Orbital Welding and Subsea Applications

Orbital welding is a computer based welding process which is typically used to generate high quality, repeatable welds.  Welding specifications are completely programmed into the machine before welding begins, and once it does, there is minimal interference required by the operator, reducing the risk of human error.

As orbital welding is a computer controlled process, welds generated via an orbital welding procedure are both repeatable and consistent.  This is due to the operator’s ability to program specific parameters into the machine, including an alarm or ‘cease welding procedure’ should these parameters not be met.  Welding programs can be set in such a way that very strict tolerances are automatically monitored and adhered to, which allows the operator to meet essential welding variables with ease.  This process is particularly effective when working with thin wall and small diameter tubing, from which subsea hydraulic lines are predominantly fabricated.

There are two different types of orbital welding machines: autogenous, which does not use filler wire, and non-autogenous, which does.  When using an autogenous machine the operator gains the ability to better control the internal weld bead profile as there is no wire being used.  This eliminates the risk of internal bore reduction as required in hydraulic & control line tubing systems.  The risk of external weld contamination is also reduced due to the closed head welding environment.  For this reason, the majority of orbital welding performed by Diverse Welding Services is done so using an autogenous welding process.

Diverse Welding Services have both types of machines available, with qualified personnel & procedures for use of both systems on super duplex, duplex, inconel 625 and 316 stainless steel.  These materials are widely used for subsea applications as they combine high corrosion resistance and high mechanical strength with excellent resistance to seawater and marine environments.  For these reasons they are particularly well-suited for applications exposed to high stress in aggressive chloride-rich environments.

When fabricating or repairing subsea piping systems, orbital welding is preferred over manual welding as the welds produced are of an extremely high quality and have an exceptionally low failure rate when tested via 100% radiographic testing regimes.  Corrosion resistance rates are also maximised in the ‘as welded’ condition, proven by DWS, when samples tested under the G48 Method A – Pitting Resistance Test resulted in weight loss to be less than 0.36g/m2 for stainless steel. 

Orbital welding has many advantages.  The machine controls heat input, and so material quality and integrity is easily maintained.  The machine also features a recording data log which enables the user to track weld processes and guarantee consistency.  Due to the enclosed structure of the weld head, gas is kept inside the head and as such is effective when welding in confined spaces and challenging environmental conditions.  This feature decreases the amount of gas required and is therefore more economical than standard manual welding.  Inspection procedures are also simplified as the orbital welding machine prints a docket listing the parameters which have been adhered to whilst welding has taken place, meaning the operator does not have to be supervised to ensure the welding performed meets the welding procedures and standards required.  Welds are also generated in a faster weld time when compared to manual tig welding.

As the development of new energy reserves increases, so does the need for subsea infrastructure.  The ability to supply high quality, internationally competitive subsea fabrication is crucial to the ongoing growth & success of the Australian oil and gas industry.  There are currently a large number of unprecedented technical challenges involved with subsea oil and gas development and orbital welding is playing an increasingly vital role.

Swagelok Tube Fitting Installation & Bending Training

Our General Manager John Lipscombe & Operations Manager Terry Mallinder, as well as four of our valued fabricators have successfully completed the Swagelok Tube Fitting Installation & Bending course.  Throughout the course they learnt how to select the correct fittings, install fittings to the manufacturer's installation specifications, and general good installation practices.

As we use Swagelok fittings in a variety of applications, it is crucial that our staff are correctly trained in their specifications to ensure our products are manufactured to the highest possible standard.  As customer satisfaction is what we strive for, it is imperative to us that we continue to upskill our staff and as a result will be enrolling remaining staff into this course over the coming months.

DWS Manufactures MQC Deployment Frame for Technip

DWS has recently completed an MQC Outboard Test Plate & two Female Test Plates for Technip Oceania.  This included the manufacture of an MQC Protection Panel, Half Shell Bracket & a Deployment Frame.  These have been manufactured as part of the Chevron/Technip Wheatstone Project and will be temporarily installed underwater to be used for testing purposes.  Once testing has been completed, they will be removed and the SSIV's (which our our MQC Plates have been installed onto) will be permanently installed into place.  Please see our Projects page for more photos!


Technip MQC Test Plate/Deployment Frame

DWS is Expanding!!

We at DWS are proud to announce that we have taken over the block next door at 14 Arvida Street and now have two workshops!  We are currently making a few alterations to the new workshop and adjoining it to our original building so that there is internal access between the two.  We also have plans to install a new 12.5 tonne overhead gantry crane at no.14, which will further expand our on site capabilities.

DWS Ongoing Plant Upgrades at Perrigo Laboratories

DWS is in the process of assisting Perrigo Laboratories with a pharmaceutical plant upgrade which will allow for increased alcohol mixing and storage facilities.  This project includes:

  • Supply & installation of pipework & process piping
  • Supply & installation of drain & transfer lines
  • Supply & installation of a CIP cleaning skid and associated pipework
  • Supply & installation of access platforms
  • Modifications to existing systems
  • UV steriliser relocation (2)
  • Pipe supports and gantry's
  • Pressure testing, passivation and documentation

We are proud to be working with such a reputable company and honoured that they have chosen to trust us to perform this work.


Chemical Manufacturing Equipment Upgrades at Bayer CropScience

For the past 6 months, DWS has been undertaking a variety of works at Bayer CropScience in Kwinana to allow them to mix a greater volume (and new varieties) of chemicals.  These works include, but are not limited to:

  • Installation of new mixing vessel
  • Installation of new dust & fume extraction system throughout the entire facility
  • Refurbishment of all existing vessels

DWS Time Lapse

October 2014 to Febuary 2015 was an extremely busy period of time for Diverse Welding Services.  During this time we completed many projects, including the Technip MQC Plates & Small Bore Instrument Tubing Package for the Wheatstone Project, which we captured in a time lapse video.  At the completion of FAT's the MQC plates were packaged & shipped to Batum, Indonesia in preparation for permanent installation to their subsea manifolds.  Thankyou to Technip & Chevron for allowing DWS the opportunity to complete this manufacturing package within Australia.  We hope you enjoy the video!!

Website launch!!

We are proud to announce that our website has gone live!  We look forward to being able to keep our vast client and supplier network up-to-date with our projects and general news. 

DWS Completes Work on the Chevron / Technip Wheatstone Project

DWS have completed work on the small bore super duplex control & stainless steel acid injection pipework for the MQC plates located on each of the 4 subsea manifold installations.  This project was a great success, not just in terms of fabrication, but documentation as well.  Here is a photo of the completed plates, time lapse camera footage to come!

DWS Manufactures Food Grade Topping System for Danish Patisserie

Diverse Welding Services has proudly manufactured a stainless steel food grade topping system for our valued client Danish Patisserie.  The purpose of this unit is to allow the client to evenly and efficiently deposit various toppings onto their products.  In order to meet our client's needs, we have manufactured a custom designed stainless steel mounting frame which houses a 240 volt electric vibratory feeder and hopper.  The entire unit bolts onto their pre-existing conveyors, and is fully equipped with swivel-braked wheels so that it is not only portable, but very secure when positioned.

Newly Accredited International Welding Supervisor!

We are proud to announce that our Operations Manager Terry Mallinder has successfully completed his International Welding Specialist course with the International Institute of Welding!  A big congratulations to Terry from the team at DWS.  Well done!

DWS builds packing conveyor systems

DWS has successfully designed, fabricated, and installed 5 packing conveyor systems for the new Mt Barker chicken factory installation in Rockingham.  DWS custom built the system to suit the client’s workflow requirements & delivery timeframe.  The conveyors & static roller packing stations were built from stainless steel and the design was suitable for the food industry's stringent hygienic cleaning requirements.

DWS New Contract - Schweppes Australia

DWS has been awarded a contract to fabricate a 13,000 litre carbon filtration vessel for potable water to AS 1210 for Schweppes Australia.  DWS has previously fabricated this type of vessel & has introduced a specialty corrosion surface coating on the interior to prevent corrosion in a harsh application environment.

DWS are now FMC Approved Vendors!


DWS are proud to announce that after review of results from FMC Technologies audits and supporting technical approval of our facility, FMC's Global Supplier Review Board has approved DWS for the performance of Orbital Welding on FMC Technologies materials and products.  DWS looks forward to working with FMC Technologies on Subsea Small Bore Tube Hydraulic Control Lines in the future.

FMC Logo


Work Commenced on the Chevron / Technip Wheatstone Project

DWS has commenced worked on the Chevron / Technip Wheatstone Project which consists of an offshore development to produce and transfer hydrocarbons to a Greenfield onshore LNG Plant located at Ashburton North, South of Onslow in Western Australia.

The overall project offshore development includes installation, commissioning, and operation of offshore facilities identified as the Wheatstone Platform (WP), Trunk line, and Gas Gathering Systems. The onshore development consists of a two train LNG facility connected to the offshore trunk line by a nominal 1.5km onshore pipeline. The Area of Operations where the Facilities shall be installed is from the Wheatstone Platform, approximately 120 nautical miles north of Onslow, to the manifold centers and has water depths of 73 to 240 meters.

DWS is completing the fabrication of the small bore super duplex control & stainless steel acid injection pipework for the MQC plates located on each of the (4) subsea manifold installations. This work will be completed using our orbital welding systems and upon completion be shipped offshore for installation as part of the large project scope.

Balnaves Manifold

Coniston Project - Small Bore Tubing on DC3, DC4 & GPM Subsea Manifolds

DWS Manufacture Stainless Steel Mast & Lower Mounting Spigot for Ascalon Sculpture

DWS were delighted to manufacture a 316 stainless steel mast & lower mounting spigot for the Ascalon sculpture which is currently situated outside of the St. Georges Terrace Cathedral.

This was manufactured in accordance with Australian Standard AS1554 Part 6, and all structural purpose welds were both visually inspected and DPI tested.  The mast and all attached parts were highly polished and all welds were coved or sanded smooth and then polished to blend in with the pipe.

For your viewing pleasure, the video links below show the Ascalon sculpture being erected.


Australian Stainless Cover - Ascalon