Rotork gearbox enables critical subsea valve operation

The innovative combination of Rotork gearboxes and SafeOperator flexible extensions has successfully and economically enabled the manual operation of critical ballast valves on an offshore platform.

A major builder of TLPs (Tension Leg Platforms) needed to manually operate sixteen submerged ballast valves deep in the legs of the platform. Rotork Gears met the challenge with an IP68 rated submersible IS multi-turn spur gearbox combined with the SafeOperator flexible extension solution for valve operation. The combination of flexible and rigid shafts has enabled the valves to be operated from a safe platform 40 metres away. In addition to operating the valve, the system also provides clear visual indication of open or closed positions.

The Rotork IS gearbox selected for the application is rated for continuous submerged duty at a depth of 40 metres and fitted with simplified subsea pressure compensator relief valve. The SafeOperator is manufactured from a standard range of stainless steel components for maintenance-free operation in the harsh sub-sea environment. Fabrication was performed by Rotork Valvekits, who also manufactured the valve mounting bracket for the gearbox.

SafeOperator systems offered in combination with Rotork gearboxes are customised to suit individual requirements and enable the manual operation of valves of virtually any size that are hard to reach or in dangerous areas from a place of safety without the need to compromise on the pipe layout or build additional infrastructure. Each system is designed for easy installation and long term maintenance-free operation.

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