Operational and Critical Spare Parts: Do You Know the Difference? 

When operating portable accommodation modules (PAM) and office/workshop modules in remote areas, it is important to keep spare parts on hand if something happens to the module. For example, there is limited access to equipment when working on offshore vessels and installations or remote locations in west Texas. If something like an HAVC becomes damaged, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to weeks to get replacement parts on location. This supply chain challenge is why having a well-supplied number of spare parts on hand can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major disruption.

While most people are familiar with the need for spares, many may not know that spares are divided between two categories, Operational Spares, and Critical Spares. As a leader in comfortable offshore accommodations, Specialist Services RedGuard has supplied modules to locations across the globe and, in doing that, has compiled a list of operational and critical spares for our fleet of offshore PAM and office modules. This article will break down the differences between the two types of spare parts, provide the list of spares that we recommend for our modules, and highlight some manufacturing decisions that influence these parts.

Operational Spare Parts for Offshore Modules

Operational spares are those that are necessary for the module’s operation and do not fall within the scope of parts required for planned maintenance. With these, if the part were to fail, it would not create an immediate safety, environmental, or significant financial impact on the project’s operation. They are used in the ongoing routine maintenance of the module that includes items like light bulbs, shower heads, and other items in this category. These are parts that, when they fail, create more of an annoyance than an emergency. For Specialist Services RedGuard modules, we recommend the following operational spare parts to our customers:

  • LED Light Bulbs
  • Control Fuses with Extra Fuses
  • Shower Heads
  • Flush Valves
  • Macerators

Critical Spare Parts for Offshore Modules

Critical spare parts are necessary to ensure the module operates safely and profitably. These parts, while having a slight chance of failing, would cause a prolonged shutdown of equipment if they were to fail, as the parts are not readily accessible. Failure of these parts can create safety or environmental issues as well as a significant financial impact on the operation of the module or facility the module is deployed to. For offshore modules like our portable accommodation modules and office/workshop modules, the critical spares are mainly focused on personnel safety. Critical spares for modules are concentrated around the HVAC unit and the fire and gas detection systems. If these were to go down for a prolonged time, it would affect the health and safety of the personnel. For Specialist Services RedGuard modules, we recommend the following critical spare parts to our customers:

  • Condensing Motor
  • Evaporating Motor
  • Smoke/Thermal Gas Heads
  • Freon Gauges
  • Calibration Gauges 
  • Door Closure Assembly

These are the types of operational and critical spare parts that we recommend to the users of offshore modules. It is important to note that not every portable accommodation module and office/workshop module is built the same by its manufacturer. However, these modules can be constructed with spare parts in mind and working to reduce the amount needed and limit the disruption a failure would cause. For example:

LED Light Bulbs

Specialist Service RedGuard provides LEDs where spare light bulbs would be used. This small change to a much more reliable bulb reduces the failure rate of the part and the number of spares that are needed.

Control Fuses

We provide control fuses with spares instead of breakers. If a fuse is blown, it can be easily replaced, whereas typical module designs use more costly breakers.

100% Redundant HVAC

Offshore HVAC systems are one of the most critical components of a module. A redundancy of 100% ensures that if one unit goes out, the other one will remain operational until a service tech can come out to repair it. This redundancy takes a critical part failure, which would be costly in time and consumption, and turns it into a maintenance item that can be scheduled.

Getting Additional Info on Operational and Critical Spare Parts Offshore

In this article, we have broken down the difference between the two categories of spare parts. We’ve also provided examples of each of the operational and critical spare parts we recommend for our fleet of portable accommodation and office/workshop modules, and we’ve shown how manufacturing decisions can affect the amount and types of spares a module requires. If you’re looking for additional information on offshore modules, we suggest checking out our article on the features to look for when selecting a sleeper accommodation module.