Pipelines & Transport Projects By Continents

New SmartFit software optimises multiple sections of pipe

Optical Metrology Services (OMS) has released a new version of its award-winning SmartFit pipe fit-up optimisation software.

In addition to the sequencing of single pipe ends, the new software is now capable of sequencing multiple pre-welded sections of pipe (i.e. doubles, triples and quads), while also providing improved visualisation of pipe fit-up and new, automated reporting features.

Winner of a Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2014, OMS’ SmartFit service is a system for managing pipe preparation and fit-up in readiness for welding prior to pipelaying. For the oil and gas industry, SmartFit ensures accurate fit-up of pipes prior to welding and laying in trenches, thus preventing environmentally damaging leaks.

The latest version of the SmartFit software was developed by OMS in response to the changing needs of the oil and gas industry. Rather than weld single pipe ends, some of the latest pipelaying vessels are now designed and equipped to carry and/or weld multiple sections of pipe – in doubles, triples or quads. Typically, these vessels carry pipe ends that have either been pre-welded onshore into multiple sections, or the vessels have facilities to weld the pipe ends onboard into multiple sections prior to the pipeline reeling and laying processes.

David Briscoe, senior software engineer at OMS comments: “The SmartFit software is now able to simulate, sequence and optimise batches of double, triple or quad pipe ends to suit individual customer requirements. For the pipe contractor, this enables pipe ends to be part-welded into multiple sections onshore, which in turn means less time is spent welding individual pipe ends onboard the pipelaying vessel. This can significantly reduce vessel hiring costs and project risk.”

The OMS software is now more intuitive and easier to use, providing 2D/3D visualisation of pipe ends, which not only reduces operator error, but also aids the end customer or pipe contractor’s own understanding of the benefits of using pipe fit-up optimisation software in order to reduce weld cut-outs and delays to the pipe welding and laying processes.

SmartFit also provides improved reporting features in various formats to suit the operator, analyst or pipe contractor. Results and automated statistical reports can be generated and exported directly into different formats, including MS Word, MS Excel, .CSV file, image/graphical reports, as well as more detailed technical reports that include every pipe joint/HiLo value in a pipeline.

The SmartFit system is accurate, traceable to National Standards, light, fast to operate and highly portable. The system has been applied aboard a wide variety of pipelaying vessels and spool bases around the world.

Prior to OMS introducing SmartFit to the oil and gas industry, pipe fit-up problems occurred at a mean rate of 1 in every 15 pipe ends. Using SmartFit, such problems are rare or non-existent. OMS estimates that its customers are saving approximately £9 million per year.

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