Strainstall is a broad based engineering business and part of James Fisher and Sons Plc Group

Taking the strain

Specialising in load measurement and sensor based safety technology, the business was established in 1965 operating out of the Isle of Wight where it remains positioned today. Meeting the demands and environmental factors of the oil and gas industry requires the very best of design, materials and testing. Strainstall has nearly 50 years of experience in this market and has built up significant expertise in offering monitoring solutions that have been proven all round the world in this hostile environment. Through its long association with the manufacture of standard and bespoke load cells, it has assisted several industries in operating safely and efficiently.

From the supply of subsea load shackles to monitor the anchor loads of an FPSO to complete jetty management systems in LNG and oil terminals, and from the monitoring of stresses in LNG storage tanks to fatigue damage assessment of offshore steelwork, Strainstall has answered the toughest questions, time and time again. Its in-house capability to consistently develop new products and technology has aided the business in producing solutions for mechanical, electrical and electronic software. The business has over 140 employees around the world in the UK, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and most recently Qatar.

Strainstall WLL (Qatar) was officially established in October 2013, and forms part of the operations in the Middle East. Business in the region has grown rapidly in the last nine years to become acknowledged as a leading testing laboratory for all on-site geotechnical, pile testing and movement monitoring services. Recognised for its excellent experience with vibration and settlement monitoring, the business undertook a project for The Qatar Museum Authority. To date, it has completed more than 30 projects in Qatar including bi-directional static load testing, various pile testing works, ground instrumentation, survey works and vibration monitoring, and is currently working on several other projects.

Working with a range of customers in a variety of market sectors the company has established a client base that extends between oil majors, EPCs, service companies and lifting equipment firms. By recognising the importance of working closely with customers, the company has succeeded in becoming a technological partner with many key clients. The business designs and manufactures load and stress monitoring systems for TLPs and other offshore structures. As part of its unique approach it is able to design, manufacture and supply complete systems, from high-performance load cells to custom-designed, fully integrated multi-sensor packages that monitor parameters such as vessel draft and ballast, Metocean conditions, vessel loading and structural dynamics. These systems play an integral part in maintaining operational safety and the formulation of efficient platform management, inspection and maintenance plans. All the application software is developed and maintained by Strainstall, providing a high level of control over a project that enables the final design to be configured to the exact requirements of the customer.

In October 2013, the company announced an order to supply its StressAlert Hull Stress Monitoring System (HSMS) to Hyundai Heavy Industries for five new 18,000 TEU class container ships. The carriers are the largest container vessels ever to be built. The order comes as a testament to the years of experience and quality of monitoring technology that the company has become renowned for. The business also received CSCS certification in October, the leading competency scheme for construction. The certification recognises that a large proportion of the company’s onsite workers hold full CSCS qualifications.

In June 2013, Strainstall announced that its new Offshore Wind Farm vessel Management System (OWMS) had completed North Sea trials. The system provides the potential for significant improvements in the numerous transfer vessel movements that support operation and maintenance activities in the offshore wind energy industry. The system builds on the very successful Integrated Mooring Monitoring Solution (IMMS) that is used extensively in the tightly regulated environment of the offshore oil and gas sector to improve the safety and effectiveness of transfer vessel operations.

Scott Cruttenden, business development manager commented: “We were particularly pleased to have been able to work with East Coast Charters and E.ON to successfully demonstrate the offshore wind farm vessel management system at the Scroby Sands wind farm. This highly innovative system has the potential to make a step-change contribution to the improvement of transfer vessel operations across the marine renewable energy sector. By bringing all the key data and information elements together in a customisable form, which can include a cloud database implementation, the operation of the numerous transfer vessels required to support offshore wind farms can be made more resource efficient and cost-effective, while also improving the safety of both crew and wind farm maintenance personnel.”

Continuing its investment in product research and development, the business looks towards the next 12 months with a positive outlook. With the backing of a broad client base and a strong reputation in the industry, the management and engineering team is focused on the ongoing expansion that has become the trend within the organisation.

Services: Solution provider for load measurement and monitoring applications