Ensuring the quality and safety of offshore oil and gas equipment is a necessity in today's competitive market. Whether it is welding procedures, non-destructive testing (NDT) or wire-rope inspection, the latest regulations must be complied with and the highest standards maintained.
"When it comes to drill ships, there's certain equipment that has to be managed and maintained on a regular basis. Minimising downtime for any operation is crucial," says Alan Stothard, owner of IQS International.
"There are various types of inspections that are required, as well as tests, reports and analysis. Equipment maintenance and manufacturing processes must be in line with specifications."
Along with ensuring all technical apparatus is up to standard, oil and gas firms also require excellent staff.
"The availability of competent human resources is a key issue at the moment," comments Stothard. "There are a lot of firms that are considering bringing in labour from overseas; otherwise, they'll have to work with sub-par employees. We assist in the management and control of that process."
First established in 1989, IQS International recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The firm offers a wide variety of inspection and educational equipment and services, covering quality assurance and control, welding services, project management and consulting, rope access, wire-rope inspection, condition monitoring and NDT.
"We offer a full range of inspection services, including basic visual NDT and welding," says Stothard. "In addition, we've got resources that are qualified to international standards.
"We also have unique equipment for testing tubes and pipes that are up to 4in in diameter. It's a very quick and easy process; they can be tested in eight seconds. Wire-rope-testing technology for cranes is also available. It's all done in situ, eliminating the need to remove the ropes."
New to the oil and gas industry, wire-rope inspection and condition monitoring has numerous value-adding benefits, it:
IQS International's staff understand the requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. As a result, the company's personnel can develop and implement project-management systems that meet a client's requirements and contractual objectives. The firm also provides internationally accredited in-house/open training courses and examinations.
The company is currently marketing new technology aimed specifically at the floating production storage and offloading industry, involving quick, time-efficient NDT for anything with a tube, including boilers and exchangers. Downtime will be reduced and potential risks for ongoing operations identified.
The firm works on small and large projects, taking on greenfield developments, and providing ongoing maintenance and risk-management support as required. Spanning the mining, petrochemical and engineering sectors, some of its larger clients include Anglo American, De Beers, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.
"I think what really separates IGQ International from the competition is that we put the customer first," says Stothard.
"Our staff understand that, and we make sure they're trained and qualified to do the job to which they're assigned. We also put a great deal of effort into thinking about and meeting the customer's needs; that often involves concerns about regulations and standards, and then coming up with the solutions."