AmerLinkTM – the Next Generation of Engineered Top Drive Service Loops

Amerlink jacketed service loops

30 / 08 / 2017

Nexans AmerCable has been producing top drive service loops since 1993. Until recently we only built loops where our cable core is placed in a reinforced hose and filled, in most cases, with potting compound. This has been the industry standard for a long time, but it is a design that has many shortcomings and has made many drilling operators hopping mad due to premature loop failure. We still make very high-quality hose-encased (HE) loops, but we now offer a better solution.

Nexans AmerCable Introduces New Innovation in Drilling

Amerlink top drive loops

Nexans AmerCable has launched a new category in top drive services loops. AmerLink™ “jacketed” loops have a mould-cured outer jacket and are lighter, more flexible, smaller and have a significantly longer service life. These service loops, available in power, control and instrumentation, are key to efficient top-drive operation on rigs. The traditional style of service loop, hose-encased, is one of the leading causes of rig downtime. The Amerlink patented service loop is dramatically more durable. In its field trial, one set of TDS-11 AmerLink service loops has completed 40 wells and is still going strong. At a well-known third-party research facility, AmerLink achieved 400,000 cycles (equal to 10 years of service under ideal operating conditions). Additionally, it is now deployed on 30 operating rigs.

Colin Fraser (Managing Director of cable Solutions Worldwide) added: “Cable Solutions Worldwide are the main European stockists and distributors for AmerCable / AmerLink™ Top Drive Service Loops. AmerLink™ top drive service loops are available in power, control and instrumentation. The traditional style of hose-encased service loop, is one of the leading causes of rig downtime. The AmerLink™ patented service loop is dramatically more durable, 21% lighter, more flexible and it also takes up less space. This is a step forward in terms of innovation, cost and product durability."

The “jacketed” next-generation loop design is different from traditional hose-encased service loops because of its mould-cured jacket and in-line manufacturing process. These elements combine to produce a natural centring of conductors within the loops, balancing tensile loads on components and creating a much stronger product. By comparison, the potted loops have off-center cores that put increased stress on components during bending cycles.

“AmerLink top drive service loops provide a technological innovation that drilling has needed for long time,” says Patrick Armstrong, Nexans AmerCable president. “In a nutshell, its durability and long life will help drillers have less downtime and make more money, and that’s especially important during this economically changing time in the oil industry.”

Traditional potted or non-potted service loops fail for two main reasons. First, during drilling operations the loops are continuously moving, bending and flexing while energised, which puts tremendous stress on the components. Second, during rig-up and rig-down, the handling and movement of the loops often creates inadvertent damage. Both of these situations contribute to premature failure. AmerLink’s unique design and reinforced outer jacket effectively support the loop’s weight and dynamic loads, reducing component stress during operations and handling.

Amerlink loops

AmerLink’s super tough jacket is the result of a highly specialised process requiring extremely large cabling, braiding and extrusion equipment. Third-party testing and years in the field have proven that mould-curing produces the toughest, longest-lasting protective jacket. Nexans AmerCable has been producing mold-cured jacketed products for more than 70 years and is the only company offering a mold-cured jacketed service loops. [ AmerLink™.pdf ]

AmerLink product details include: lighter overall weight (up to 21%); more flexible/smaller bend radius (up to 37%); smaller overall diameter; 58% greater pull-out/breaking strength; direct drop into existing brackets; virtual elimination of water ingress; redundant, mold-cured jacket reinforced with stainless steel armouring and aramid fibres; centred loop conductors, which balance stress on the components; and it is produced in the USA.

Additional benefits for drillers include faster rig-up and rig-down, lower total cost of ownership and less downtime due to service loop failure. Nexans AmerCable is also known for its outstanding customer service and exceptional engineering support.

A timely innovation, the AmerLink service loop package takes up less space in the mast and is ideal for the new top drive upgrades that require two power loops. Additionally, AmerLink meets the 2017 revision of API RP14F.