Posts tagged ‘ROV’

VMAX Technologies Upgrades Subsea Simulation Software

VMAX Technologies, part of Aberdeen-based Triton Group, has updated its innovative, physics-based Project Simulator for full field simulation and visualization with Version 1.6. This ROV pilot training and mission planning program now includes trainee task logging tools and an expanded suite of generic training scenarios, including a jacket survey scenario using non-destructive testing tools. It also includes a number of online training videos for teaching scenario developers how to create field-level scenarios in-house.

            VMAX Technologies General Manager Terry Lease said: “Version 1.6 builds on the success of the earlier V1.5 program, which has proven to be an invaluable tool for subsea operators by allowing them to take complete control of the simulation experience, helping to reduce risk, increase efficiency and create an overall reduction in project costs. This launch is the result of a lengthy research and consultation process and is reflective of our commitment towards keeping our technology at the leading edge to help our oil and gas customers stay ahead of the challenges facing the industry.”

            The newly updated software and the enhanced scenarios are now a standard part of the training courses offered by members of the Triton Group and its affiliates in the Houston, Brazil, Singapore and Aberdeen. VMAX has steadily worked to leverage the group companies and affiliates to expand its service base in both China and Brazil.

October 26, 2009 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

Subsea Divers Test New Illuminated Umbilical Technology

A new energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) fiber illumination technology for lighting up to 100 meters of fiber optic cables is to be field tested by subsea divers at The Underwater Centre in Fort William later this month. Developed by PhotoSynergy, a company formed by the University of St. Andrews, the PSL-3000-M is an LED fiber illuminator that will supply a continuous line of light for 100 meters under water. Designed to enhance subsea diver, ROV and tethered operations by offering a permanent light source for subsea navigation, the fiber illuminator cable is visible at depths of up to 150 meters.

            The Underwater Centre in Fort William, the world’s leading commercial diver and ROV training center, will test the lighted umbilical at various depths. An energy efficient alternative to traditional light sources, the PSL-3000-M LED fiber illuminator can use as little as seven watts of power, making it one of the most energy-efficient fiber illuminators on the market.

            With the control box remaining on the surface or housed in a diving bell or ROV, there is no actual power in the side-emitting fiber optic cable. This means it can provide a safe, continuous and flexible light source for subsea divers. The first industry trial will involve the fiber optic cable being attached to two diver umbilicals as they perform a diver rescue. Operating close to the Centre’s private pier, at depths starting at 20 meters, the cable will undergo full trials and depth testing using two of The Underwater Centre’s ROVs – one to perform diver observation of the rescue and the other to monitor the ROV observing the divers.

            Steve Ham, general manager of The Underwater Centre, stated: “Our center offers unique testing conditions that are second to none across the world. We also have some highly experienced divers and ROV pilots on our training team, which is a great backup for any company undertaking trials. We are delighted that PhotoSynergy has chosen The Underwater Centre for testing its LED fiber illuminator – a technology that has the potential to offer the subsea sector a valuable but simple solution to navigational problems, thereby increasing safety and operational efficiency.”

            Small and lightweight, the PSL-3000-M can operate on mains or direct current (DC) with battery back-up or singular battery power, offering flexibility for any given application. The unique optical system designed by PhotoSynergy ensures that optimum light output is channeled down the fiber with maximum power efficiency. The core product produces a green light, the color proven to be nearest the peak eye response for optimal visibility in low light or darkness. Operating mode is switchable between steady illuminations or flashing on/off, the latter of which could be used as an emergency signal in the event of an incident.

            PhotoSynergy Managing Director Don Walker said: “The PSL-3000-M is the output of many years of work on laser-based systems, and we are encouraged by initial discussions with manufacturers and users of umbilicals within the subsea industry. As with any new innovation, it’s important to subject the technology to real life trials, ensuring it meets the challenges that are faced in the offshore environment. We chose The Underwater Centre because of its world-class facilities and the significant support on offer from the experienced subsea team at the Centre, who, we are certain, will be able to make a valuable contribution to the production and further development of this new technology.”

September 10, 2009 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

Fugro Acquires General Robotics

General Robotics Ltd. (GRL), supplier of simulation and visualization software to the offshore oil and gas sector, has been acquired by Fugro for an undisclosed sum. GRL will be renamed Fugro GRL and will become a member of Fugro Subsea Services, keeping the same management team and staff headed by Dr. Jason Tisdall. Along with developing and implementing products for Fugro operating companies, Fugro GRL will have commercial independence to pursue activities outside Fugro. The company will continue to maintain offices in Milton Keynes and Aberdeen.

            Fugro acquired GRL to develop and expand GRL’s subsea technologies in order to enhance the services offered by Fugro’s Subsea Services Business Line. GRL expects to be working closely with a number of Fugro operating companies on a wide range of subsea scenarios and practical implementations.

            “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work as part of a worldwide group in developing our simulation and visualization products, and to further our expertise across a raft of subsea environments and challenges, but with the assurance of Fugro’s financial backing all the while,”  said Dr. Jason Tisdall, Managing Director of General Robotics Ltd. “For GRL’s existing customers it remains business as usual, except that our R&D will now have the financial backing of Fugro. GRL is now a Fugro company, but we will continue to have commercial independence to make our own decisions and get our own customers. Fugro has an excellent reputation for letting companies it acquires get on with the job.”


‘Chinese Walls’

An immediate concern about this merger for many subsea contractors is the possibility of conflicts of interest, commercial confidentiality and impartiality.

            “Given that some of our customers are direct competitors of Fugro, we will have very clearly defined Chinese Walls, so that customer information intended only for GRL will be managed and maintained only by GRL. One of our immediate challenges is convincing customers that we can absolutely maintain the confidentiality of their information. I believe we can and, importantly, we have Fugro’s agreement to these security procedures,” emphasized Tisdall.

            Trevor Larkum, Chairman of GRL, added: “In terms of maintaining a level playing field with Fugro vis-à-vis other subsea operators, EU trading laws are very clear on this, that we can’t offer a better deal to Fugro companies than we do to anyone else. The nature of the product also helps us with confidentiality. The new technology in DeepWorks 2.0 makes it very straightforward to produce proprietary, customer-specific components that plug into the customer’s copies of DeepWorks, making it easy to keep customers separate and to develop specific modules for individual customers that will not be available to anyone else. This also enables customers to develop their own solutions with their own team members on-site.”

            GRL was founded by the late Professor David Broome of University College, London, and is now the world leader in developing customized, subsea simulation products for the offshore oil industry. A number of subsea service providers, including Fugro, Sonsub, DeepOcean and CTC Marine Projects, use GRL ROVolution 4.0 ROV pilot trainers and simulators.

            GRL’s DeepWorks software is in use for subsea engineering simulation and visualization. DeepWorks allows users to design, rehearse and monitor (in real time) the most complex offshore engineering missions, subsea interventions and marine operations. GRL software gets its unique edge from the ability to model the hydrodynamic and physics-based properties of real objects and how they behave in the real world, providing a clearer perception and an improved understanding of the underwater work environment. The DeepWorks suite of software tools delivers not only simulation, but can also perform engineering analysis and the 3D animation of complex work tasks.

September 5, 2009 at 1:22 am Leave a comment

VMAX Launches Next-Gen Subsea Simulator

Subsea simulation software company VMAX Technologies Inc, part of the Triton Group, has launched its new V1.5 project simulator for oil and gas field visualization. Built on the proven, physics-based VMAX project simulator engine, V1.5 brings a new dimension to ROV (remotely operated vehicle) pilot training and mission planning through the use of 2D survey tools. The simulator allows users to create their own real-time subsea scenarios and test them using engineering workstations, ROV training consoles and offshore ROV systems fitted with integrated simulators.

The next-generation software also includes a new training system and an expanded suite of plug-ins and manuals, providing users with additional tools for effectively creating field-level scenarios.

Terry Lease, general manager of VMAX Technologies, said: “The V1.5 package allows in-house scenarios to be easily created and installed like any other Windows type of program. This capability not only ensures ease of installation in an offshore environment, but also allows for versioning control and configuration management.

“All of the standard VMAX ROV training scenarios have been re-worked and expanded to systematically teach pilots how to perform complex tasks,” Lease continued. “Some of these scenarios include picking up delicate items from shipwrecks, installation of control pods using work skids and torque tools, installing steel-tube flying leads using a FLOT, using custom tooling to mate flanges, and using pumps to evacuate suction piles. The overall goal is to give the customer complete control of the simulation experience, help reduce risk, increase efficiency of operations and create an overall reduction in project costs. This new system allows users to train and learn at their own pace instead of requiring a dedicated 40-hour course.”

April 16, 2009 at 8:11 pm 3 comments

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