LanMar Logistics Inc. is a Canadian company that specializes in the design and manufacture of hydraulic equipment for the onshore and offshore industry. About 10 years ago, LanMar was in the market for a reliable pneumatic pump for a hazardous offshore zone that required explosion-proof equipment. In searching the Internet for a suitable pump, LanMar came upon Interface Devices Incorporated (IDI). "When IDI was contacted," LanMar co-founder Monique Houle says, "Mike Hotchkiss of IDI provided timely information with all of the necessary details and drawings in order for us to determine the suitability of their P030/30 for offshore operation."
This was the beginning of a working relationship that has continued for more than 10 years. The application in question was called PROD – Preferred Orientation and Displacement. The PROD system, manufactured for Umoe Schat-Harding, United Kingdom, aids in the safe evacuation of personnel from offshore installations. It assists in the launching of lifeboats from offshore platforms by achieving the preferred orientation of the evacuation craft, well away from the parent structure during and after launch.
The PROD hydraulic circuit is a stored powered system with double redundancy, and operation relies on two accumulators, along with the associated controls. One accumulator is primary, and the other is standby/secondary. The PROD boom is balanced to the parked (vertical) position on the stored pressure within the accumulator. The system incorporates a hand pump and the means for connecting an external air-driven pump, the IDI Pneumatic Pump, P030/30.
In most applications, only the PROD Boom needs to be lowered infrequently for maintenance and testing. However, on some installations, the height and position of the PROD boom cause a potential obstruction/hazard for helicopter access to the platform. In these cases, the IDI P030/30 Pneumatic Pump, P030/30 has proven to be invaluable. These locations require the PROD Boom to be lowered and raised frequently, and on some occasions more than once per day. In these instances, LanMar equips the PROD with IDI's model P030/30 portable, air-driven hydraulic pump. The pump is used instead of the hand pump and connects to the PROD cabinet via hoses fitted with quick disconnect fittings for ease of operation. IDI's pump has an integrated hydraulic circuit, including a system relief valve. The P030/30 is flow rated to 1.3 GPM @ 1000 PSI and 0.5 GPM @ 2000 PSI. It has a self-contained double-acting air drive complete with an air regulator, muffler and air shutoff valve.
When asked why LanMar chose Interface Devices as their supplier, Monique Houle explains, "One reason was that they offered a complete packaged solution with an integrated hydraulic circuit. IDI was able to offer us modifications and options to suit the marine offshore environment."
Another important requirement was portability. The P030/30 itself is very compact and lightweight. Even when it is fitted on the stainless steel tube frame, complete with the associated hydraulic tubing and hoses, the assembly is easily carried by one man only, making it the ideal portable solution.
We at IDI are pleased to report that the reliability, ease of operation and low maintenance of our pump have been proven to LanMar over and over. "LanMar recognized that the performance specifications of our P Series air-driven pumps met their strict engineering and quality assurance requirements," states Mike Hotchkiss of IDI. "The P030/30 was ideal for their particular application because of its inherently safe design, light weight and portability. All the required hydraulic and pneumatic circuit options are included in the P030/30's small, neat package." PROD systems utilizing the pump perform daily on numerous offshore installations worldwide, but not once has a pump failed. And LanMar has never received a complaint from any of the PROD operators.
"LanMar has been a terrific partner – the PROD system is an invaluable safety device and we are pleased to be involved in such an important application," states Mike Hotchkiss. In summarizing LanMar's satisfaction with IDI, Monique Houle made another key point: "It is important to us to find a supplier with which we have a great rapport. Our relationship with IDI has grown over the years, and we have found them to be a very professional, diligent and competent company."