BHGE Opens Subsea Center of Excellence
Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) has opened its transformed Center of Excellence (CoE) facility in Montrose, Scotland to deliver engineering, manufacturing, test and assembly and services to advance deepwater technology for its customers.
The upgraded and expanded campus, which sits on more than 35 acres, was officially opened on Tuesday during an inauguration ceremony with Scottish Minister for Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, as well as BHGE customers and employees. The expansion represents a £31 million ($39.2 million) investment by BHGE and was supported by a £4.9 million ($6.2 million) grant from the Scottish government, through Scottish Enterprise.
According to BHGE, the campus enables it to offer product innovation from design to delivery from one location servicing customers globally. The advanced manufacturing technologies serve global oil and gas activities today and enable continuous product innovation and technology advancements for the future. And moving the new-build operations to one campus will bring greater efficiency and eliminate extra transportation between sites, BHGE said.
Neil Saunders, CEO, BHGE Oilfield Equipment, said, “BHGE is committed to bringing the most innovative subsea technology and solutions to market to help our customers improve productivity. Our industry is transforming and sites like this will enable us to continue to invent and produce these technologies at an accelerated pace. This facility benefits from great backing by the Scottish government; the support demonstrates the commitment we all have to this region and the people who work here.”
Last year, BHGE announced its Subsea Connect vision, a new way of doing business that delivers lower costs, increased productivity and a simpler approach to subsea development. The CoE is the home of the Aptara Design Center, dedicated to the design and development of the Aptara Totex-lite subsea system, the cornerstone of Subsea Connect. This new family of products has been designed for the life of field and features a range of lightweight, modular technology solutions re-engineered to cut the total cost of ownership in half and be more responsive to changes over the life of field.
The new campus will benefit from advanced manufacturing tools and processes, designed to improve efficiency and productivity, including:
- Virtual reality tools and training opportunities to help technicians assemble equipment digitally and troubleshoot issues before construction begins;
- Automation to boost efficiency on activities like welding, testing and material-handling;
- Sensor-equipped machines that allow customers to view updates of manufacturing activities and equipment test results via tablet in real-time. The sensors will also enable BHGE to analyze critical data to improve operations and increase productivity;
- 3D printers to help quickly develop fully-functional prototypes of components and highly complex structures, as well as actual production parts;
- Laser measuring devices, including trackers and scanners, allowing engineers and designers to make better, faster measurements of components and improve equipment build accuracy.
In addition, BHGE said the Montrose campus will develop the next generation of the workforce through a series of investments and trainings that will directly support the STEM program as well as local schools. The company noted it has doubled its apprenticeship intake in 2019 by launching a program that develops the skills of their current and future employees.
Paul Lewis, Managing Director, Scottish Development International, said, “The energy industry is one of Scotland’s leading sectors and Scottish Enterprise is honored to support BHGE in the creation of this Center of Excellence and advanced manufacturing campus in Montrose. This is a major investment by BHGE and is further evidence of Scotland’s attractiveness as the top location for inward investment in the UK after London. The opening of these facilities marks an exciting milestone and reflects the hard work by the project team to get here. They should be proud of the leading-edge solutions for the subsea sector that will be created in Montrose and exported around the world.”