Delivery of Pipelay Simulator
Client: Heerema Marine Contractors
Challenge: Create a full functional work station simulation and training environment for the DCV Aegir
Scope: engineering, fabrication, FAT, transport, installation , training, spare parts, maintenance
Benefits: reduction costs of training and certification of all working procedures and related equipment for the pipelay vessel Aegir.
When Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) came up with the idea of a full scale testing station, based on the workstation of their vessel DCV Aegir, they knew where to turn. HMC awarded KENC full responsibility for the design, manufacture and installation of the Work Station Mock-Up (WSMU), which enables HMC to assess staff and equipment onshore, prior to going aboard DCV Aegir, reducing valuable vessel time and addressing safety issues.
On time, on budget
KENC Project Manager Cor Hilbrink explained that the project was executed in several stages to enable streamlined production, assembly and installation. “We started production in December last year. The schedule was tight as the mock-up had to be operational in June.” Despite the timeframe, KENC delivered the WSMU on time and on budget. KENC manufactured, assembled and electrically connected the WSMU in the Netherlands before transporting it to its final destination – the facility of Pipeline Technique Limited (PTL) in Huntly, Scotland. Before KENC could install the WSMU, modifications had to be made to the site. The roof had to be raised to incorporate the WSMU’s external line up tool (ELUT) and a pit, 3m deep, dug to accommodate the pipe hang-off module (HOM).
Completely new development
The WSMU is suitable for working with pipe diameters between 6 and 28” at pipe-laying angles from 90 to 50°. KENC Managing Director Eric Buining explains, “Two vertical pipe ends are aligned, welded and then inspected.” In order to save materials the WSMU works with so-called PUPs – short pieces of pipe. The WSMU includes a manipulator for handling pipeline production equipment up to 4,000kg. Under the rotating welding floor the HOM aligns the lower half of the pipe with an accuracy of less than 0.2mm. “This represents a complete newly developed control system that allows fully automated movement of all equipment,” said Mr Buining.
Although the WSMU is functionally equivalent to the tower of the DCV Aegir station, each sub-system has been redesigned to reflect offshore conditions. Mr Buining explained: “This was necessary because… the PUPs differ from long pipe pieces on board. Despite the differences, the operation of the system is a reflection of the actual situation on board.”
KENC’s scope also includes the ongoing maintenance of the WSMU as well as training the station’s instructors in its use. Feedback from the instructors has been positive, as Mr Hilbrink explained. “It’s good to hear from [the instructors] that the WSMU is a very good representation of conditions on board. This has been a successful project for HMC and KENC.”