Balmoral’s policy of continuous improvement means that the company is constantly developing its manufacturing operations to retain its place at the forefront of buoyancy, insulation and elastomer production technology.
Now offering even more efficiency and automation the facility has been re-designed and laid out to provide consistently high quality fit-for-purpose products on a continuous basis.
Comprising thermoset syntactic, aliphatic amine cold cure, anhydride hot cure capabilities and an advanced polyurethane elastomer processing facility – supported by macrosphere tumblers, shakers, vacuum chambers and curing ovens – the advanced facility represents a huge step forward in the way buoyancy and elastomer products are manufactured.
Toolmaking, steel fabrication and machining
Falling within the company’s philosophy of maintaining control of all operations as far as possible, Newcastle-based rotational mould making business Kirkdale 2000 Ltd was acquired by Balmoral in 2014.
Now known as Balmoral Newcastle, Kirkdale was recognised within the rotomoulding industry as a byword for uncompromising quality and it is Balmoral’s aim to develop and grow this part of the business.
Complementing the existing fabrication facility, Balmoral Newcastle supports the company’s growing demand for high quality rotational moulding tools, steel fabrication and machining requirements. The service means that the company is in total control of these time-critical processes and doesn’t have to rely on external suppliers or out-sourcing.
Not only does this ensure delivery schedules are met it also means that costs are kept under very strict control: time and cost savings that ultimately benefit customers.
Balmoral operates a highly developed in-house rotational moulding facility at Group HQ in Aberdeen.
This facility produces the shells for many of Balmoral Offshore Engineering’s products including distributed buoyancy modules and modular buoyancy elements. These shells are roto-moulded in medium density polyethylene providing a one piece, seamless product with no structural welds or inherent stresses. The manufacturing process is automated providing a high quality and consistent product.
This in-house capability affords the company total control over material selection, dimensional tolerances and, ultimately, project scheduling.
Syntactic production and curing
The combination of hollow glass microspheres and a resin matrix, known as syntactic foam, is central to any buoyancy manufacturing operation. Balmoral operates a fully automated system that provides syntactic material of a consistent quality which is critical to the manufacture of high performance buoyancy and insulation products.
By implementing hot and cold cure processing, supported by refined hardware to provide control over temperature, duration and cool-down times, Balmoral Offshore Engineering has overcome product failure issues such as stress, material instability and brittleness that are experienced by traditional manufacturing operations.
This investment in production technology ensures top quality products that are exceptionally suited to the hostile deepwater environments commonly experienced by the industry today.
Manufacturing Engineering Group (MEG)
The Manufacturing Engineering Group implements lean manufacturing methodologies and continuous improvement practices to drive operational excellence. This helps to understand value streams and how, by improving these, it can improve the company’s service to the customer.
The MEG takes a systematic approach to all processes in achieving world class performance by efficiently using tools and equipment, optimising resources and the elimination of process waste and inefficiencies.