Thursday, July 15, 2010

The No Torque Tool

I'm posting this picture from a piece in the Wall Street Journal without alteration because I have no clue as to what it signifies. The article itself is about the testing of the new BP oil cap, and the photo is not referenced. According to the caption, it is a still from the all too familiar ROV video feed at the Deepwater Horizon leak site taken during diagnostic choke inspection. It is further identified as 'a device on the leaking oil pipe'.

What is this primitive looking device? It's clearly labeled as a 'no torque tool', so it's a good bet that it has some function related to stopping the oil from spewing, but why is it labeled? Unless BP's robots are a lot smarter than their executives they're not reading it, so the writing has to be there for the engineers who are watching the robot cam. Are these the sort of experts who are going to forget what their no torque tool looks like? Or do they obsessively label everything? Is this company policy? What about that warning on the left, the one that says 'MAN IP OPERɮɠ˦ж ONLY'? They clearly didn't have sufficient space to write out the entire warning, so how can we be certain that it will be heeded? And one more question, although this mysterious photo gives rise to many more... Are their engineers prone to forgetting which way 'Close' is? I thought clockwise was pretty universal. Jeez, I just hope someone on the operation has a good clicker so they can make sure BP doesn't give the no torque tool more than 18 3/4 turns.

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