November 2020

Asset Maintenance & Engineering – A new beginning

Commercial Developments Manager Marvin Morrison explains how MDL's 21-year track record - and the in-house skillset amassed in that time - set the foundations for the new division: MDL AME.

I recently joined MDL back in the summer, taking on the role of Commercial Developments Manager, knowing the company well from my previous role as a Project Manager for an installation contractor and the advantages that MDL equipment brought to execution of flex-lay projects.

What I had not appreciated was the breadth and depth of in-house engineering capabilities MDL offered to the Oil and Gas industry. Getting to know about the overall capability of the company has allowed me to realise the potential to grow the business to meet the diverse needs of the Energy sector and the advantages MDL can offer.

If I was to ask most readers: “Where do you think MDL started out?”, would you be surprised to hear that the company originated back in 1999 providing engineering support to the fishing industry, repairing and maintaining the various mechanical equipment, mobilising personnel to ports around the UK and further afield, ensuring the vessel was in port for the minimum time possible, taking a “can do” attitude towards our clients challenges? This approach is still true today, 21 years later, and is at the core of how MDL executes its business.

MDL is better known for designing and manufacturing market-leading technology for both flexible and rigid pipe handling, provided to clients on both a permanent supply and a temporary basis. This is complemented by a team of experienced, multi-skilled technicians who operate the equipment, and who had built and commissioned every system in MDL’s portfolio.

We operate a modern fleet of equipment, compared to that on offer from our peers in the market, and the innovative approach incorporated in the design creates a technical advantage, optimising the uptime and efficiencies for our clients. To deliver such performance takes ownership of the product at all stages - and this is where we differ from the competition. At MDL we design, manufacture our own equipment and apply a rigorous maintenance programme, keeping everything ready for the next challenge, which is all managed in-house.

What this highlights is that MDL has honed a wide skillset who can design, manufacture, assemble and commission bespoke mechanical systems that are hydraulic and electrically-driven to suit a specific brief.

The skills and experience that made MDL a highly competent and respected equipment manufacturer and supplier are directly transferable, and come together to form a truly value-added service, under the name of Asset Maintenance & Engineering (AME).

This newly launched division is a refinement of a service that MDL previously delivered individually, and has now combined in a comprehensive package, covering:

- Project Management & Engineering

- Crane / Winch Integrity & Maintenance

- Mechanical Handling

- Hydraulic Systems

- Electric Systems & Instrumentation

The two-decade experience of working with a variety of clients on and offshore - including Operators and Pipelay Contractors - is reflected in our safety culture, work processes and procedures, and – importantly - through consistently delivering of our targets of optimising schedules and meeting budget.

Our focus is on performing as much of the front-end PM & E work as possible from the “desktop”, minimising unnecessary trips to an Asset, demonstrating a cost aware approach, which also introduces efficiencies in the overall execution of work scopes.

At the same time, MDL retains all the benefits of being an independent business: agility, impartiality, responsiveness and flexibility to adapt to our clients in terms of work scopes, schedules, deliverables and system processes; providing truly tailored solutions, with complete transparency from the onset - meaning no surprises at any stage of the project.

Since launching the AME division, we have executed numerous maintenance and engineering projects for Operators, clearly demonstrating the added value the MDL approach offers our clients. But this is only the beginning, and I am focussed on bringing these benefits to other clients supporting their Assets globally.

In summary, the AME division takes all the experience that MDL is renowned for in the flex-lay market, into a complete service managing the maintenance and integrity of equipment onboard Assets including FPSOs, platforms, drilling rigs, vessels and even onshore production facilities - all topped off with the personalised customer service which is synonymous with MDL.

Marvin Morrison, Commercial Developments Manager