The National Subsea Centre (NSC), a centre of excellence for subsea research and technology development, today announced its multi-million-pound partnership with SeaFlo Consultancy Limited (SeaFlo), specialists in subsea and marine services. Together, the organisations will provide the underpinning research and technology development required to enable predictive maintenance for the energy industry.
In the first collaboration of its kind for the NSC, SeaFlo has joined the centre as an Anchor Partner, providing substantial funding to establish an Asset Digital Twin Laboratory (the ADT-LAB). The ADT-LAB will bring together highly experienced subsea asset engineers and research computer scientists to research, develop and deploy digital twins to help anticipate maintenance requirements to ensure the longevity of subsea structures, equipment and systems.
Compared to traditional reactive maintenance approaches, the digital twin will enable organisations to understand how proactive asset maintenance, facilitated by emerging digital technologies and data-driven decision-making, in conjunction with regulatory authorities, can reduce operating costs in a timely manner.
At present, physical offshore inspections are required every three to five years. The digital twin has the potential to significantly reduce this frequency through real time predictive data modelling, structural integrity, fatigue, and life cycle FMECA condition monitoring analysis.
The partnership, which has an initial three-year term and is anticipated to be worth in excess of £3.5 million, will provide significant in-kind contributions, including highly experienced subsea consultants, software licenses, dedicated project resources and to ensure compliance with industry recommended best practices, the ADT-LAB will acquire the internationally recognised ISO 55001 certification through an agreement between SeaFlo and Bureau Veritas.
Members of the SeaFlo team will be based at the NSC for the duration of the partnership and will bring a plethora of expertise in reliability assessment and maintenance of subsea assets and infrastructure, access to relevant datasets, engineering knowledge of asset models and subsea to marine asset domain expertise, together with significant project-to-asset management skills.
Equipped with expertise in AI, machine learning and digital twinning, applied to monitoring, inspection, and anomaly detection problems in the energy industry, the NSC’s research team will work in unison with SeaFlo’s specialised team to ultimately help the industry move to optimised predictive maintenance regimes.
Professor John McCall, NSC Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome SeaFlo to the team as our first Anchor Partner. With recent advances in AI and data science, integrated with traditional engineering modelling, this collaboration holds massive promise for the future of subsea asset maintenance. Under one roof, the NSC will be able to utilise its extensive research capabilities to complement SeaFlo’s global portfolio of experience in subsea engineering, creating a synergy that will drive groundbreaking solutions for the energy industry.”
Charles Reith, SeaFlo Founder and Operations Director, said: “SeaFlo is equally delighted to become an Anchor Partner with the NSC. Gaining Asset Management System Certification from Bureau Veritas, built in compliance with the DNV-RP-A204 Qualification and Assurance of Digital Twins, this project has the potential to significantly reduce the amount organisations are spending on operational expenditure. Additionally, it is a great opportunity for job creation in Aberdeen within the Digital Transformation Deep-Tech sector. Having worked internationally throughout my career on interesting, demanding and satisfying subsea technology projects, I am thrilled to see this exciting new partnership come together in Aberdeen.”