The new Transformation Center in Denmark, which manufactures the award-winning completion product, the Welltec® Annular Barrier, is now celebrating its one-year anniversary. Facility manager, Vagn Nielsen, takes stock and unveils a state-of-the-art quality system.
It has been 12 months since the new Transformation Center opened. How have the past months been?
Things have gone very well and the production is up and running. Currently we are working on orders for some major operators from the Western as well as Eastern hemispheres. And we have already delivered many products for the North Sea and the Middle East. All deployments have been exclusively successful.
And the employees are fantastic. They will stand shoulder to shoulder with each other to continue making this a success. The atmosphere is good, and people are great at cooperating and helping each other.
You mention state-of-the-art manufacturing quality, what has been implemented?
Yes, indeed. It has been an exciting and successful process, where we have established and configured procedures in a way that matches our needs.
For example, we have integrated complete traceability into the new facility giving us and our customers full control of all applied material. All the way down to the individual piece of raw material that is used to create the smallest parts, from cradle to grave. We can simply control and ensure the highest quality on every single piece that is a part of our delivered products.
You almost go to extremes with traceability. Why is that?
There are several aspects to it. But the main reason is that the Welltec® Annular Barriers (WAB®) are new technology; steel that gets expanded. And once a WAB® has been expanded and set, you can’t just replace it with a new one, it’s permanent. Therefore it’s paramount that the products perform as required, which is why we ensure that every single WAB® is of the highest quality. The tracking and monitoring is one of many aspects that help us guarantee reliability.
Looking back the past 12 months, what are you most proud of?
Our clients’ reception of what we have done, that is for sure one of the successes.
But also, the results from establishing good processes. For example, our welding procedures where we operate with a bar code system, everything has to be scanned in every step of the way and if something doesn’t match, the work can’t be done. This ensures that all bits, people and materials meet the criteria established for the highest quality product – criteria that we require to be met before we even begin welding.
In addition, the extra feature we’ve created, where clients can follow the entire process through a live video camera. In this way, they can get fully acquainted with the processes as it is carried out as well as seeing where the quality data comes from during the welding.
Clients can monitor visually the welding and by personal remote-inspection ascertain that we are adhering to the required limits.
Why is this relevant to the customers?
The fact that we work with full transparency around our production has been received very well. It gives clients confidence in our quality processes, evidence that we don’t at any level compromise the quality of their product.
Also, we often have clients who travel from the other side of the globe to inspect the manufacturing. Now this can be done without the physical presence which both saves time and flight tickets and creates a much leaner manufacturing process.
More like a laboratory
What other highlights has there been during the past 12 months?
Our facility in general, the high degree of tidiness and orderliness, has been received with great respect. This should be common throughout the oil and gas industry, one could say, but from the feedback we’ve received I think we’ve raised the bar here as well.
From the very beginning, Welltec’s approach has been that you cannot create quality products in a mess. That goes for all our production facilities and production machinery: they all have to be entirely top notch. This is clearly reflected on our premises, which are bright, friendly and clean – you could say more like a laboratory than a manufacturing plant.
The new facility is called a “Transformation Center”. What is meant by that?
It’s a place where you contribute to not just changing things, but changing things radically and setting a new standard for our industry. We feel the products we make can do just that.
And products that make big changes like this can’t be left to uncertainty during manufacturing. They are produced under optimal conditions for creating quality work that meets the high quality demands of the industry. At the end of the day, this is what makes the transformation possible and why we call it a Transformation Center.