To optimise offshore operations leading offshore contractors have started to explore the use of ‘Digital Twin’ technology to reduce costs, minimise operational downtime and increase environmental performance.
Digital Twin technology takes data from a physical asset which is then interfaced with a virtual representation to make the information accessible for the end-user. This data provides real-time feedback to onshore and offshore technical teams which allows greater monitoring of an asset’s condition and also provides greater visibility on the current and historical performance. This information can then be used to maximise operational efficiency, influence maintenance programmes and minimise the likelihood of equipment damage by correct interpretation of the data available.
Digital Twins come in many shapes and sizes, from the asset view of a BOP through the hierarchy to the all-encompassing digital representation of a fleet-wide monitoring system. The first step in achieving Digital Twin capabilities is ensuring relevant data is accessible, available, and integration friendly.
A recent example of a company that has successfully commenced the journey to develop an advanced Digital Twin functionality has been Stena Drilling’s adoption of the Kongsberg Kognifai ecosystem across its entire offshore fleet.
Via the Kognifai ecosystem, Stena Drilling can visualise real-time and historical vessel data both onboard and onshore. Currently, over 18,000 sensors are accessible offshore in Kognifai with over 5,000 prioritised for synchronisation to shore. This provides users with advanced monitoring and analysis capabilities of systems across the fleet.
Since the first deployment to Stena Carron in mid- 2019 the Kognifai ecosystem has enabled:
Following deployment, efforts have been made to interface Kognifai with Stena Drilling's own digital twin ‘DigiMAX’. By connecting data across the entire Stena Drilling ecosystem, value can be mined, enabling analytics that previously were inaccessible. Through the integration of Kognifai to DigiMAX, numerous use-cases and success stories have been realised:
To improve environmental performance and reduce vessel energy consumption Kognifai was used alongside the DigiMAX digital twin, to develop Stena Drilling’s Energy and emissions ‘Smart Meters’. The Smart Meters allow Stena Drilling personnel to monitor the energy consumption, associated costs, and vessel emissions in real-time, eliminating the unpredictability of estimations. This allows Stena Drilling to make informed decisions about energy-consuming behaviours. Personnel onboard can visualise the effect of equipment or operations on energy consumption, raising awareness of how their actions affect energy use and emissions. This innovation will allow Stena Drilling to adapt its energy management strategy and cut down on waste, providing long-term carbon and financial savings. Furthering the successes in energy management, data from Kognifai has been paired with operational performance data inside DigiMAX to assist in carbon-reduction performance tracking for the year ahead.
When COVID restrictions stopped client and third-party auditors travelling to a Stena vessel for 5-yearly DP periodic trials and rig acceptance, Kognifai was successfully used to provide the client with detailed trends and alarm reports of testing. This allowed the client to perform a large part of rig acceptance remotely, saving the client time and money.
Kognifai is being used to collect and export detailed vessel engine data which is used by the engine original manufacturer to perform condition monitoring leading to improved maintenance and engine performance. Kognifai data has also been used to assess the vessels performance for example DP offset data was used to successfully validate red watch circle for a reduced water depth feasibility study, and vessel heave data was provided to our client to validate heave limits in riser analysis.
Adding to the success, Stena Drilling have implemented real-time BOP health monitoring, BOP Keyseating dashboards and engine efficiency environments. Throughout 2021, plans are in place to extend the capabilities of the DigiMAX digital twin and offer new digital services to clients.
Through adopting Digital Twin capabilities, Stena Drilling have optimised asset performance. The examples presented prove that Digital Twin technology allows organisations to determine the intervention and maintenance required to optimise the performance of an asset and maximise its useful lifespan, before carrying out any work to the asset itself. This prevents unnecessary disruption and downtime and means the best-informed decisions can be made at the right time.
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