LICengineering and Akselos First in Market to Build Digital Twins of Full Offshore Structures

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LICengineering and Akselos have been awarded the prestigious EUROSTARS innovation grant 2016/2017. This award is handed to projects that successfully implement a promising, new and disruptive technology with a clear economic, societal and environmental impact compared to existing solutions. Working closely with the oil & gas industry, we developed a clear understanding of the problems that this industry is facing especially in the offshore sector:

There’s a myriad of challenges with an increasing pressure to safely operate aging assets. Offshore rigs and FPSOs are some of the world’s largest, most complex structures, operating under some of the harshest conditions on the planet. On top of that, offshore oil & gas assets are paramountly expensive to operate. From design to operations and maintenance, the inherent complexity of offshore assets cries out for innovative technologies that can optimize all processes for maximum efficiency and safety with no delays or downtime. 

With the EUROSTARS innovation grant, our team plans to build, along with our partner Akselos, a novel system for sensor-based predictive maintenance. This system will grant increased safety of offshore structures using next-generation computational technologies. The system requires a multidisciplinary approach to accurately represent the reality and response of offshore assets through real-time assessment and has two compelling outcomes:

The system will be powered by Akselos’ Reduced Basis FEA (RB-FEA) technology which implements an acceleration layer on top of traditional FEA technology. RB-FEA is able to provide 1000x acceleration for analysis of large structures, without compromising accuracy. This will provide re-analysis on a vastly more ambitious scale. LICengineering will develop offshore analysis modules that are powered by Akselos solver technology. These modules simplify the workflow for engineers in order to perform standard types of analysis such as modeling environmental loads (e.g. wave, wind), fatigue analysis, ultimate limit state analyses, extreme-wave push-over analysis, and code checking according to international standards.

The outcome of this system is a true Digital Twin: a precise digital replica that reproduces exactly the operating conditions and wear and tear of critical assets. By accelerating simulations thousands of times, many analyses will be performed seamlessly and in near real-time. This is not an incremental innovation. This is a game changing technology. It will enable operators to get early warnings of critical failures and to take action in due time.