Handling precious assets with the utmost precision and care


James Aiken Engineering’s reputation for fabrication work is based on our ability to create anything from the standard to non-standard to beyond your wildest dreams. Any shape, any size, any thickness has become our by line not because it’s catchy but because it’s true. Whatever the challenge we are faced with we find a way for our customers and that’s why they come back.

Everything we produce has a purpose and makes a difference for our customers; something that is designed to help them in their business as part of a process so that they can fulfil contracts of their own and support their customers in turn. We are the starting point but recognise that what we do has implications far down the line.

Take a drill pipe loading and handling system for instance and the importance of safely protecting expensive drill pipe, tubing and casing. These are precious assets and one of the biggest expenses for offshore drilling rigs.

The Challenge

James Aiken was approached by NOV Tuboscope to produce an extra pipe-handling system for its yard in Portlethen to meet increasing demand in oil and gas work.

A forty-foot-long pipe handling system was required to safely and freely move drill pipes into position ready for inspection, rethreading, reconditioning and storing. The pipe-handling system was  also designed to accommodate hydraulic lifting gear and be able to support loads with a large safety margin built in.


In addition to the detailed plans supplied, the James Aiken team undertook a site inspection to photograph existing pipe-handling systems to fully understand the scope of work. The fabrication and machine shops worked as a team to build the system in mild steel which included support beams, roller stands and safety guards. A team of multi-coded welders worked along the structure before the entire system was blasted then painted ready for despatch. The complete fabrication process was undertaken in James Aiken’s large workshop which had the floor space to accommodate the forty-foot structure.

If you need bespoke fabrication and machining work to support your everyday operations, contact James Aiken Engineering for a quote.