Allseas is a leading contractor in the offshore energy market with dynamism, rapid progress and pioneering spirit at its core. Since 1985, the company has been at the forefront of offshore innovation, transforming bold ideas into state-of-the-art solutions to meet the market’s ever-changing needs.
Training teams to perform highly complex offshore operations requires a flexible and innovative approach. That’s why Allseas has teamed up with Tree C and our advanced 3D simulation technology.
Realistic and flexible multi-vessel training
“The Tree C team did a great job, making simplifications and assumptions at the right points. They really understood our problem. Together, we arrived at a very effective solution.” – Project Manager, Allseas
As experts in the execution of large and complex offshore projects, Allseas operates worldwide with a fleet of specialized pipelay, construction and heavy-lift vessels, equipped with the most advanced technology and systems.
Complex and expensive offshore operations need advanced training programs to ensure everything runs smoothly, risks are minimized, and everyone onboard is trained to the highest level. Allseas’ existing hardware-in-the-loop setups are geared towards control system development, their high complexity makes them less agile and thus less suitable for large scale crew training.
With a range of projects in the pipeline, they needed greater versatility for multi-vessel training, covering three core training areas:
- Operator Training: Human-machine interaction.
- Crew Resource Management (CRM): Communication and teamwork.
- Management Of Major Emergencies (MOME): Handling emergency scenarios.
Allseas identified the need for a realistic and flexible training simulator: one simulator which could handle different types of training on any vessel in the fleet. To make this a reality, Allseas sought to complement their existing in-house expertise in simulation and 3D modeling. They looked for a partner to support physics simulation and simulator development. Enter Tree C.
A collaborative approach to complex simulation
“For Tree C it’s a pleasure to work with Allseas. We appreciate their depth of technical expertise, their innovative approach, and their collaborative way of working. Our partnership has enabled us to deliver complex, highly-detailed physics simulators in a very efficient way.” – Nienke Weder, Director Operations, Tree C
The partnership between Tree C and Allseas began with a pilot project for a single vessel. Operational since 1998, and one of the largest pipelay vessels in the world, Solitaire holds multiple records for ultra-deepwater pipeline installation.
One of the major technical challenges with ‘S-lay’ pipe laying is to prevent buckling. Pipelay is carefully controlled through complex calculations. The curvature of the upper section of the pipeline (overbend) is controlled by a stinger, a steel structure with rollers protruding from the end of the firing line. The curvature in the lower section of the pipeline (sagbend) is controlled by pipe tensioners that grip the pipe. Safely handling the suspended pipe, often in extreme depths – up to 3 km – is critical to the operation. For that reason, they needed highly-accurate physics simulation.
Tree C was given a clear focus for the pilot: get the pipe to act right. The results were positive; the data generated by our pilot simulation closely matched Allseas internal data. This gave Allseas the confidence to go forward with the partnership. What makes the relationship unique is the innovative asset-based approach, where the simulator is developed in close cooperation, and not based on a fixed specification.
Over time, the project will iteratively evolve as refinements are made within the development process. A working simulator is continuously maintained, even whilst the system is expanded with additional functionality and assets. Together with the Allseas innovation team, Tree C aims for the sweet spot between training objectives and technical complexity.
Tree C’s software has become an important layer in Allseas training set-up. It’s integrated within a wider system of communication channels including telephones, VHF radios, and clear comms systems. On top of that, Allseas has added a layer of cameras and screen recordings. This enables trainers to see, hear, and evaluate how people are communicating in real-time, as well as afterward with the participants.
The really exciting part is that all of this setup is mobile: it can be boxed up into flight cases and transported anywhere in the world. In fact, at the time of writing, it was in transit to a ship in the Gulf of Mexico.
Next steps with the partnership
“I can see training opportunities everywhere. The experts at Tree C help me to structure that and explain what is straightforward to implement, and what might be more expensive in terms of working hours, so Allseas can decide on the added value. Their approach is focused on technical efficiency, which leads to cost efficiency as well.” – Project Manager, Allseas
A team from Tree C recently visited Pioneering Spirit – Allseas’ unique single-life construction vessel– at the Maasvlakte, Rotterdam. It was a chance to study the ship and its equipment, gaining real-world insights to inform future simulator development. The event also coincided with the completion of the first simulator – the Solitaire – the result of intensive cooperation over the previous months. The simulator offers camera views on all pipe production stations, the stinger, and the ROV. It’s ready for training the crew on the bridge in managing the pipe production process, and dealing with calamities.
Going forward, Allseas has continuous access to a working simulator, and the latest state of development, via an efficient flow of scoping, information exchange, development, and testing and validation cycles. This agile approach to development is a great way for Allseas and Tree C to monitor progress and maintain a continuous feedback cycle to ensure first-time-right development.
Future partnership with Tree C and Allseas not only consists of new simulator development, but maintenance and updates reflecting real-world changes to on board equipment and control systems. On top of that, there will be project-specific scenario development, triggered by planned operations by Allseas. This will allow Allseas to prepare their crews for specific missions. The end goal is to create an entire virtual fleet of Allseas’ vessels, ready to train their crews for any operational scenario.
“What I really like about our partnership with Tree C is that we do what we need and not much more. We get the essentials in place. We are really working on a trust basis, so we can spend time on the things that matter to us as a company.” – Project Manager, Allseas
Discover more about Allseas innovative solutions for offshore industries at their website: https://allseas.com/
To explore potential partnerships with Tree C, contact us.