Sounding out the industry
With its global headquarters in the UK, IAC has factions across Europe, the US, China and Australia, and is known worldwide for its 50 year history of providing imaginative solutions to a wide range of noise pollution and sound quality problems.
IAC Nordic is the Danish division of the company undertaking offshore noise and vibration projects for the oil and gas industry in the North Sea. Originally IAC Nordic was a Danish company known as HM Akustik, which was bought by IAC in 2000, combining decades of experience in the industry.
Lars Birch Nielsen, managing director of IAC Nordic outlines the companies main operations: “We are a daughter company of IAC Limited, based in Winchester in the UK. We work with all kinds of noise and vibration control working on and offshore. Our main geographic area is in the Nordic regions, predominantly in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. We have developed from being a local Danish company to being extremely active in the offshore markets, as well as in the automotive industry in Sweden working with companies such as Volvo, SAAB and Scania.”
IAC Nordic is a specialist in turnkey projects, with its professional engineering staff able to provide solutions to solve vibration and noise problems of every kind. Clients can approach the company with a noise or vibration problem and IAC Nordic will do the detailing measurements and specifications followed by the production and installation of the chosen solution. Much of the organisation’s six million euro turnover also comes from ready-to-use individual material sales such as anti-vibration moulds.
In the offshore oil and gas industry, vibration and noise control is of great importance for the comfort and productivity of employees. Hearing damage and sleep-deprivation from acoustic problems is a prevalent risk when working in noisy environments. The installation of soundproof observation or control rooms, test cells for the experimental testing of noisy machinery, audiological screening rooms to carry out regular checks on workers’ hearing, and structural absorptive panels and doors can greatly aid the reduction of uncomfortable vibration and noise in these difficult locations.
IAC Nordic appreciates these important factors and as such is a trusted partner in the industry. Lars highlights some of the company’s latest projects: “At the moment we have projects underway with our three main clients; Maersk Oil and Gas, working on its platforms in the North Sea, Atlantic Marine Services providing noise enclosures for diesel engines, and Statoil. We work in all areas of the North Sea wherever our key clients have operations. The Atlantic Marine Services project is one of our key contracts where we are solving the problem of having an employee dining-hall directly above a machine room containing diesel engines and generators. These machines emit a noise level of especially deep tones and low frequencies, which are highly difficult to regulate. We suggested noise insulation for the deck between the two levels enclosing the machines and technical installations.”
Furthermore IAC Nordic has developed products that are innovatively designed to counteract common problems on oil and gas platforms, Lars adds: “We have made a lot of noise enclosures for both turbines and compressors using IAC acoustic louvers, these ensure that air can still penetrate the area while at the same time providing good noise reduction. It works as an open grill with noise reduction built in and this is of great importance offshore as you need to avoid the risk of having a concentration of gas or explosives in an enclosed area.”
IAC Limited has research and development sectors across the world. Though not in the Nordic division, IAC France, USA and UK have advanced R&D facilities that ensure that the products IAC Nordic provides are well documented and investigated in test facilities and laboratories, reaching the highest noise and fire standards for a range of industries. This close collaboration within the IAC Group enables the company to be at the cutting edge of acoustic and vibration control, utilising the experience and expertise of other countries.
As such, IAC Nordic’s experience of the industry at present is still highly successful; Lars explains: “The only problem we experience in the industry is that in the North Sea a lot of the installations on platforms are approaching 20 or 30 years old – they are becoming worn out. Due to this a lot of renewals or new installations need to be done in order for us to produce effective noise control solutions. I think that everybody is experiencing some problems with the financial crisis but our strengths lie in the fact that, aside from the offshore industry, we are active in a range of markets including the food processing industry and factory production. We regard ourselves as being on top technically because we have new solutions and well-skilled engineers to take on any problem.”
IAC Nordic is a market leader in acoustic and vibration control solutions in the offshore industry. For the future, the company is aiming to penetrate the Scandinavian market and continue growth in Sweden and Norway where it has already seen a string of successful projects. In addition IAC Nordic is looking to increase its influence in the offshore sector in the Norwegian areas.
Products Noise and acoustic control