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Situation

A major energy transition company accepted a contract to work on compressors located on an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean. This unique application required moving large compressors weighing 38,000 pounds each. At these weights and conditions, implementing additional safety factors was necessary. These special considerations also required shock-resistant, swivel lock casters from Caster Concepts to meet these requirements.

The giant compressors and their components were mounted on carts.  They were then winched and guided down a channel iron pathway on concrete decking. To ensure safe operation and follow safety guidelines, the casters must handle weights three times the expected load. Locking the compressor carts down while moving by crane was also a necessary requirement.

Pain Points Addressed:

  1. Safety and Compliance: The requirement for casters capable of handling weights three times that of the expected load weight highlights the critical safety factor involved in the operation.
  2. Durability and Reliability: Operating in a harsh environment like an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean poses significant challenges, including exposure to saltwater and rough handling during transportation via crane. The casters had to withstand these challenges without compromising performance or safety.
  3. Ease of Maneuverability: Moving heavy compressors in tight spaces on an oil rig requires precise maneuverability. The sealed swivel sections of the casters facilitated smooth movement and provided flexibility in positioning the compressors.
  4. Stability and Security: The casters had locking mechanisms that secured the compressor carts during transportation and maintenance work. Securing the compressors from rolling is crucial for safety and operational efficiency, especially in remote locations like an offshore oil rig.

Solution

91 Series Caster

91 Series Caster

The customer needed a shock-resistant caster with a swivel lock. The solution was Caster Concepts’ 91 series 12 x 4 Heavy-Duty Polyurethane casters with locks and brakes. While the casters didn’t have to be corrosion-resistant, the 91 series comes standard with a powder coating that is resistant to rust and great for this application where salt water is prevalent.

The 91 Extra Heavy Duty Caster was chosen due to its superior strength and is a popular choice where shock loading is present. Since these carts are often lifted via a crane that connects to the compressors, the casters needed to be able to take the punishment of being lowered to the ground with a heavy load. The 91 Series also features a sealed swivel section to prevent moisture intrusion. Due to debris such as nuts and bolts on the deck, a T/R 95 poly tread was chosen because of its high tear resistance and extended wear.

Results

The customer moved the casters easily on their concrete decking, and the casters are performing well and handling the shock from being picked up and moved by crane. The customers also liked the option of swivel locks, which enabled them to maneuver the compressors into place. Adding the brakes was also important, as it kept the compressor from rolling while being worked on. And when you are in the middle of the ocean, a 20-ton compressor rolling around is not an option!