Powered by our people
Every day, we aim to broaden the horizons of our staff by providing interesting, challenging projects. We encourage our staff to set high career goals, which we help them to achieve. Our employees benefit from global experience in a personal and friendly working environment that encourages creativity, teamwork and personal career development.
To provide an insight into what it is like working at A.Hak Industrial Services, below are some first hand experiences from employees on the job.
Joseph Jutras – Manager, Data Analysis
In the Data Analysis department we analyze ultrasonic in-line inspection data, looking for anomalies such as corrosion and dents. We then report our findings to our clients so they can understand the condition of their pipeline. My job is to ensure the department is running smoothly, a high quality product is delivered to our clients and to foresee future challenges and plan for them before they negatively impact us.
I enjoy the variety in my job. There really is a bit of everything in my role – planning and being strategic, fighting fires, project management, workforce and people management, customer service, technical expertise, and whatever else needs to be done. There is a general ‘can-do’ attitude at A.Hak and a very agile, flexible culture that fosters creativity and innovation. This makes it a great place to work, learn and develop.
One particular project that I found interesting and rewarding concerned a client with subsea lines in the Middle East. At the time their pipelines were constructed, many pipe mills were limited to 40 foot joint lengths (approximately 12.2m). Because we reported joints longer than 13m, they asked us to investigate these joints further. We were naturally pleased to do so.
Each of our in-line inspection tools has multiple odometer wheels and we started by looking at the readings from each wheel. These were consistent so we proceeded to check other possibilities, including distance factors, algorithms, settings, calculations and the actual diameter of the wheels. We also compared velocity plots with joint lengths to see if there was any correlation. At each step everything appeared to be correct. We then looked at reports of other lines inspected for our client and found other joints longer than 13m. We soon noticed a consistent pattern where only certain diameter lines had joints longer than 13m. This consistency, coupled with our thorough investigation, led us to conclude the joints were indeed longer than 13m. However, we wanted to be absolutely certain.
We explained our findings to our client and suggested they have divers verify them by measuring the actual joint lengths. Our client agreed and we then worked together to target joints longer than 13m that were convenient for divers to check.
This process of stepping through and checking all the different factors was a great learning experience. It was also nice to work as a team with our client to come to a conclusion. The investigative process was very rewarding, and I was pleased to receive the dive results that yes, there were indeed joints longer than 13m. Our client was also happy with the results and particularly pleased with our thoroughness and attentiveness.
Marcel van Egmond - Project Manager, Inspection Services
A.Hak Inpection Services Down Under
In 2013, the Inspection Services department of A.Hak performed three inspection campaigns in the heart of Australia.
Our client, a leading Australian oil and gas producer, thought that our inspection tool was the perfect fit to determine the integrity of their ‘non-piggable’ pipelines in the Cooper Basin. The campaigns were executed by a two-man crew from The Netherlands, and after a long 22-hour flight from Amsterdam to Adelaide, the adventures began!
From Adelaide the inspection crew was transported by a local air carrier (COBHAM) to the Cooper Basin, which is located 785km north of Adelaide. The Cooper Basin is a very dry desert area, but 65% of Australia’s water reserve is held just a couple of meters underground.
Although the inspection operation was quite standard for our division, we were faced with rather challenging logistics. Some of the pipelines were located 1.5 hours away by 4x4 from the base camp. This made it difficult to get hold of spare parts quickly. In addition we were faced with hazards unfamiliar to our mostly European crew, including heat exhaustion, snakebites and getting lost in the vast outback. However, despite the challenges, for the European crew it was an amazing experience to work in the middle of nowhere surrounded by kangaroos and emus and dingoes trying to steal our sandwiches! We witnessed the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the outback and traveling to work each day felt like a real-life safari. It was a great achievement for us to work across such an enormous area while maintaining communications with the main camp.
Throughout the campaigns we established a great working relationship with our Australian colleagues. Each link in the team was determined to deliver a good, safe job. Being a part of this project was an amazing experience both professionally and personally, and the opportunity to be involved in it has been one of the great perks of working at A.Hak
Lenny van Grootveld - Technical Specialist, Tank Services
When I began working at A.Hak Industrial Services just over a year ago, I got involved in a project called, Petrobot. Besides being a technology and service provider, A.Hak is also a work package leader, which means that we take the lead on innovative projects and keep track of the progress.
The Petrobot project is focused on the development of new robotic inspection technologies and is subsidized by the European Union. We work together with Shell, Chevron, Vopak, Gassco, Innospection and Alstom Inspection Robotics.
The project is unique as it incorporates a rare, open discussion between the end-users, the technology providers and the service providers. With this open discussion, a tool is defined which reflects the needs of all stakeholders.
This process, which I was heavily involved in, was intensive but very rewarding and a great learning experience for me. Our discussions resulted in a specification report, which was presented to the EU for review. We received a positive reaction and the approval to continue with the research and start development.
Since the due date for the research and development phase will be within 1.5 years, it is going to be intensive. However, I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide a positive contribution to the industry and enjoy the variation from my day-to-day work.
Although the project walks into unmarked territory, with the strength within the consortium and within A.Hak, I know we can make it a success.