June 11, 2019
Remote Digital Survey Pilot of DP Systems Completed

DNV GL, Kongsberg Maritime (KM) and Subsea 7 have concluded pilot testing of a digital dynamic positioning (DP) survey application. The tool takes data directly from a vessel’s control systems and transmits this to a secure cloud, where it is available for assessment by expert verifiers, class, and vendors.

Classification society DNV GL initiated the pilot to examine the possibility of using KM’s DP Digital Survey tool in annual verification trials. The pilot used the tool on board Subsea 7's diving support vessel Seven Kestrel and covered both class survey requirements and standard international industry tests. 

Data from Routine Events

The digital survey captures 'data from what are currently seen as routine events, enabling us to use these recordings as verification of our asset performance. This technology also gives us a higher data quality than we currently receive through manual trials and gives us a permanent tamper proof recording of the event. The test methodology used within the application also empowers the crew to take ownership of the system and give them greater confidence in the DP system setup onboard their vessel. This will provide us with a more robust survey and we see this as a lead into greater safety through familiarisation within our fleet,' said Bryce Heslop, Marine Technical Manager at Subsea 7.

D-Class Project

Testing the dynamic positioning (DP) systems on vessels in operation has traditionally required a surveyor visit, often alongside DP failure mode and effects analyses (FMEA) consultants and equipment vendor experts, to witness verification trials. Coordinating and conducting these tests with multiple partners can result in a vessel being taken out of operation for several days.

To reduce this burden of verifying DP systems, DNV GL launched the Data Smart Classification or D-Class Project in 2017. It is designed to evaluate and work toward the acceptance of new methods and technology for the verification of DP systems.

Subsea 7 has been involved in the D-Class project from the beginning. 'It offered a way for us to see how we can be more innovative in our approach to DP verification, and to improve the efficiency of our DP verification programmes without compromising the safety of our asset while maintaining the integrity of the traditional survey,' said Graeme Lorenson, DP/Electrical and Controls Team Lead at Subsea 7.

Next Step in Remote Verification Technology

'This is another step forward in the wider application of remote verification technologies. The experience we have gained from working on this pilot has provided valuable experience and input to our D-Class rules and standard development. We plan to launch the results of this development by the end of this year,' added Jan van Tiggelen, DNV GL Project Manager for D-Class.

In March 2019, DNV GL rolled out the first fleet-wide remote survey scheme for some inspections in the classification industry. This means that for some surveys, a DNV GL surveyor is not required to travel to the vessel, but instead, input provided by the customer and crew is used to demonstrate compliance. This saves travel costs, waiting time, and reduces vessel downtime.

Picture: Subsea 7’s diving support vessel Seven Kestrel (by Subsea 7).

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