“LBH International is very much a family owned company, one that was first founded by my father in 1985,” explains Rune Lindholm Skraep – Hansen, managing director of LBH International.
“It began life as a manufacturer of heavy-duty expansion joints and became known in the industry as the first company of its kind to become both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.
“In the early 90s the company successfully developed a special programme for gas turbines, called the GTX Range. With this programme the company placed its full focus on incorporating strong materials alongside its strong designs. Through a series of new production procedures the company created three strong fabric expansion joints each with a special duct flange design. These designs continue to be used all over the globe, both in onshore and offshore operations.”
Working with a number of big international companies, Siemens and Statoil to name just two, approximately 85 per cent of the products manufactured by the company from its base in Denmark are exported internationally and as part of its strategy to grow the business LBH International has founded a local production company in India, LBH Expansion Joints India, as well as one for the Chinese market called AEROSUN-LBH: “Compared to Europe, these markets are growing at a very fast rate indeed,” Rune highlights. “As these countries look to build their respective energy sectors they are increasingly looking towards experienced, specialist suppliers like LBH International for support.”
Amongst the extensive range of products manufactured and supplied by LBH International one can find fabric expansion joints, gas turbine exhaust expansion joints, metal expansion joints, pipe and valve insulation, fabric pen seals, fire seals and rubber compensators. A very recent example of the company’s capabilities can also be found in the design and manufacture of a pressure balanced compensator and pipe sections on behalf of Dong Energy Power. The development being made by Denmark’s largest energy company is intended to reduce coal usage and the products made by LBH International have been installed in the areas where produced gas is being combusted.
Even though the company has experienced considerable successful in its lifetime, the complex challenges of working in the oil and gas industry remain just as prominent: “This industry is of course a very demanding one where a company like LBH International has to constantly supply the best quality equipment imaginable, while also maintaining the ability to react quickly to changing customer needs,” Rune continues. “One of the ways in which the company does this is by constantly working on new, innovative product designs. One such example is the INCO-FLEX Gas Turbine Exhaust System Expansion Bellow, a new product designed specifically for the oil and gas industry and one that is designed to ensure oil rig operators do not suffer from any unforeseen shut downs as a result of broken expansion joints.
“The core strength of the INCO-FLEX is that it is not exposed to stress corrosion. Furthermore the unit is supplied with Thermobolt and Thermopack, providing optimum packing and ensuring the bolting remains tight at all times. During the design process of the unit several studies were undertaken to create the perfect product to handle the tough, volatile conditions it would need to operate in. The first INCO-FLEX was supplied to Statoil in 2010 and in the time since several more have been delivered.”
With initial reaction to the INCO-FLEX being very positive the company has since taken it further afield, demonstrating it at the recent Offshore Europe exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland: “The company’s presence at the exhibition was a very positive success in the sense that LBH International is new to the UK market. So attending the exhibition was the perfect way of getting the company’s name out there. At the end of the day the success of the INCO-FLEX will be down simply to its quality and its ability to solve the expansion joint problems faced by companies all over the world,” Rune says.
In the coming years LBH International will be intensifying its focus on the offshore oil and gas market, optimising its designs and products to this specific segment: “The UK, in particular Scotland, is going to be an important new market for the company and in the last year an agreement has been signed with Task-Pro in Aberdeen, who will distribute LBH International’s products in the country. Task-Pro shares the same philosophies on quality and service as LBH International and together the two look forward to bringing the exceptional products and services on offer to this lucrative local market,” Rune concludes.
Products: Expansion joints