Viper Subsea has released the next generation of its innovative V-LOCK hydraulic stab plate. At launch in 2011, V-LOCK offered performance significantly in excess of existing products with market leading clamping and separation forces together with excellent misalignment capability on make-up and a proprietary secondary release mechanism. The newly released version offers even greater cost and risk reduction benefits for first tier PCS and umbilical vendors, installers and operators.
The new model is designed such that all the coupler float requirements are built into the flying half of the stab plate, with couplers rigidly mounted within the fixed half of the stab plate. This mitigates assembly risk for the small-bore tubing installation on the Tree and Umbilical Termination Assembly (UTA). The need for long lengths of hydraulic tubing behind the fixed plate couplings in order to maintain coupler compliance is therefore no longer required.
The consequence of removing the need for fixed plate coupling compliance is a reduction in the size of the UTA structure which thus facilitates compliance with the Umbilical Termination Size Reduction (UMSIRE) Joint Industry Project (API TR 17TR9 Subsea Umbilical Termination (SUT) Selection and Sizing Recommendations). The aim of this JIP is to reduce the size of the UTAs and therefore reduce the installation time and costs. The fact that, by design, the fixed plate couplings are rigidly mounted also means that they are less susceptible to the effects of cementation from calcareous growth.
Speaking about the new launch, Neil Douglas, Managing Director of Viper Subsea said “Due to its superior technical performance, the original V-LOCK quickly established itself in the market with a rapid uptake and a significant number of projects and clients deploying the hardware. However, at Viper Subsea we are continually looking for ways to further improve on our designs as well as develop new innovations. We put a great deal of resource into research and development and this new and improved V-LOCK is a result of that ongoing process. We are confident that it will further establish the reputation of the V-LOCK family and the significant benefits it delivers will continue to be appreciated by customers. The ‘zero float’ version will become our standard offering with its inherent benefits to both OEMs and the Operators.
The ‘zero float’ V-LOCK completed qualification early in 2015 and the first commercial deliveries have now been made.