Prone to deterioration, multiple quick connections have been known to cause problems during mating and demating in terms of final alignment and engagement of subsea-distribution systems. The fault is often not detected until the connection must be activated, when the cost of failure is at its highest. In order to overcome this challenge, GE Oil & Gas developed the FLX360 hydraulic-connection system, designed to improve connection reliability and corrosion resistance over multiple make-and-break cycles while speeding up connection time. Advantages of the FLX360 include the removal of screw threads that can easily be damaged during installation and workover. Other vulnerable moving parts have been removed from the subsea component and instead located in the installation tool. This simplified system incorporates a remotely operated vehicle-mounted tool that activates a bayonet latch to hold the two plates together. With only one moving part required in the connection plate, as opposed to a conventional product of this type that can leave up to 16 moving parts subsea for the life of the field, the likelihood of seizure and inoperability is reduced significantly.
For additional information, visit www.ge-energy.com.
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