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Creating effective solutions for real-world challenges

Mon 19 Feb 2018 by Hong Liang Lee

Creating effective solutions for real-world challenges
A keen interest in new technologies is important

No let-up at DNV GL in quest for partnerships to expedite the incorporation of new technologies and innovations into the maritime sector

In a changing and fast-paced business environment, the need to create effective solutions for real-world challenges is itself a challenge. In order to position oneself to tackle the changing paradigms of tomorrow, the drive towards technological advancement is something that classification society DNV GL is constantly on the look-out for collaboration to accelerate the delivery of innovations.

Late last year, DNV GL together with three other partners agreed to develop disruptive applications for the offshore and marine sector.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between DNV GL, Sembmarine, A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), and National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC). The collaboration aims to develop disruptive applications in additive manufacturing, drone and digital twin technologies that could revolutionise solutions for Singapore’s offshore and marine sector and boost its global competitiveness.

The quadripartite collaboration will focus on three developmental areas. Firstly, there is the laser aided additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, for fabricating large-scale ship structures for newbuild offshore and marine constructions. Traditional manufacturing involves subtractive manufacturing where materials are removed from a large material template to form a shape or an item. In additive manufacturing, items are built upwards, layer by layer, into a three-dimensional shape.

Through this collaboration, DNV GL said it will be able to enhance the qualification process of addictive manufacturing and support NAMIC in developing an addictive manufacturing ecosystem within Singapore’s offshore and marine sector.

Secondly, drones for close-up ship inspection at height or in dangerous and relatively inaccessible areas is another potential disruptor in the offshore and marine industry. Traditional methods of visual inspections in shipyards involve erecting scaffoldings, a labour-intensive task. With the use of drones, shipowners will not have to worry about scaffoldings dirtying or damaging their ships during the inspection.

Among other outcomes, the project aims to build Sembmarine’s capabilities in drone-based inspection of ships and rigs while facilitating DNV GL’s refinement of class rules for drone surveys.

The third area is the digital twin for simulation-based optimisation of ship design and operations. It refers to the digital replica of an actual physical asset. Another use of the technology is in preventive maintenance, where sensors attached to structures detect possible structural failure and feed data into the digital twin model.

DNV GL chief executive of oil and gas Elisabeth Tørstad said “These projects are great examples of collaboration with our partners resulting in impressive and important innovative efforts which will realise cost savings and efficiency gains for the industry.

“Innovation is at the core of DNV GL’s strategy and no more so than here in Asia where our Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has been established as a sustainable centre to support the industry with high-end advisory and technical assurance services,” she added.

Sembmarine president and chief executive Wong Weng Sun said “Our business and operating environment are constantly evolving. Technology is rapidly developing. All too often, companies that are slow to respond to change find themselves struggling to keep up. Some, unfortunately, have fallen too far behind to survive.”

Mr Wong added “Disruptive technologies alter the way conventional businesses work. When applied correctly, they can bring about game-changing solutions that revolutionise our processes and efficiencies.”

In Singapore, DNV GL has expanded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to promote maritime R&D. The renewed MOU has expanded its scope to include the R&D of intelligent shipping systems.

The collaboration between DNV GL and MPA includes autonomous vessels and drones for maritime purposes, use of data analytics, energy saving and emission reduction technology in ports and use of LNG as fuel.

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