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5 typical sealing challenges in FPSO projects

Exploring new ways to shorten lead times and secure installation quality.

5 typical sealing challenges in FPSO projects

Proper cable and pipe penetration sealing is crucial in FPSO projects. More and more EPCs, shipyards, operators and owners select full safety system suppliers to reduce risk and save time. They also take advantage of new digital tools for designing, managing installation quality and keeping long-term control of their cable and pipe transits. Do you also want to overcome these common challenges?

1. How to select cable and pipe transit sealing system?

There are many different openings for cables and pipes to seal onboard an FPSO. Some cables enter electrical cabinets for sensitive equipment while others run through bulkhead after bulkhead. Metal pipes are routed through a variety of structures with different fire ratings. In the living quarters, plastic pipes for i.e. grey and black water need to be sealed. Many of the electrical, structural and mechanical applications and the entries into automation equipment have different requirements when it comes to fire rating, water ingress protection or corrosion resistance. This magnitude of demands and requirements frequently forces engineers to chose different technical solutions to cater for the various sealing needs. It is, however, much better to find one sealing system supplier with a solution suitable for standardization. At Roxtec, we are proud to say that we offer flexible solutions for sealing every cable and pipe transit onboard an FPSO. We also provide a free online engineering tool to help engineers select and design in the right sealing solution for each application.

2. How to find the right supplier of cable and pipe seals?

There are many things to consider when selecting a supplier within safety systems. Cable and pipe transits are a vital part of the passive fire protection system onboard and very importantly they ensure safe long-term operations. The sealing solutions must therefore be certified and meet, if not exceed, the specified certification level with regards to fire ratings, gas-tightness and water-tightness. The products must also be easily available and preferably familiar to contractors wherever in the world they work with new-builds or repair projects. The supplier should be used to following international large-scale projects and ready to provide support during everything from the planning and design stage through to construction and retrofitting in order to simplify handovers. Roxtec sealing specialists have extensive experience from working together with customers in the field, and have the technical expertise to provide both standard solutions that meet requirements and customized transits for specific needs.

Engineers know this scenario too well: the cable schedule changes repeatedly and requires precise dimensioning of openings without all facts on cables, pipes or equipment.

3. How to speed up cable and pipe transit design work?

There can be thousands of cable and pipe transits onboard an FPSO. Designers need to match both the owners' and the yards' requests regarding size and location of openings for routing of cables and pipes. It is also important to select the right sealing solution for every application and generate drawings and validate the design for all of them so that the contractors can meet the time schedule. This is a time-consuming task which normally requires full control – especially when there are late changes and decisions that designers do not want to leave to the field. Engineers know this scenario too well: the cable schedule changes repeatedly and requires precise dimensioning of openings without all facts on cables, pipes or equipment. That is one reason why we, as experienced sealing specialists, have developed an online design tool that can help engineers handle all changes – and thousands of transits. The Roxtec Transit Designer™ is especially useful if there is a need for updating many drawings at the same time due to a late change including additional cables or pipes. Users can import a cable list, design and then export a list of all the right seals, certificates and sizes for the different applications. In this way, the design tool enables substantial time-savings.

4. How to keep track of documentation and systemize work processes?

There is more to a project than the design work. All those thousands of penetration seals are to be properly installed and correctly maintained throughout the lifecycle of the FPSO. Once again, it is a question of keeping total control of the documentation and work orders – and of updating them every time there is a change in the design. It can be challenging to keep track of all the cable and pipe transits from the start, and after some years of operation and upgrades their documented status is most likely invalid. To help customers meet new safety requirements regarding cable and pipe transit seal registers, Roxtec has developed digital tools that simplify the entire workflow, from installation through to inspection and documentation. This means there is a possibility to manage all cable and pipe transits digitally.

5. How to secure long-term sealing system quality?

Are the new cable and pipe transits correctly installed? Is the FPSO good to go after the refurbishment and all the upgrades with new cables and pipes? Even with a certified sealing solution it must be ensured that the seals are properly installed to do their passive safety job. Poor cable and pipe transit installation quality is unfortunately a serious safety risk. Roxtec therefore offers services, such as installation quality inspections, with a team of experienced inspectors. They help shipyards worldwide guarantee safety during the new-build construction process, and help owners make sure operating units still live up to the safety requirements.