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Flexibility in Design Process Brings Better Solutions for Gimbal Assemblies

( 09/23/2021 ) Written by: Anne Torgler

To best meet customer needs, you must be a solution provider, not just a product provider. Our attitude is, and has always been, to collaborate with our customers to find an approach that meets their needs quickly and easily. We’ve proven this mindset yet again by finding a better process for working with customers on gimbal assembly design.

Parker LORD gimbal pads and assemblies for offshore oil rigs and intervention vessels are designed under strict process and quality controls to ensure each part performs consistently. We can accurately and dynamically model the stiffness of any gimbal system in any plane of rotation.  A step beyond competitors, this new tool incorporates feedback from customers in real time to create tailored solutions. The result is a product designed to handle extreme loading and environmental conditions for improved pad life.

Real-Time Feedback

The flexible design tool introduces a process unprecedented for the oil and gas industry , creating solutions through working closely with the customer, instead of only using existing catalog parts. Traditionally, the customer and supplier might have limited interaction during the ordering process. Using this flexible design tool, placing an order becomes a collaborative partnership where Parker LORD engineers and the customer work together to solve problems. Additionally, the tool can accommodate design changes dynamically, allowing for multiple design versions.

To make this work, the first things we want to know about a customer’s gimbal assembly is how it is intended to be used, the range of expected limitations and the maximum stiffness needed. From there we work together to produce a solution. 

In one example, this fast-moving live design process allowed us to identify, analyze and quote four different systems as the project scope changed over a three-week period. The customer was struggling with how to add a much-needed gimbal assembly to an existing bid and through these conversations we created a solution that was within budget.  

The design tool allows system level rotational stiffness calculations in any direction (as shown to the right).  This graph shows the relative pad positions and corresponding system rotational stiffness in each plane from center.  Asymmetric, or non-uniform spacing can also be evaluated using this tool.  

It takes innovation to work on a solution. Sometimes the solutions can involve renting a part instead of buying it or designing a part to specifications that will then bring it into budget. The market collapse is forcing rig operators to think differently. Flexibility and elegance around the design are now key.

Let’s start a conversation. Fill out this form and a member of our engineering team will contact you to talk through how our flexible design tool can help you when ordering your next gimbal assembly.



Interested in learning more about our gimbal bearing assemblies and pads? Here are a few resources to check out:


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