Safety Profile: The Hands-Free Operation of the Scorpion™ Pipe Handler

The primary responsibility of a sophisticated piece of machinery is to get the job done with as little physical human interaction possible.

Why? Because with fewer situations requiring hands-on operation there are fewer opportunities for human error.

The current state of the economy in Canada, the United States and in the international drilling community as a result of oil prices means that now is the perfect time to take a good look at how we can improve safety features and develop new products with innovative safety protocols.

The Scorpion™ Pipe Handler is a new design that Viking West plans to unveil at the Groundwater Expo in Las Vegas in December. The Scorpion™ is the result of previous versions designed and tested for specific safety features.

Here are the three key features of the new Scorpion™ Pipe Handler from Viking West.

Scorpion Logo

1. Lighter Design, Lighter Components

The added benefit of a sleeker design was the productivity that came along as a result. Not only is the Scorpion™ easier for workers in the field to handle, making it safer, the increased manageability makes it possible to get more work done with longer shifts. Safety was still the priority during design, but the added production doesn’t hurt either.

Key feature: The Scorpion™ uses hydraulic cylinders with progressive link which makes for a compact, simple design with smooth progressive 135 degree rotation range and stability.

2. Industry-First Clamping Assembly

In order to create a truly hands-free environment where not only is the worker dissuaded from interacting with the product, but is physically incapable of interacting, the Scorpion™ incorporates a unique patent-pending rack and pinion design, the first of its kind in the drilling industry.

This design guarantees simultaneous clamping with every instance of use. The rack ensures clamps are never out of alignment. With older designs, drill pipes can get pushed off centre and create mis-alignment due to uneven clamping.

Key feature: With the rack and pinion design, pipes are clamped dead centre below the spindle every time, ensuring human interaction with pipe is never required.  

3. Eliminating the Possibility of Danger

When pipes are misaligned with the drive adapter, the intention of the operator on the ground is simply to to reach in with a hand and manually pull or push the pipe. No one wants to imagine the accidents that can occur as a result of this interaction, but as the industry moves forward, it’s our responsibility to consider the dangers and find guaranteed solutions. The dangers associated with operator engagement of pipe handlers?

  • crushing
  • pinching
  • rotation

These instances are normally caused by human error. Hair can catch, clothing can become loose – danger happens when you least expect it. How do we eliminate human error? Easy: we use humans for their ingenuity and intelligence while we use the machines for their strength and stamina.

In summary:

The Scorpion™ was designed to create a hands-free environment.

The guaranteed centering of drill pipes creates accurate simultaneous engagement.

Interaction with the rotating pipe is eliminated.

The result? A safer workplace where more work gets done.

Come see us in Las Vegas for the Groundwater Expo December 15 – 17.

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