Vallourec’s VAM® SPRINT-SF connection: designed to make your life easy!

6/15/2020

As a world leader in premium tubular solutions serving the oil & gas, power generation, and industry applications, Vallourec continues to build new customer experiences through innovative solutions. The new VAM® SPRINT Series is a great example of the Vallourec culture that listens to our customers’ needs and reacts quickly to provide a solution in an ever-changing market environment.

“Onshore drilling operators are always looking for ways to improve efficiency while lowering costs. For Vallourec, this means optimizing the design of our products in ways that improve quality without increasing cost”, says Julien Durand, Industrialization Manager, VAM® USA. To meet these customer objectives, commercial, technical, and operational teams worked closely with R&D during the development of VAM® SPRINT-SF, the first in the VAM® SPRINT Series. Production teams also worked with product engineering to ensure the connection would be cost effective to manufacture.

Once the VAM® SPRINT-SF design was fine-tuned and industrialization had begun, experts from Vallourec Tube-Alloy came in to learn from the VAM® USA manufacturing team to avoid delays in their industrialization process. VAM® Field Service also joined the project team early on to ensure they would be fully ready to support customers in the field.

Improving design with cross-functional collaboration

Allowing the manufacturing product engineering teams to join early on helped improve design and ensure cost-effective production. “Every meeting became a feedback loop where we were all able to provide input on how to improve the connection’s design” says Julien.

Collaboration also resulted in less visible improvements: “As another specific example, during trials, we discovered a quality issue with the bident [a gauge to measure a connection’s locking position]. We brainstormed a solution: use two bidents instead of one! This doesn’t increase the cost, but certainly improves quality.”

Vallourec Tube Alloy: ready to support customers

Production teams from VAM® USA and Vallourec Tube-Alloy remained in alignment thanks to weekly meetings, which resulted in faster trials and a rapid industrialization for both entities. The physical proximity of teams was also a major advantage. “Having experts from both teams on hand during the trials helped with troubleshooting and identifying improvements,” Julien adds.

“This tight collaboration was an important factor in speeding up the project timetable”, explains Celine Louvrier, Head of Engineering Department at Vallourec Tube-Alloy. “A lot goes into threading a connection: we need the correct inserts and the correct programming for the machines that cut the threads.”

Now, as the product launches, Vallourec Tube-Alloy is ready to fully support the customerwith any downhole accessory needed.

VAM® Field Service: adding value in the field

VAM® Field Service also came on board during the industrialization stage to make sure their field technicians were prepared to support the connection and to ensure tools such as stabbing guides and lift plugs were ready. As a result, they are fully prepared to support the customer before, during and after running.

“A connection can be easy to manufacture,” says Joe Hill, Director of Field Services at VAM® USA. “But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to run in the field. VAM® SPRINT-SF is an easy to run connection, that features a tapered dovetail thread design that stabs deep, allowing fast make up with very low risk of cross-threading.”

With 40 years of experience, VAM® Field Service provides customers extra value in terms of risk mitigation and overall, well integrity. Their role is to help improve speed, safety, reliability and reduce the cost of operations. They help operators by providing reliable troubleshooting that can minimize back-outs and avoid work over cost, and lost production.

“We are on site to help ensure our customers achieve a successful installation. We make sure that the dope application is done properly, we monitor pipe stabbing alignment and speed of makeup, so we can validate the final graph and guarantee higher well integrity.”

“We also bring peace of mind, by de-risking operations”, says Joe. “Our reports detail lessons learned, findings and recommendations for continuous improvement.”

All on board to provide end-to-end value to customers

Full production of the 5 ½” 20# VAM® SPRINT-SF, has begun in Texas and will be begin soon in Ohio. 5” 18# is next in the queue. “VAM® SPRINT-SF shows the value we can bring our customers when we collaborate across the business”, says Joe. “From manufacturing through accessories and field service, our teams are focused on a single objective: improving our customers’ efficiency by bringing them a complete solution.”

VAM® R&D, VAM® Field Service, and Vallourec Tube-Alloy worked together to bring a much needed solution to market. From top to bottom of the well, Vallourec is prepared to provide the full range of thread support, accessory products, and services which include marker joints, float equipment, handling tools, crossovers, OEM product threading, full length repair, torque turn, and field services. Our commitment is to provide the highest quality products and services for the best value with the newest technology.

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