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The Saipem 7000 semi-submersible crane and pipe-laying vessels has added an ESAB Falcon FXA 3000 cutting system to its range of on-board pipe-laying and fabrication equipment.

It is primarily to be used for pipe-laying and rig installations.

On a short time scale, ESAB Cutting Systems designed and built a cutting system that suited the requirements of this installation.

The Falcon FXA 3000 employs the most appropriate cutting gases and power sources, as well as incorporating other specialist design modifications.

It has a 2.5 x 6m cutting area and is equipped with both an automated Cooljet BIE 220A gas-cutting torch and an ESP 150 plasma cutting system.

The use of acetylene rather than propane is important for safety on board the vessel.

A fume extraction table with fan and ducting is also included, together with ESAB Columbus nesting software that provides the Falcon’s Vision 51 ESAB CNC controller with the cutting programs.

The Vision 51 CNC controller provides links to Saipem’s CAD office, as well as connecting to the network onboard so that it can be interrogated by ESAB as part of its customer and product-support services.

A spares and consumables package has also been supplied to ensure continuity of operation and minimisation of downtime.

The Falcon is being used mainly for automated cutting of mild steel 8-100mm thick, as well as stainless steel from 5-20mm.

Plasma cutting is employed for thicknesses up to 25mm, while, for greater thicknesses, oxy-acetylene cutting is used.

This dual cutting-process capability ensures high-quality cutting results across the complete materials’ thickness range.

The other major benefits of the Falcon in this application are its compact dimensions, easy loading, with its low rail on the outboard side, and ease of use.

It can also be dismantled and relocated relatively easily.

Full installation drawings were provided to Saipem by ESAB.

Normally the pedestals that support the cutting machine’s drive rail are bolted to the floor, but as this was not possible on board the vessel, ESAB provided drawings of a mounting plate that was manufactured by Saipem and welded to the deck before the pedestals were bolted to it.

As part of ESAB, a world leading supplier of welding and cutting solutions, ESAB Group (UK) Ltd have access to a product research and development programme, the envy of the welding industry.

The brand is synonymous with world leading expertise  and today the company produces consumables and equipment for virtually every welding and cutting process and application.

As a logical step following his invention of the covered welding electrode back in 1904, Oscar Kjellberg founded ESAB. Since then, the company has constantly improved on existing methods and materials. At the same time, ESAB has developed new methods to meet the challenge presented by technological progress.

More than 100 years of continuous research, development and manufacture have made ESAB a world leader in welding, cutting and also an international supplier of products, know-how and services that none can match.

At is UK headquarters, ESAB Group (UK) Ltd have a team of highly experienced and qualified staff who are always available to offer help and advice on all aspects of welding and cutting. 

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