DNV GL, Subsea 7 and Kongsberg Maritime jointly tested a remote digital verification tool to test DP systems for compliance
A remote digital verification tool to test dynamic positioning (DP) systems for compliance could eliminate the need for physical equipment surveys in the near future.
Kongsberg Maritime’s DP Digital Survey (KM-DPDS) application was tested on dive support vessel Seven Kestrel during a pilot programme jointly conducted by class DNV GL, OSV owner Subsea 7 and technology provider Kongberg Maritime.
The pilot programme is part of DNV GL’s evolving Data Smart Classification or D-class project launched in 2017 designed to evaluate and work towards accepting new methods and technology for verifying DP systems. Testing covered both class survey requirements and standard international industry tests. The tool takes data directly from a vessel’s control systems and transmits it to a secure cloud, where it is assessed by expert verifiers, class, and vendors.
In March, DNV GL introduced its first fleet-wide remote survey scheme for some inspections, eliminating the need for a surveyor to travel to the vessel and instead allowing input to be provided by the customer and crew to demonstrate compliance. This saves travel costs, waiting time, and reduces vessel downtime.
Normally verification trials for DP systems on vessels require the presence of a surveyor, DP failure mode and effects analyses consultants and equipment vendor experts. Co-ordinating and conducting these tests with multiple partners can cause a vessel to be taken out of service for days.
“The digital survey is an opportunity to deliver on our DP verification focus areas by capturing data from what are currently seen as routine events, enabling us to use these recordings as verification of our asset performance”, said Subsea 7 marine technical manager Bryce Heslop. “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”, said Mr Heslop. “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 on board 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”.
Subsea 7 has been involved in the D-class project from its inception. “It offered a way for us to see how we can be more innovative in our approach to DP verification, improving the efficiency of our DP verification programmes without compromising the safety of our asset, while maintaining the integrity of the traditional survey”, said Subsea 7 DP/electrical and controls team lead Graeme Lorenson.
“The KM-DPDS application offers our customers a tool that will potentially reduce their opex for each DP vessel and increase the vessel’s uptime, as the individual DP trial tests can be executed during non-productive time. The competence of DP key personnel is enhanced as well”, said Kongsberg Maritime vice-president of Digital Performance Eivind Alling. Mr Alling said the collaboration between the partners has been important in developing criteria to digitalise the Annual DP trial programme, based on IMO MSC/Circ.1580, the DNV GL DP class notation and IMCA M 190 guidance document and successfully completing the pilot paves the way for applying a DNV GL approval in principle for the KM-DPDS solution.
Discussing KM-DPDS, DNV GL senior principal specialist DP systems Aleks Karlsen said, “This technology has the potential to provide secure and tamper-proof collection of system-generated data, which can be used as evidence for performing objective remote office assessment by class. The data collected will also form a significantly improved body of evidence for documenting test results, which can help to increase confidence in DP systems”.