Spelter Socket Pin Removal

Shearwater successfully removed aged spelter sockets without causing damage to the structure or injuries by designing and manufacturing hydraulic jigs, which saved time and exceeded client expectations. The innovative design eliminated previous health and safety risks and ensured zero strain on the structure, and the manufacturing process adhered to high standards, CE marking processes, and LRQA welding procedures.


Shearwater was awarded a contract by a Ministry of Defence (MoD) client to replace 1000-tonne SWL restraint ropes as part of a larger maintenance package carried out within an MoD facility.


The primary challenge was to remove the aged spelter sockets without causing any damage to the structure and minimising risks associated with the task. The previous removal process involved manual impact using sledgehammers, which was not only slow and hazardous but also imposed strain on the structure and its welds, leading to safety concerns.


To address the issue, Shearwater sent their in-house engineers and CAD designers to conduct an on-site survey. Based on their findings, they sketched a hydraulic jig as a proposed solution. After receiving initial acceptance, detailed models were created, and an in-depth FMEA analysis was conducted to ensure the feasibility and safety of the innovative design. The proposed solution was approved by both Shearwater's management and the client's representative.

With Shearwater's commitment to innovation and improved health and safety culture, their innovative design, coupled with appropriate training and expertise, successfully eliminated previous health and safety risks while ensuring zero strain on the structure. The manufacturing process involved the skilled work of Shearwater's qualified 'coded' welders, NDT technicians, and weld engineers, all adhering to high standards, CE marking processes, and LRQA welding procedures.


The use of hydraulic jigs resulted in considerable time savings, without causing any structural damage or injuries. Additionally, the structure was returned to the client ahead of schedule, which highlights Shearwater's commitment to efficiency, safety, and exceeding client expectations.

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