Raising the Bar - European Oil and Gas Magazine, Issue 5 2009 - Offshore Technology | Oil and Gas News and Market Analysis
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Raising the Bar – European Oil and Gas Magazine, Issue 5 2009

Part of Groupe Perrotin, Imeca has 25 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of lifting and laying equipment for offshore and military applications.

Groupe Perrotin itself comprises an offshore division, a purpose-built machines division and a specialist in manufacturing industrial units. Imeca has been part of the group for 15 years and recently contributed €27 million to the group’s €40 million turnover.

Its location on the Atlantic coast of France at La Rochelle means Imeca is ideally located and can offer a 600m quayside facility with 14m of water depth, as well as quayside assembly facilities. Detailed engineering services are carried out at the company’s site in Fontenay le Comte, while manufacturing, assembly, testing and delivery are covered through its two other production sites: one at Le Trait for medium to large equipment, the other at La Pallice Harbor for ultra-large equipment.

Certified to ISO9001 since 2000 by DNV, Imeca is a specialist in the design and manufacture of winches for hoisting, handling, lifting, chain tensioning and towing. The company also has experience in the areas of pipe laying, hydraulic power units and electric automation. Its engineering capacity includes 20 engineers with experience of top-quality CAD software, and finite analysis techniques.

It is these engineering capabilities that are considered to be one of the key strengths of Imeca. In fact, R&D plays a vital role in the success of the business. It prides itself on being able to provide bespoke and turnkey solutions using the latest R&D methods quickly and effectively. During this process Imeca remains focused on working closely with individual clients around the world, making products suited to very specific requirements.

When it comes to the area of fabrication and assembly, Imeca can offer welding capacity from standard steel up to 690 high tensile steel. And when it comes to machining, the company has a lathe capacity of up to 6m in diameter. It also offers testing facilities, with a static bench test up to 750Te and dynamic test on demand.

The company’s services extend beyond simple manufacture, as it also provides a comprehensive installation and after-sales service. Its engineers are able to operate offshore and onshore anywhere in the world, and include mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and automation technicians.

Imeca’s products

Moving on to Imeca’s products, it is clear the company can handle almost any lifting and laying need. In the area of winches, for example, it offers riser and chain pulling winches for buoys and FPSO in a range of sizes and options, such as HPU diesel or electric, 50kW to 400kW, 50Te to 400Te. Alongside this type of winch, Imeca also offers A&R winches, direct abandonment and recovery winches and storage winches. In the area of umbilical winches, Imeca can provide an umbilical winch with slipring or A-frame.

The company’s tensioners are available as double tracks (20Te to 70Te) or four tracks (80Te to 175Te), while its reel drive system comes with HPU, with a nominal capacity of 200Te to 500Te and a reel diameter of 7.8m to 11.4m.

Imeca also works with military applications, with its reeling winch for umbilicals, and this product comes with an automatic adjustable electric spooling device and a winch supplied with an HPU. Finally, the company also manufactures reels for methanol hoses.

Working with high-profile customers such as Technip, Acergy, Allseas, SBM, Saipem, Subsea 7, McDermott and APL means Imeca has to ensure that it manufactures only the highest quality of product at the right price. Greatly sustained by the knowledge and skills of its excellent staff and buoyed by the support and experience of Groupe Perrotin, Imeca can be confident that it is going forward into a bright future.

One of key strengths of Imeca that sets it apart from its competitors in the oil and gas industry is its ability to look ahead and anticipate the needs of the market by working on key matters such as equipment for ultra-deep water, uninstalling of subsea equipment and environment constraints. As a result of this strategy the business regularly introduces new and innovative products to the industry. The most recent among these include dismountable reels for flexible pipe storage – products that are already on the market, and A&R for fibre pipes and fully electrically powered tensioners, which are still under study.

In terms of the coming years, IMECA is very much focused on continuous growth, which will be achieved through extension of the existing product range and global presence, as well as developing its network of sub-contractors, sub-suppliers and partners.

This process has already begun. In January IMECA established an agency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to ensure local promotion of its offshore product range. This is just the first step in a planned expansion that will ultimately see IMECA extend its already excellent reputation in the industry and will undoubtedly lead to further success for the business.

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