Annual trials of dynamic positioning (DP) systems can be conducted remotely using class-approved digital surveys to reduce costs for vessel owners
Offshore support vessel (OSV) operators can undertake mandatory DP trials without paying for a surveyor to attend using Kongsberg Maritime’s DP Digital Survey (DPDS) application after it was approved by a leading classification society. This is increasingly important during this year’s global coronavirus pandemic when travel to and from vessels is restricted.
Bureau Veritas has issued an approval in principle (AiP) for Kongsberg’s DPDS following a successful pilot using Bourbon Offshore vessels in the last two years.
DPDS digitises all the data derived from DP annual tests, carried out in accordance with IMO MSC Circ 1580 and International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) M 190 guidelines.
These are conducted by OSV crew to verify the performance and redundancy of the vessel-specific DP system encompassing the complete installation for DP a vessel, comprising, but not limited to, the following sub-systems: power system, thruster system and DP control system.
DPDS runs on a validated, industrial data recording and management platform that provides access to data acquired directly from the DP system. Data is transferred to class surveyors via Kongberg’s secure cloud infrastructure upon completion of the trials.
The surveyor can then play back the DP annual trial programme onshore, based on the high-quality DP data accumulated.
Each test is unique and can be played back individually. Surveys can be carried out at any time from any location once the data is uploaded to Kongsberg’s cloud.
Vessel owners can use the digital survey tool to collate and present concrete evidence that the necessary test procedures have been carried out and completed.
This should assure energy companies and OSV charterers that DP systems are compliant with industry and regulatory guidance and their own stringent safety requirements.
“The benefits of the DPDS application to vessel owners are numerous,” said Kongsberg Maritime president Egil Haugsdal.
“The digital survey tool enables substantial savings to be made because far less time needs to be spent off-hire, and it obviously removes the requirement to cover travel expenses for surveyors,” he said. “It can also improve crew competence, simplifying DP annual trials and making the approval process far more efficient and straightforward,” Mr Haugsdal added.
DPDS is an add-on to Kongsberg’s existing K-IMS application suite. Its maintenance management system interfaces and tamper-proof image upload functionality enable secure digital evidence collection, including images and video recordings.
Bureau Veritas has developed an additional class notation, DDPS (Digital Dynamic Positioning Survey) as an addition to its existing DYNAPOS notation.
Bureau Veritas vice president and marine operations director Laurent Leblanc said the AiP was “not issued lightly” and followed two years of evaluation.
“The DPDS application has met our stringent criteria to demonstrate compliance in principle with our DDPS class notation,” he said.
“The quality, detail and security of the transferred data has to meet our exacting standards, and we are satisfied to confirm that Kongsberg’s DPDS application fulfils its function admirably.”
There has been considerable industry discussion since remote digital DP surveys were introduced.
The latest round of these discussions was held during Riviera Maritime Media’s ’Remote DP trials and FMEAs: What the guidelines say. What the guidelines mean’ webinar earlier this month.
This was sponsored by DP & Marine Assurance Norway and Keelson Marine Assurance and was part of Riviera’s Offshore Vessels Webinar Week.
During that webinar, a panel of experts tackled questions covering testing DP systems on vessels and offshore drilling rigs and analysing failure mode effect analysis (FMEA).
Panellists weighed in on the extent to which industry guidelines can be relied upon to provide vessel owners and operators operational and safety assurance.
And, in discussing the different types of DP trials, they offered expert review on whether existing guidelines help the industry analyse failure modes and fault tolerance on DP vessels.