DeepOcean flies GRLEquipment & Technology // August 7, 2006
Installer at work.
General Robotics Limited (GRL), the supplier of subsea simulators, has won a substantial order for its ROVolution simulator from DeepOcean AS. The simulator is being used to train pilots for DeepOcean's Kystdesign Installer and Supporter ROVs, working from ships and oil platforms in the North Sea and the Mediterranean.
DeepOcean urgently needs to train more Installer pilots. The company initially relied on recruiting experienced ROV pilots and then cross-training them offshore, but as the volume of work grew, on-the-job training became too slow and expensive. GRL was commissioned to adapt its generic ROVolution simulator for the Installer ROVs.
Working closely with Kystdesign and DeepOcean, GRL took the command signals from the Installer control console and linked them to the ROVolution simulator so pupils can sit at their usual control console and feel as though they are flying the real Installer.
It takes a new pilot, with no prior ROV experience, around two years of training to gain DeepOcean's certificate of competence. Using the ROVolution simulator, pupils can notch up the training hours far more quickly and cheaply than using the Installers at sea, besides which a real work environment is not the best place to train new pilots.
The company plans to train 35 additional pilots, with no previous ROV experience, by the end of the year.
DeepOcean plans to extend its use of ROVolution to learning new tasks and scenarios, particularly job simulations, so pilots are familiar with the work to be done before they go to sea.
"With ROVolution we believe we have a simulator that will soon pay for itself - more qualified pilots, can be deployed more flexibly which is making our off-shore operations more efficient," said Sven Storesund, Superintendent ROV/Survey at DeepOcean.
"We can now give existing pilots refresher and scenario training on-shore. A unique aspect of the simulator is that you can play around with new techniques which would be prohibitively expensive, and possibly dangerous, using the ROV for real."
ROVolution is a real-time simulator which hydrodynamically models any ROV, using cost-effective PC hardware running Windows XP for ROV pilot training, manipulator operator training, subsea task planning and access simulation.
For more details see www.generalrobotics.co.uk.