry.
“Offshore oil and gas operators are very focused on equipment safety and integrity,” he said. “This focus extends to material sourcing, procurement, and manufacturing activities, with the objective being that all equipment utilized in offshore vessels and installations meets rigorous industry operating and safety standards.”
Control valves and related instruments are typically installed in areas affecting the safe operation of the ship and its topside processing units. These applications are referred to as “classed duties,” and the valves must be Type Approved for this service.
Prior to granting certification to the Fisher products, Lloyd’s Register personnel reviewed Fisher product designs to validate compliance with industry codes and standards. They also witnessed and reviewed documented product performance tests that confirmed the integrity and functional performance of the Fisher designs in production.
In addition to product Type Approval, multiple Emerson Fisher manufacturing sites met inspection and test requirements for Lloyd’s manufacturing approval.
At the same briefing, Emerson also outlined its ongoing US $64 million investment plans for two new facilities in Houston. Already up and running, the Emerson Industry Center for Hydrocarbon and Energy required $34 million of investment and opened earlier this year. The 160,000-sq-ft office complex already has more than 380 employees and is looking to add 100 more new jobs by early 2015.
The other $30 million is being spent on a new 205,000-sq-ft Valve Automation Global Engineering World Area HQ and Final Configuration Center, to support the company’s North and South America activities. Construction is under way, with completion targeted for August this year. Initially there will be approximately 175 employees at this new facility.
Emerson Process Management has approximately 2,500 employees in Texas, with around 1,000 of those based in Houston.