The subsea industry is challenged by the high cost levels, complexity and low predictability of quality control requirements throughout the supply chain. DNV GL aims to help address these issues through the launch of a new ‘Standard for certification of subsea equipment and components’. The goal of the certification scheme is to help increase quality control and efficiency, in addition to facilitating projects being delivered as scheduled by shortening lead times.

Major efficiency issues in the subsea sector are the highly variable requirements by operators from field to field and that quality assurance processes are customised on a project-specific basis, which greatly affects cost levels. The DNV GL standard aims to help the interpretation of existing API and ISO standards and the certificate will provide operators with confidence that fabrication quality is being controlled and assured throughout the industry’s complex and distributed value chain.

"Standardisation is widely agreed to be the solution to address many inefficiencies in most industries. Subsea operators are addressing standardisation mainly in terms of interfaces and interchangeability. With this new certification scheme for subsea equipment and components, DNV GL, as the industry’s leading standard-setter, aims to streamline quality and manufacturing processes – an area where great efficiencies can be made,” says Bjørn Søgård, Segment Director for Subsea at DNV GL – Oil & Gas.

“For operators, it will reduce costs without sacrificing quality, innovation or safety and subsequently shorten lead times. For suppliers, it will increase predictability and enable the strategic stocking of long-lead items,” he continues.

“DNV GL believes that the subsea industry can gain a great deal from the experience built up in the Offshore Classification Scheme,” says Søgård. “Here, they have a long tradition of distributed and globalised supply chains, as well as standardised quality assurance processes. At the same time, the industry has continuously to develop innovative solutions in a competitive market,” he continues.

DNV GL also has a number of Joint Industry Projects under way to standardise and streamline efficiency issues in the subsea industry. A recent cooperation project related to subsea documentation seeks to present a minimum unified set of documentation requirements for all major subsea components. Another project addresses common specifications for steel forgings.

Benefits of the new standard and certification scheme

With this new standard and certification scheme, DNV GL seeks to drive improved quality, reduce costs and help in the delivery of projects on schedule. More specifically, the standard will:

• Provide a predictable set of documents for integrators, equipment owners or operators to review; there will be a consistent set of quality activities required to be carried out by all suppliers in a project.

• Reduce risk for the integrators and owners, since much of the verification and review work can be completed on site at sub-suppliers prior to being shipped to integrators’ sites for assembly. Risks will also be identified at earlier stages in the project.

• Improve quality and therefore safety by increasing the suppliers’ familiarity with the requirements and specifications via the unified and efficient deployment of quality control plans for the individual projects.

• Reduce pressure on the global supply chains by facilitating the use of subcontractors forinspection and surveillance services.

• Enable suppliers to stock long-lead items. Short lead time is important in the development of marginal fields and tie-backs.

The Standard is available to download from www.dnvgl.com.

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