HOUSTON -- The United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Deep Down Inc. a patent [number 7,467,662 B2] for a method and apparatus for installing a subsea umbilical.
Deep Down has designed a J-plate installation procedure utilizing an ROV manipulator-held running tool called the flying-lead-installation-running-tool (FLIRT). The newly patented design eliminates the damage prone acme screw thread and collet locking mechanisms and associated complex mechanical override systems of traditional J-plates, the company says.
The new design has interconnectivity with all manufacturers of umbilical and subsea distribution systems. This makes subsea reconfiguration possible without retrieving the flying lead, the company says. This is accomplished by inserting an intermediate plate between the inboard and outboard J-plates.