Subsea Testing & Training Center in Demand

press release
Friday, February 10, 2012

Scottish subsea testing and training facility is preferred choice for multi-national companies.


A multi-national offshore technology company has chosen a leading subsea testing and training facility in Scotland to test and photograph its latest product, which was launched earlier this week. Cygnus Instruments decided to use subsea trials and training centre, The Underwater Centre, based in Fort William, to test their new metal thickness meter because of its unique replication of offshore facilities that are not available elsewhere.


Representatives from Dorset-based Cygnus spent time at the Centre where a photographer dived with one of the classes and used students to test the equipment and act as models for promotional shots.The new metal thickness meter, the ‘Cygnus Dive’, is the latest development from the company.  The device measures the thickness of a material, using ultrasound, to determine if corrosion or erosion has taken place over time.


It replaces the Underwater Gauge, which is currently used on the Non-destructive Testing (NDT) Course at The Underwater Centre, and will be the first ever subsea Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge (UTG) to be wrist mounted. Students will use the new model.

Cygnus Instruments are one of many companies who have used The Underwater Centre in recent months, utilising the diverse range of facilities on offer to ensure optimum testing is carried out on new industry equipment. David Crosthwaite–Eyre, Managing Director at Cygnus Instruments, said: “Without a doubt The Underwater Centre had the best facilities for our purposes. The facilities are as close a replica to the offshore environment we could hope for, with the likes of the mock oil leg structure. 


“This was specifically useful to us because the structure is made of steel, as it would be offshore – and so when we were testing the meter a realistic reading was given.  This also enhanced the photography of the equipment.

“In addition, the divers at the Centre were highly knowledgeable about North Sea offshore work and our industry which meant that we were able to achieve exactly what we needed quickly and efficiently.”


Steve Ham, General Manager at The Underwater Centre said: “Our trials and testing facilities are increasingly being used to facilitate the ever-expanding range of new equipment coming into the industry; all of which needs to be tested in as close an environment to that in which it will be used. “Our sea water facilities, onshore tank and support infrastructure offer companies the confidence and reassurance that the results they receive here during trials are what they will experience in practice, therefore saving them time and added expense.”


The Underwater Centre, Fort William, which also has a school in Tasmania, is based on the shore of a seawater loch, and is well sheltered by the surrounding mountains.  The Centre’s unique location allows it to provide year-round training and testing in an open-water environment, whilst still being centrally located in the largest town in the Scottish Highlands. With access to depths of over 100 metres, it is the ideal location to perform realistic and industry specific saturation and air diver and ROV pilot technician training, as well as providing a convenient location for subsea equipment trials. In addition, it is the only subsea training centre to provide commercial diver and ROV training in one purpose-built, underwater training site, giving students experience in an environment similar to what can be found offshore.

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