The application of heat is often the only way to repair, remove or install equipment essential to offshore operations. Unfortunately, traditional heating methods and offshore operations don’t mix well. Safety concerns make the application of heat problematic. The use of gas-fired open flames, for example, is prohibited in many environments. If alternative heating methods are not employed, equipment may have to be disassembled and shipped ashore, driving up costs and perhaps even threatening production.
Then there are the problems posed by harsh environments and hard-to-reach work sites. The equipment used to generate, apply and control heat must be rugged enough to withstand punishing conditions, yet small and light enough to be easily and cost-effectively transported. Finally, many heating methods require at least partial production shutdowns—bad news in an industry where even minutes of lost output mean thousands of lost dollars.
Induction heating has long been an accepted heating method in numerous industries. The method itself was revolutionised in the 1980s by Elva, a Norwegian company that went on to form part of EFD Induction, today Europe’s largest induction heating company. Elva’s innovations centered on the use of solid-state electronics in induction heating systems. This enabled Elva to develop smaller, lighter, safer and more reliable induction heating solutions.
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