Watertight Protection for Offshore CablingBy Peter Appleby | Tue, 05/12/2020 - 15:33
Q: What are the main benefits and advantages of Roxtec’s cable and tubing sealants, including the innovative Multidiameter system?
A: Roxtec is the market leader and has the widest portfolio of products for cable safety. Our products protect cabling and tubing from water encroachment, fire, dust, and explosions: the entire gambit of potential dangers within the oil and gas industry. All our products are certified and meet global industry standards. Another of the major benefits of Roxtec’s products is the lack of maintenance required. In our laboratories in Switzerland, we spend time and effort researching which of our products can be improved to withstand external elements. In lab tests, we have proved that our Multidiameter sealing system functions optimally for up to 25 years despite corrosive environments. There is no other cable protection system that provides Roxtec’s quality. Roxtec’s halogen-free rubber compound sealant, modeled on ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), is what sets the company apart.
Our Multidiameter systems allow clients to run a higher number of cables through a smaller physical space. Rather than 30 holes for 30 cables in a control cabinet, only one is needed. This also reduces installation times by roughly 50 percent, and also reduces the weight of the cabling system by up to 50 percent.
Q: How will Roxtec approach the post-COVID-19 period so that it becomes an opportunity for the company?
A: As an industry, oil and gas is suffering. The oil price situation is a challenge to all players. Roxtec will continue responding to the needs of its clients regardless of the global economic conditions of the moment. The opportunity that this crisis presents us is to fortify our services and improve our own processes that should, consequentially, improve the service we offer.
Fortunately, our plants continue to produce, demonstrating that Roxtec is a trustworthy provider and that we are there to help projects whenever necessary. The situation is sensitive and will need to be monitored. We are doing all we can, from research to development and supply, to continue the entire supply chain that Roxtec offers.
We will continue to explain the uses of our integrated safety system to clients. Our system has many advantages as a mechanical instrument that provides millimetric precision that allows cables transit to open, close and pass through whatever is needed without losing the ability to perform their task as outlined by the client.
Q: How will Roxtec position itself to cater to operators in the offshore space?
A: Roxtec’s global strategy is marked by the difference it provides clients over competitors. Our value as a service and product for the client is the basis of our commercial relationship with the client. We supply a comprehensive sales service along the oil and gas life cycle, from exploration to installation of services. This is for clients that are global as well as local companies that may be managing smaller projects.
Roxtec’s business structure is shaped like a pyramid. At the top is the client’s project, which we must understand completely. From experience, we know that we must differentiate between what the client wants and what they need in terms of safety for materials designed for physical constructions. By this, I mean the sealing of electronics cables and tubing. We support the client during each stage along the engineering and contracting work to ensure the highest quality and help avoid problems in the future. When clients have contractors that know exactly how to install cables and tubing, this saves a great deal of time and money. But this is not the only saving. Unfortunate events that take place on an asset, including fires, are due to errors in the design or in the installation. For this reason, it is important that we enter a project at the initial design stages and work until the installation.
Q: How does Roxtec balance the continued need for safety and security with budget cuts taking place for operators?
A: In our experience, the importance of safety and security depends on its cost. But there are no similar nor substitute products for the type of sealants that Roxtec offers the industry and the level of safety they provide. We are obliged to explain the cost value of our products, the bottom-line benefits, for clients of specialized safety because frequently clients are not aware of the difference between one product and another. Clients appreciate the fact that we do not simply try to sell, but try to provide a security value to their operations.
We are consultants as well as providers to clients, and our role is also to explain the system. Our cable glands or firewalls are not standalone pieces, but integral safety systems that protect structures against more than just one threat. At the root of this is an analysis of cause and effect. Safety and security systems should not be seen as simply protection against a fire, but in the context of the consequences a damaging fire could have on a client’s operations. Losses, in terms of human life, project time and budget, as well as penalties are just some potential dangers.
Q: What are the major opportunities for Roxtec in Mexico’s offshore environment?
A: In the offshore environment, water tends to be the major threat to the integrity of infrastructure, including cabling. It is a molecular element and very difficult to control, presenting obstacles like condensation and inundation. Roxtec is one of the few options in the market that guarantees total protection, including the ability to withstand up to 4 BAR of constant pressure, roughly the pressure felt at a water depth of 40 meters. One of our differentiators is therefore the level of protection we offer vital electronic cabling against water, which is an essential component of working offshore.
We are developing our options to offer service inspections of vessels and other maritime assets to completely evaluate a vessel regarding the specifications required for the open sea, as we have in the US. Working in Mexico, Roxtec Services would inspect tubing and cabling on vessels and seagoing assets across the life cycle of the marine units.
Roxtec is also able to work onshore wherever high-level cabling and tubing protection is required. Refineries would be such examples. Plants like these often face the same problems with water as assets offshore and therefore require the same level of protection.