CASE STUDY 1 - Offshore wind farms
Problem-solving in deep unfriendly waters - The offshore wind industry faces growing manufacturing, installation and maintenance (O&M) challenges as bigger components need to be shipped out to ever deeper waters and operate in adverse metocean conditions. Coating quality is an issue with major logistical and cost implications.
Howard Jess Solutions Limited has carried a large number of both Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) inspections - to ensure work is done correctly in the first place and then confirm this for insurers. In the last five years, the company has inspected more than 300 transition pieces (components ready for transit), jackets and OHVS (Offshore High Voltage Substation) modules.
Past projects have included Northwind, Riffgatt, Lichterduinen, Amronbank West and Buitendiek. Current projects include Gemini, where 150 transition pieces, two jackets and two OHVS modules have to be inspected for quality. The Glasgow-based specialist company is pleased to play a key role in the development and operation of one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.
CASE STUDY 2
Antarctic ice-breaking with barely a scratch - Antarctic ice, rich in gravel and volcanic lava, grinds ships’ hulls down to bare steel - except with the aid of technology and Howard Jess Solutions Limited. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) RRS (Royal Research Ship) Ernest Shackleton, built in 1995, battles its way from the Humber to polar research stations every southern summer through up to 2.5 metre thick ice - facing "the harshest of conditions of just about any vessel afloat".
However, when the vessel was last dry-docked in 2011 in Denmark, damage was negligible. Part of the answer was an innovative long-term underwater coating and protections system called Ecospeed. The other was the inspections and applications skills of Howard Jess and his team.
With Ecospeed, the thickness is critical and application must be perfectly controlled. Howard Jess led the initial Ecospeed application of a 1,000 micron-thick coating in 2009. BAS Senior Marine Engineer, Stephen Lee, was so impressed with Howard Jess’ "diligence, his commitment and his professionalism," that he specifically asked Howard to be present in the yard for additional Ecospeed applications to the boat’s boot tip areas and rudder in 2011.
Part of Howard Jess Solutions’ impressive work was to show that the dry thickness around the hull was still 970 to 1,000 microns thick - very minor touch-ups were needed.
The same experience and dedication has been applied to many other vessels, albeit in slightly less vigorous environments. All in a day’s work for Glasgow-based Howard Jess Solutions Limited.
CASE STUDY 3
Keeping the world’s oil supplies flowing - DIY is not the answer for oil refinery catalytic crackers! When things went wrong on a major European project, Howard Jess Solutions Limited was called in to the strip off a poor coating that was beginning to crack, re-prepare the giant regenerator unit’s surface using the correct blasting media, and re-apply the right inorganic zinc-rich (IOZ) anti-corrosion paint to the approved vital thickness - all within eight days.
As a result, the expensive high-tech refinery component, which recycles spent catalyst at the heart of an ultra-efficient cracker system as it breaks long-chain hydrocarbon molecules into other constituent parts, caught its charter vessel on time from Belgium en route to Saudi Arabia.
Although tough modern coatings can protect metal surfaces for years in rigorous working environments, the preparation, application and monitoring stage can be critical. On Howard Jess Solutions’ recommendation, the only remedial option when the Belgian fabricating company tried to save time and money by carrying out blasting and coating themselves, was to remove the ill-applied coating system and start again, this time with close supervision throughout.
Fortunately, all’s well that ends well, which due its experience, dedication and willingness to go the extra kilometre on behalf of clients in a corner, is very much the Howard Jess Solutions’ corporate motto.