Champion Environmental Technologies
Issue 12 2010
Champion Environmental Technologies, the market leading provider of anti-fouling subsea markers branded as Aquasign®, has built its reputation in the offshore industry through its exceptional standards of quality, service and innovation.
The business, which is a subsidiary of Champion Technologies Inc. and was established in 1996, is committed to supplying environmentally friendly products that enhance long-term operational performance and safety.
“At Champion we like to think that our drive for innovation sets us apart from our competitors, we have never stagnated when it comes to developing new ideas,” explains Alastair Milne, managing director at the business. “Essentially, we are an oilfield service company that specialises in underwater signs. To satisfy our customer needs we have diversified in recent years to offer all types of oilfield signage now providing solutions from surface to seabed. Our premier product remains as Aquasign®, which is a marker system that was originally developed by Shell and over the years we’ve significantly enhanced its attributes. Importantly, we guarantee Aquasign® marker’s performance for the lifetime of a customer’s project. In fact, as a mark of our quality and reliability, I think the longest guarantee we’ve ever provided is 70 years for the Ormen Lange project.”
This example alone provides an insight into the quality that Champion’s customers have come to expect from the business, and today providing solutions that exceed the demands of each client remains one of the cornerstones of the company’s vision. “We embrace all of the necessary ISO systems,” says Alastair, “but more than that, we strive to ensure a culture of continuous improvement, using those rare occasions where we have not met all of our customers’ requirements to learn and then try to strengthen and improve our systems accordingly. I think that this attitude really sets us apart form our competitors in the industry. Our anti-fouling systems are unique in the market place as they incorporate non-toxic proprietary oil, which exudes slowly to the marker surface over its design lifespan. This, coupled with the extensive proven track record and backed up with substantial independent collaborated product testing, gives our customers the confidence to specify Aquasign® on their assets. Indeed our annual investment in research and development is focused to ensure Champion is first to deliver new innovations to our market place. Our unofficial mantra is a Schweitzer quote ‘Do something wonderful, people may imitate it’ or at least they can try!”
One of the company’s key distinguishing factors is its investment in research and development, and as Alastair explains, constant enhancements of its product package are vital:
“Through the years we’ve continued to focus on offering our customers better solutions with improvements to Aquasign® or its accessories that give clients efficiencies thus reducing their operational costs. For example, we have a new application patent for a product called Biohesive® 225, which is a single part silicone adhesive for use with subsea anti-fouling markers and all of our test work has shown that it’s performance is superior to existing epoxy and polyurethane chemistries developed for this market place. It offers our customers several advantages including reduction of wastage as its re-sealable whilst traditional polyurethanes have a limited pot life once mixed. As it does not contain isocynates it has a significant health and safety improvement over traditional adhesives, which is of course extremely important to all those involved with the product. The ease of application substantially reduces installation time for our customers.
“Another exiting project that we’ve been looking at, and currently have a couple of patents pending on, is the incorporation of RFID and 3D barcodes into Aquasign® markers and its accessories to allow customers to track all of their inventories. We see that as an important enhancement that’s probably going to become more and more popular in the future.”
Other recent patent pending additions to the portfolio include Solis®, a non fade version of our traditional anti-fouling marker system and Shield™ that offers a range of robust, easily installed protective frames for Aquasign®
Aquasign® is versatile environmentally friendly anti-fouling marking system that has been used on more than 800 oilfield projects globally by clients such as GE, Cameron, FMC and Aker spanning over three decades. Aquasign® has an exceptionally long-lasting resistance to marine bio fouling, which makes it ideal for high visibility identification, orientation and positional markings. It can be utilised on a wide range of applications for example, as well as being deployed to identify valves, connectors and other equipment it can be used for orientation by indicating locations or elevation levels on fixed or floating platforms and for positional work. Also, with the emphasis very much on saving costs in the current climate, Aquasign® represents an easy to maintain and operate system for all operators.
It is evident that Champion has the knowledge and skill to easily meet the industry’s future needs, and looking ahead Alastair admits that while the market has been slow recently he is confident that the business can continue to maintain its market leading position: “There are always opportunities to grow, even if the market has been slower than normal for us. Going forwards we are looking at ways to encourage our customers to use Aquasign® products as standard on their equipment rather than a premium extra to their clients. I think that if we can continue to prove why anti-fouling solutions are so advantageous to their clients’ operations I’m confident in the future.”
Champion Environmental Technologies
Services: Anti-fouling subsea markers