Finnish laser marking specialist Cajo Technologies said it has delivered a subsea umbilical marking solutions to Aker Solutions.
According to the company, the project is unique since no other company has previously been able to offer an equivalent solution.
“Our technology allows extremely accurate and durable markings for almost any material in a quick and cost-effective manner. In terms of speed, we are able to meet the speeds of customers’ production lines, in other words markings take place in motion without stopping the pieces. We also replace traditional marking methods, such as ink jets, with an extremely short repayment period,” said Cajo’s CEO Niko Karsikas.
The outer coating of the subsea umbilicals manufactured by Aker is PE plastic. It has traditionally been challenging to achieve permanent markings on the surface of PE plastic due to its slippery surface, the company explains.
The basic markings of subsea umbilicals include e.g. metric markings, ID numbers and a continuous vertical line on three different sides. The continuous line indicates the straightness of the tube, when it laid on the sea bed, at up to tens of kilometres at a time. One production batch may refer to the production of a continuous cable that is more than 80 kilometres long. In this case the production line is run 24/7 non-stop, and for this reason the marking process must also work in a maintenance-free and reliable manner.
“In case of Aker, the integratability of our software and equipment played an important role. They wanted a marking cell, which would communicate directly with the company’s own MES and SCADA systems. MES produces variable marking data for the laser unit, and SCADA can be used to manage the functions of the marking cell. Each of the units’ lasers can be individually controlled, where necessary,” says Karsikas.
According to Cajo Technologies, the problem with the replaced marking solution was the poor contrast of the marking, as well as the fact that the marking could only be made on one side of the subsea umbilical. Cajo’s marking cell has three lasers, which allows the markings to be seen under water from any angle. The marking solution allowed the speed capacity of the production line to be doubled.