We received the initial enquiry for this load cell from a regular customer, who are offshore oil and gas system integrators. The load cells were required to be installed within a chain stopper, on a oil service platform.
These chain stopper load cells were to be designed as a retrofit solution, so we had a limited space available for the load cells. There were also some existing mounting points that were available, which we had to make the load cell fit, to aid expedient installation. The detailed criteria we had to meet is shown below, but the general brief was that the load cell had to be robust and should have an in service life, exceeding 10 years.
The main criteria we were given was as follows:
- Overall height to be 117mm.
- To be supplied with a mounting base, for simple installation
- Environmental protection needed to be IP68
- Accuracy to be <±5%
- Full stainless steel construction essential
- All critical load bearing materials must have full certificate traceability
- Proof testing and final calibration to be witnessed by Lloyds Register of Shipping
- 55te Subsea Load Cell
- Cover and mounting base manufactured from 316 stainless steel
- Installed in chain stopper
- IP68 sealing, suitable for full submersion
- Load Cell had full welded construction
- Load Cell manufactured from 17-4PH stainless steel
- Low Height (only 117mm high)
- Sub-sea connector and cable assembly
- Supplied calibrated, with a calibration certificate, traceable to UKAS, with Lloyds witnessing
The dimensions were a limiting factor with this load cell design. Normally a compression load cell of this capacity would be at least 3-5 time higher to achieve what we would normally expect as a reasonable load cell accuracy. Fortunately, the accuracy requirements for this application were not quite as rigid as we would normally work to.
The load cells performed well and were originally supplied in 1994. In 2004, the end customer then approved another system to be considered, with our load cells being specified. These were supplied promptly to the same specification as the originals, which we understand are still operating well.
LCM Systems manufacture a large and varied range of custom design and standard product variant compression load cells. These have been supplied as 1off products, or as part of an instrumentation system. Many of these products are supplied with built in analogue signal conditioning, digital outputs or with wireless telemetry.
Please contact us to discuss any special compression load cell requirements you may have.