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NERA and Wood partner on AI inspection solution

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Oilfield Technology,

The power of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been harnessed in a new real-time inspection solution, capable of autonomously detecting and categorising equipment anomalies.

The Augmented Machine Vision Solution (AMVS) has been developed through a 12 month, AUD$288 600 partnership between Wood and NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) - the independent NFP, grant funded by the Federal Government and matched by industry and stakeholder funding, established to drive growth in the energy resources sector. The partnership’s aim was to develop and deliver a solution for the inspection of critical industrial equipment, particularly for subsea oil and gas infrastructure.

Azad Hessamodini, President of Growth & Development at Wood, said: “By combining Wood’s deep domain knowledge with cutting-edge AI technology, the AMVS will deliver a safer and faster inspection approach which can provide operators with more accurate and up-to-date information to help maximise the output of their assets. It’s a game changer for inspections which we know are susceptible to human-error and inconsistencies.

“This project is a perfect fit with our focus to develop innovative solutions that enable more connected operations for our clients. We’re delighted to have successfully partnered once again with NERA.”

The advanced technology-driven solution revolutionises the way asset inspections are conducted in challenging and high-risk environments with the potential to be implemented across a range of other process-intensive and manufacturing industries, increasing the speed and accuracy of issue detection, response and resolution.

Historically, inspections have required technicians to travel offshore to manually review numerous hours of footage recorded by inspection devices. The new solution uses an AI engine to ‘watch’ the footage, searching for potential faults and flaws that need to be further inspected or have repairs undertaken. Not only does the new technology flag up any anomalies but it also eliminates removes the need for technicians to travel to hazardous, offshore sites and is faster and more accurate.

With the reduction in safety risks and the associated process improvements the solution has the potential to create savings of AUS$2.8 billion per year for the offshore energy industry alone. Improvements from better connected operations can also be realised through faster turnaround times and reduced cost for crew and vessels.

NERA chief executive Miranda Taylor said: “This project is improving the inspection of infrastructure that’s long been a highly labour intensive and dangerous activity. Through this project we’re helping to reduce the need for technicians to spend long hours offshore examining footage of equipment by using software developed by Wood to examine the footage under the control of technicians who can remain safely onshore.

“We’re excited to see potential opportunities emerging for this solution to be deployed into a number of other fields.

“This project is another great example of what can be achieved when Australian companies are provided with the support they need to accelerate the development of technologies - growing exports, growing jobs and improving the safety of the workforce,” she added.

This is the latest collaboration between Wood and NERA who have previously worked together on the Transforming Australia Subsea Equipment Reliability (TASER) project, which aims to improve subsea equipment design and reduce the requirement for costly and time-consuming interventions in Australia’s challenging offshore warm water environment. As part of the project, ‘living laboratories’ were created to assess the effectiveness of innovative coatings, materials and technologies against calcareous deposition and marine organism growth on subsea equipment.

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