Quickflange UK Ltd is the British subsidiary of the Norwegian Quickflange AS Group, ranked at 143 by Deloitte and Touche in the ‘fast 500’ fastest growing technology companies in Europe 2009.
Quickflange is an international provider of a unique non-welded alternative for permanently connecting pipes to flanges. Founded in Aberdeen in 2008, Quickflange UK has grown rapidly since its inception, having quadrupled its turnover in its second year of operations.
Managing director of Quickflange UK, Pamela Ogilvie, elaborates upon the company’s development: “When we were first established, all of our activities took place from a small unit in an industrial estate. Since then we have moved to a new 430-square metre facility, and have an ongoing recruitment process to hire quality personnel to support our growth.”
Quickflange UK now regularly supplies its products and services to most North Sea oil and gas operators and their contractors, including companies such as Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Apache, and TAQA. Quickflanges themselves are a patented design based on a standard ANSI flange, which offer customers a pressure tight and mechanically strong connection without the use of heat or any other potential ignition sources.
After installing its first Quickflange (QF) ‘connector’ on the Gullfaks platform in 2005, Quickflange AS has continued to expand upon its growing reputation for technological expertise.
Products are developed by parent company Quickflange AS, which is headquartered in Sola, close to Stavanger in Norway. The company also has a technology centre in Tvedestrand, which handles QHSE, production and assembly of hydraulic tools, and logistics.
The ability of Quickflange UK to provide such high quality mechanical joints has been proven by the rigorous testing process that is conducted upon all of its products. Pamela highlights: “The fact that we carry out intensive testing is one of our key strengths, and we operate a programme that has been designed by DNV and Statoil. Both companies set very high standards for us to qualify the technology. All new and existing products are tested according to these high standards thus ensuring consistent results in the field.”
Another of the company’s strengths is the training it offers to the employees and contractors of its clients, according to Pamela. She continues: “A major part of our business model is to equip customer technicians to perform the on-site installation of Quickflange. This is particularly convenient, easy to plan and reduces the pressure on bed-space a key limiting factor in all North Sea offshore operations. We offer a range of Quickflange installation training courses, on-going competency assessment and the provision of refresher courses, E-learning modules and 24 hour support seven days a week.”
This training reflects the current product portfolio of Quickflange UK, Pamela reveals: “Our product range is constantly being expanded and developed in terms of pipe diameters, shortly to include 12 inch Quickflanges. We already cover a wide range of materials including carbon steel, stainless steels and copper nickel (CuNi) and are continually expanding our range in to new materials. Whilst our mainstay has been ANSI 150 and 300 lb rated flanges, we are steadily developing higher rated Quickflanges through reacting to our customers’ demands.”
In order to ensure that its products remain in high demand on the market, Quickflange UK is continually investing in its research and development department. Pamela highlights: “R&D is very important to our business, and it is the main driver for innovation in our portfolio. We are always looking at new products and different tools or modifications for the products that we already have. Because our flanges are based on such efficient and simple core technology, it can be quickly and effectively incorporated into a wide variety of other applications.”
As Quickflange UK continues to build its business, it looks set to emulate the success of its parent company. Pamela concludes by discussing what the future holds for Quickflange UK: “We want to grow in the offshore industry and we feel that, as customers become more confident and familiar with our products, then opportunity for growth will become even more apparent. Our aims are for more clients in offshore fabrication to look towards our products as an alternative to welding, and we are already seeing an increasing amount of work building up.
“Our future will be very much one of aggressive growth, and we will work in collaboration with both our partners and our parent company to achieve this. We are always looking into new technology and other applications for our products such as the onshore oil and gas market. The products we offer are not strictly limited to the oil and gas sector only, and we may even look towards other areas such as the food industry. There is a lot of potential for us and we hope to take advantage of this.”
Products: Modified ANSI flanges