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John Wood Group plc

02/11/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/11/2020 09:56

Delivering a Connected Design solution for subsea pipelines

How our Digital & Technology capability enabled the Automated Design - Pipeline platform to be delivered at scale and at pace

Launched at Subsea Expo this week, our Automated Design - Pipeline platform is the first connected design solution developed and deployed by Wood's Digital & Technology team working hand-in-hand with our subsea business. It's a key output from our connected design programme where there is tremendous potential to enhance performance and reduce costs for our customers.

Over the last 40 years, Wood has become a global leader in creating energy infrastructure through its powerful and trusted subsea engineering toolkit. Our customers want the reassurance of those tools and our rich expertise, but they also want to be able to deliver projects at a much greater pace and reduced total lifetime expenditure.

Our challenge was to look at how we could capture and build upon this experience through data and digital tools to deliver a new pipeline design solution that was more efficient, reduced uncertainty and allowed for greater responsiveness to the build and operation of the pipeline. Ultimately a way to create an optimised asset, faster, in an industry that has established ways of solving incredibly complex challenges.

After project kick-off, we delivered a proof-of-concept, followed by a prototype that enabled the value of the platform to be proven at a small scale. To accelerate and scale the platform, an integrated team of over 20 specialists was established to deliver a minimum viable product, combining the software development expertise of Wood's own Digital & Technology software solutions team with engineers and domain experts from the subsea business. This collaborative approach has been key to the project's success and together we have created a platform that will transform how Wood delivers subsea design and engineering projects.

The automated design platform streamlines our pipeline engineers' workflows, storing all design data in a central verified database, linking data to calculations and automating the running of those calculations. This enables more design cases to be run in less time, bringing greater design maturity earlier in the project phase and ultimately delivering a more optimised design.

As the project progresses, the tool enables engineers to efficiently assess design changes and field data from construction and operations, delivering certainty at speed.

Digital delivery of the design also provides a virtual copy of the pipeline that matures through the design phase and, once built, is enriched with construction and operation data. This digital twin can then be used to search, view and contextualise data, simulate process or structural response, and also to assess pipeline integrity and performance.

By developing this connected design platform, we optimise the asset's entire life cycle.

Development of the technology is just step one. Again, working hand-in-hand with the Digital & Technology team we are turning our focus to adoption; transforming delivery of a subsea toolkit that has been established over decades: training users, building customer support, deploying the platform on projects and evaluating feedback from stakeholders.

This feedback is critical both to enhance the platform and prioritise new features. As we look to the next phase of development, we are extending the platform to perform the design of steel risers and potentially beyond to become the primary tool for designing all subsea and land linear assets.

Automating pipeline design is a great example of how Wood is harnessing digital innovation, our wealth of data and deep domain knowledge to help our customers optimise cost, improve performance and maximise value from new and existing assets.

Rob Kennedy
Digital programme manager, Specialist Engineering and Consulting

Rob leads the digitalisation programme for Wood's Specialist Engineering and Consulting business.

He is responsible for defining and implementing the digital strategy, identifying business needs and working with vendors, partners and internal development teams to deliver solutions.

Rob started his career as a subsea engineer and gained over a decade's experience in engineering, project delivery and technology development roles on projects through Australia, SE Asia, Africa and the UK.

Date published: 11 February 2020
Visualisation Digital project deliverySubsea and export Engineering, design and project management Operational support and integrity Engineer, procure, fabricate (EPF) Flow assurance Subsea, umbilical, riser and flowline (SURF) Pipelines and marine terminals