Electronic Potting for Robotic Arm Valves: Oil & Gas Industry

Part of the Solution to cap Deepwater Horizon

April 2010 British Petroleum’s deepwater drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, sustained a catastrophic failure causing a rupture at its drilling site in the Gulf of Mexico. The well failure created a massive oil spill throughout the Gulf for four months. BP and Transocean worked diligently to stop the spill. Because of the depth, however, the underwater robots dispatched to stop the spill were sustaining failures caused by the extreme pressure, cold and salinity of the water.

Technical Situation

Our customer supplied an underwater robot capable of capping the well and stopping the oil spill. However, the robot’s high-pressure valves succumbed to the hostile environment at the bottom of the well. The company was ruggedizing and producing the valves internally, but only a fraction worked to their desired depth of 2,000 meters when they came to market. They approached our team to find an electronic potting solution that would improve their yields.

The Solution

The valve needed to withstand prolonged submersion in an extreme environment. As experts in electronic encapsulation, we knew precisely which potting chemical would produce the right results. Our in-house engineering team supported an immediate solution and hardened the robotic arm valves to function at extreme depths, cold, and salinity.

The Results

Shortly after successful tests, they deployed a set of drones to the Gulf and capped the hole at the well site. Within eight weeks of working with the customer, we consistently achieved a 60% rate in producing valves that worked at 2,000 meters depth. The remaining 40% of the valves were suitable for shallower depths. After one year, we achieved a 98% yield, which was a momentous success compared to their previous 2% yield rate.

The customer was impressed with the electronic potting results and our project management and asked us to handle all aspects of manufacturing and assembling the valve. Our responsibilities included in-house electronic encapsulation of the valve assemblies and managing the machine shops and gold plating houses used for manufacturing and assembly. We provided turnkey management services for eight years and continued achieving exceptionally high success rates for a complete valve integrating our environmental protection solutions.

Trust the Experts in Electronic Encapsulation

We have the expertise to troubleshoot your engineering challenges and employ the right electronic potting solution for your application. Our engineers follow high quality assurance standards and use several testing methods to your encapsulated product’s entegrity. Contact us to discuss your electronic encapsulation requirements.

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