Kabelschlepp drag chain used on deep drilling rig
Hybrid energy drag chain
Kabelschlepp has supplied a hybrid energy drag chain to an automated drill rod handler for use on a Bauer deep drilling rig.
A cable and hose management solution was needed for use on the deep drilling rig; aside from good performance and Atex conformity, longevity and service life were important considerations.
A Kabelschlepp hybrid energy drag chain is now delivering all the necessary requirements.
The new-generation TBA 200 and 300 deep drilling rigs were developed for oil and gas drilling as well as for future geothermal technology.
For the latter, a load of 300 tons can be lowered to depths of 5,000m (16,000ft).
Owing to the inflammatory nature of the operating environment that prevails in these applications in general, the design and development of drilling rigs needs to follow the Atex Explosion Protection Directive.
It applies to all assemblies and components used throughout a system.
This includes the drag chain with electrical and hydraulic lines of the laterally mounted for the rod-handling system.
A fully automated manipulator feeds rods straight from (horizontal) storage into the drilling axis and the drive.
As a result, manpower is limited to supervision.
Work hazards are eliminated, and the difficult and dangerous work of derrick men above the top drive is no longer required.
The required electric and hydraulic feeds on the mast of the TBA 300 are managed by a vertically fitted MC 1300-type Kabelschlepp drag chain.
The previous solution of grouping the hose and cable in festoon bags needed replacement to fast movements in operation and the variety of lines to be handled.
The MC 1300 chain was chosen thanks to its inner height of 87mm and the bespoke compartment width of 650mm.
According to an engineer in design and development at Bauer, hall cable and hoses are now neatly organised and separated.
The assembly and maintenance of components is also said to be easier and quicker.
The chain easily manages the required operation speed of one meter per second without any problems.
The multi-variable chain is designed for use in tough conditions on construction sites.
A rigid link design makes it extremely robust, and it is equipped with an enclosed and dirt-resistant stop system.
This stability is achieved by the combination of a GRP side band and aluminium cross stays.
This combination also offers good conductivity to avoid excessive static charge.
The Atex directive stipulates that all components must have controlled discharge properties.
To follow the directive, the chain band is made of a special, conductive material, which delivers the required properties while retaining the abrasion resistance and stability needed.
This is particularly important for the TBA 300.
The result is higher loads on the chain and on the separators.
Apart from increased torsional stiffness and conductivity, the properties of aluminium cross stays help to reduce friction.
Even if cables have appropriate sheathing and modern plastics are less abrasive, aluminium copes better with heavy cable.
In addition, Kabelschlepp's range of stay and shelving system covers includes LG-type hole stays.
Enclosing the cable and the hose, they feature the same advantages in terms of conductivity and stability as other cross-stay designs.
In a vertical application, they have the additional advantage of controlling the momentum.
Holding the media in the centreline of the radius, length variances - hence movement and wear - are avoided.
Hanging cable and hoses tend to elongate and need readjusting from time to time.
Bespoke strain relief on both ends with cable and hose clamps secure the cable and the hose.
Compared with loose lines, invariably subject to reduced service life and chafing owing to the relative movements, the service life is extended to a maximum and cost is prevented.
Following a year of collaboration between Kabelschlepp and the Tsubaki Group, products such as the Uniflex Advanced plastic chain series have been extended and optimised.
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