Wire rope safety a key priority for Bridon

As the year progresses, opportunities are beginning to emerge as markets begin to recover from the industry-wide recession which has gripped in recent times. The energy industry has once more begun to loosen its hold on budgets as exploration plans swing into action, commitment to recruitment is steadily rising, and a host of partnership prospects have come to the fore.

According to Bridon International, the specialist wire and rope manufacturers, strategic partnerships have come to prove as mutually beneficial in extending product reach and widening market opportunities.

“Bridon has generated a strong brand reputation for its product durability, longevity and reliability,” comments David Ward, General Manager of Bridon’s Oil and Gas sector. “As the offshore industry continues to explore ever deeper waters in harsh environments, operators are looking to manufacturers for dependable products. By forming strategic partnerships with organisations that prove to have a good ‘fit’ with our products we have found that this has contributed to our growth of market share, allowing us to `explore new markets – something which has been tough to do in recent times.”

“Partnership deals have proved successful in allowing us to develop our business strategies in support to our longer term vision and development framework. These opportunities are also serving to show that Bridon is continually being recognised as a leader in its field,” continues David. “This is a reputation built up over time and with long-standing industry experience backing our products, we have seen the rate of partnership take up increase in recent years.”

Bridon International recently inked a substantial deal with Cosalt International, suppliers of safety equipment and inspection services, working to enhance Bridon’s UK land and marine distribution reach. By partnering with this critical safety equipment provider, Bridon will serve to compliment Cosalt’s specialised product range whilst expanding its offering in the high-tech marine and industrial wire rope markets, with a specific concentration on the specialist crane and hoist application arena.

With an in-depth product reach within the Oil and Gas sector, Bridon International also places paramount importance on offshore safety, recognising that organisations cannot afford to compromise on safety in notoriously harsh environments. Although Bridon operates a commitment to continual product development for demanding application, it also strongly recommends continual review of production condition throughout its lifetime, consequently noting a significant increase in uptake for its range of rope examiner courses.
David Hewitt, Technical Sales Manager for Bridon explains, “In an increasingly competitive world it is understandable that costs need to be constantly reviewed, but safety should never be compromised. As well as personal injury, a lax in safety can result in huge financial loss for operators and contractors. An interruption in supply through unplanned events such as serious injury, unsafe equipment or even adverse weather conditions can have a huge financial impact. As a result, we have experienced an increased interest in our rope examiner courses, providing expert support to our global network of agents and distributors. This gives them a much more thorough insight into rope safety and performance, allowing them to assess the rate of replacement.”

“Bridon has forged ahead with its training courses, which extend far beyond international rope safety criteria,” continues David. “We begin with a historical focus where our customers can gain real insight into the wire rope and its design. By then moving on to its manufacture and wire rope discard criteria, we give a well-rounded insight into the products and an increased understanding towards safe handling. A thorough insight into rope examination with several rope samples and a guide to reporting procedures then allows us to provide customers with all the knowledge required for safe use and best practice of our products.”

A wire rope comprises of several small component wires spun into strands, and strands spun into ropes with each detail of the design selected to meet customer requirements. Options for termination types will then be selected from a host of choice including simple sockets, combined swivel sockets, special enhancements for long-term performance, such as electrical isolation, improved bearing performance and individually designed interfaces. Although designed for the most demanding of applications, all products must be continually assessed for damage or wear and tear.

Bridon’s rope examiner courses are currently specific to crane ropes but the techniques facilitated throughout these courses are applicable to all stranded rope and therefore, other than the discard criteria, these are generally applicable to all industries.

“Ascertaining the condition of the wire and strand throughout its working life is essential,” highlights David. “This helps to detect any conditions which might be detrimental to the continued normal product operation. We train customers to make visual inspections at least once each working day, looking out for damage indicators including kinking, crushing and main strand displacement that could mean immediate action should be taken. We also recommend that radiographic inspection is adopted to detect early internal wire breakage, and potentially preventing any downtime.”

“For us the important factors are product longevity and safety,” says David. “They go hand in hand and should always sit in correlation. Not only do we expect our products to lead with industry performance, but its operators should be conscious that products aren’t invincible. The increased uptake increase of our courses has meant that the market is fully aware of this, and is continuing to hold Bridon as a leader and expert in its field.”

Bridon operates nine manufacturing units around the world as well as market focused technical and sales offices. Supporting this structure is a global network of agents and distributors.

Bridon’s industry-standard crane rope examiners 2 day course includes history of wire rope and international standards that apply, rope design and manufacturing, wire rope discard criteria, how and where to examine the rope and how to report the results of the examination. Included is a factory visit and practical look at several rope samples. Successful completion of the course grants the attendee a certificate. The course may also be designed to meet exact requirements and presented as a one day course on company premises.