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Maersk - Controller Consultant

A simple way to increase component life-span that can save operators millions

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Maersk Oil UK Mechanical components were failing prematurely on an all too frequent basis.

The result was not only higher maintenance costs and an inconvenience in having to bring specialist personnel offshore to fix and repair the issues but there was also a loss of revenue due to the impact this had on production due to forced shutdowns.

Despite OEM involvement in the review of the performance of these systems a solution was never found and conversations could quickly turn into a blame game as to ‘who did what’ to the equipment, particularly if there were warranties to be considered. This cycle and conflict of interest meant that the route cause of these repeated issues were never established.

Maersk decided that an independent approach was required. Intelligent Plant were brought in to connect an App called Controller Consultant to the various control systems that were responsible for controlling the mechanical hardware that kept suffering repeated premature failures.

Controller Consultant assesses the control algorithms and feedback loop relationships that are used to control hardware.

Effectively this is an independent review of 3rd party control algorithms to assess if they are in fact optimised for a clients specific application as they should be by the OEM

Controller Consultant:

  • Finds controllers automatically so you don't need that expensive configuration report

  • Automatically finds controllers that are left in manual

  • Highlights over-tuned controllers which may lead to excessive wear of mechanical equipment

Controller Consultant dashboard
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After applying Controller Consultant it very quickly became apparent that the route cause of the premature failures of the 3rd party supplied equipment was poorly set up control parameters within the control algorithms. This led to a control system that was effectively trying to over control, constantly over compensating.

As a result, it was putting unnecessary stress on the critical mechanical components in the hardware. Once the control parameters and algorithms had been re-tuned the issue of premature failures ceased.

A specific example would be valves which where set with poorly configured parameters, which in certain circumstances caused them to open and close fully in short periods when there was no requirement for the valve to respond like that. This poor controller tuning lead to the valve wearing prematurely and often catastrophically.

 

Offshore trips by repair specialists were totally negated and the previous losses of revenue due to forced shutdowns were a thing of the past. Millions of GBPs were saved by identifying the route cause.

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