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Quality is King as SINTEF Continues to Rely on HBK

Norsk Marinteknisk Forskningsinstitutt AS (SINTEF), Norway


Year after year, HBK software, measurement amplifiers and transducers continue to win the approval of Norwegian Norsk Marinteknisk Forskningsinstitutt AS (SINTEF), one of the world’s most advanced marine technology research institutes. 


Using HBK Hardware

The institute develops and verifies technological solutions for the shipping and maritime equipment industries and offshore petroleum production, therefore relying on dependable measurements. Low-noise analogue equipment, programmability, multi-client workstation capabilities and excellent service make SINTEF’s day.


We have bought measurement amplifiers and bridges from HBK for 40 odd years, and it’s the quality and service that makes us want to continue doing business with them. Today we have some 28 MGCplus housing, some of them with 6, but most of them with 16 module slots.

Jørn Jensen, Senior Research Engineer at Norsk Marinteknisk Forskningsinstitutt AS laboratories in Trondheim, Norway


The various HBK sensors are placed inside the platforms and ships to collect information about pressures, forces, torsion etc., under various weather conditions. Here, a model of an oil platform is tested in the high waves of the North Sea.

All measurement technicians agree that HBK hardware is the best that is available on the market. The instrumentation staff are enthusiastic about the quality. 24-bit resolution means a minimum of noise. When the time came to get a new data logging system to replace the old Hewlett-Packard Coda that we’ve used for over 15 years, we asked several competitors. In the end, we selected HBK catman Enterprise, along with a few modifications we needed to secure our specifications. One of our staff had seen the system demonstrated in Darmstadt. When he came back he was very excited and said “We just got to have that!” mostly because of the equipment flexibility and the ease of use.

SINTEF and catman Enterprise

SINTEF uses the catman Enterprise for collection of all measurement data during a trial run. The software manages the whole trial run workflow. It collects values from the model and is able to create calculated channels by carrying out calculations on several concurrent channels in real time. For evaluation of the collected data they use special software made by themselves.

One very great advantage is that catman Enterprise can be run without having an MGCplus on-line. It is possible to sit at your desk and create measurement channel lists in advance. Afterwards you simply load the channels into the real equipment, press “Play”, and the measurement runs.

Another very great advantage of the catman system is that a complex measurement with many channels can be split into several subprojects, enabling several technicians to work on their own channel subset, and saving it as a subproject. This makes things go much faster than if one was forced to work with all the, for example 50-200 channels at once that a large oceanic project takes.

Also, the customer can be seated at a client terminal in our courtesy room and view a limited set of channels, without being able to change any values. And if that wasn’t enough, the customer can actually be anywhere on the Internet. That’s a very great advantage.

Communication is key

We have been entirely satisfied with HBK’s support so far, as well as equipment quality and function. It works the way it should when it should. We are also very used to the hardware and software now. It is an advantage to have the same equipment in all our laboratories. When running trials in various laboratories, feeling “at home” is very advantageous. One model might be run in the towing tank first off, and then in the ocean basin. It is a simple matter to just disconnect it from one set of measurement equipment and bring the model and channel list along and connect them to another measurement rack. The measurements will be consistent regardless of where they are made.

SINTEF is one of the world’s premier laboratories, but we do have competition. We have a vision of building another, larger, plant. Then, we’re going to require a lot more measurement equipment.

HBK's strain gauges are glued to various structural elements (rings) to measure e.g. line tensions in anchor chains and risers. Here, line tensions are tested on riser lines going down from a ship to a submerged production system on kilometre below on the seafloor.

We have always had good communications with HBK. They are with us all the way. We measure using MGCplus, catman shows and consolidates the values and catman drives the whole project as well. They have given us a complete solution.
Data acquisition system
data acquisition system with pc
underwater manifacture

All photos by Norsk Marinteknisk Forskningsinstitutt AS (SINTEF)

Norsk Marinteknisk Forskningsinstitutt AS (SINTEF)

SINTEF Ocean conducts research and innovation related to ocean space for national and international industries. The ambition is to continue Norway's leading position in marine technology and biomarine research. Many of the challenges of modern society can be solved through sustainable use of the ocean. Transport, food and energy production represent the backbone of ocean-based industries, and are also core areas for SINTEF Ocean. In addition, we focus on environmental technology, with one of the world’s leading professional environments in marine environmental technology. Through cooperation in the SINTEF group, we are also able to integrate our own expertise with expert technological knowledge from other industry sectors.

More about SINTEF

Jørn Jensen (Senior Research Engineer at Norsk Marinteknisk Forskningsinstitutt)

Technology used