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BP uses Mojix RTLS For Clair Ridge Platform Construction

Use Cases | By MOJIX | 22 October 2013
Platform planning and design - above you can see an example image - in the Clair Ridge project's framework has been one of the biggest recent BP projects in the past ten years. Platform planning and design - above you can see an example image - in the Clair Ridge project's framework has been one of the biggest recent BP projects in the past ten years. Photo: BP Europa SE


Passive RFID combined with GPS provides supply chain transparency in offshore plant construction

Plant construction for off-shore oil rigs and drilling platforms does not only place high demands on man and material. Incorrectly assembled or incomplete deliveries result in high costs and severe time losses with regard to the project plan due to the fact that reaching a construction site on the high seas is impossible without significant effort. In an Interview with „RFID im Blick“, Roelof Koopmans, Managing Director, Mojix Europe reports about the solution which was specifically developed for BP, allowing to track global transports between supplier, distribution centers, production facilities and construction site permanently.

Constructing a drilling rig on the high seas sets a complex global supply chain in motion. About 150 suppliers around the world take part in constructing the oil rigs located in the North Atlantic near the coast of Shetland, delivering their products and construction parts over two consolidation centers in Antwerp and Milan to two production facilities of the plant manufacturer Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. For a multi-annual construction which costs several billions of dollars minimizing delays has crucial economic consequences. Contractual penalties can be the consequence of delays during construction.

RFID and GPS for real time localization

In South Korea Hyundai Heavy Industries sets up two big construction plants for the two BP projects Clair Ridge and Quad 204 which are currently under construction. However, before construction work commerced in the South Korean shipyard, BP had been looking for a solution to monitor the complex transport routes of all parts and tools required for the later construction on the coast of Shetland. Due to possible handling difficulties in challenging environments barcode was excluded as an identification solution. Furthermore BP refrained from using a complete GPS solution for all parts during transports inside warehouses, because investments for the required GPS transponders would have been too high. Thus BP decided to use a combined solution including GPS as well as RFID.

Accuracy of one meter inside warehouses

To gain control over construction part transport in the whole supply chain and to ensure compliance with budgeds and timelines, BP instructed Mojix to implement a comprehensive track and trace system. The whole system is based on RFID and GPS as well as Crosstalk Software by Nofilis. The system was specifically developed for BP by Mojix in cooperation with partners. It is completely integrated into the suppliers' and the transport companies' systems and thus provides the option of retracing the cooperation of all companies which take part in the project. Compressors, pumps, electric components, casings or small parts packed in containers are equipped with GPS transponders for transport, so the current location can be localized any time. The MOJIX Star 3000 system based on passive UHF technology is used in both European distribution centers, as well as in warehouses of the South Korean production facilities. EPC Gen 2 RFID transponders on all parts and components combined with the Nofilis software for visualization enables visibility of all materials with an accuracy of one meter inside warehouses. One single Star receiver per warehouse and distribution center can control more than 500 hubs, so called eNodes, which in turn control up to 16 antennas. As a consequence BP can achieve full coverage even in big warehouses with only one system.

Two technologies, one aim

BP uses the Star system as part of a global track and trace solution to build the Clair Ridge platform in South Korea. In a web based application MOJIX centralizes the active GPS transponder data, as well as the passive UHF transponder data, enabling around the clock information and insight into the global flow of materials. Although BP and MOJIX had already done joint tests in advance to this project, the global comprehensive implementation of the combined solution which took twelve month is unique.

Identification throughout the whole supply chain

When BP issues a new order for required parts the supplier receives accordingly encoded RFID tags to mount them on the shipments. As soon as a shipment arrives at one of the two distribution centers in Antwerp or Milan, the shipment data is compared with the order deposited in the software. Both distribution centers have RFID printers on site as backup if labels are damaged or missing, so new labels can be encoded and mounted on the goods. Packed in containers goods of many different suppliers start their journey by land and sea to South Korea. BP employees can track the movements of the different containers visualized by different colored marks on a map in the software.

Immediate error detection

Before BP implemented a real time insight into supply chains using RFID and GPS, it sometimes took 30 to 60 days until an error was detected when the delivery was unloaded in South Korea. Now employees know all the time where the certain parts are located at which time. Thus they can react quickly in case of possible mistakes. As a consequence planning and decision making processes at BP were improved.

No losses detected

The system which has been applied in the Clair-Ridge project since January 2013 is unique in the oil and gas industry up to now in terms of its comprehensive expansion. According to BP statements no material has got lost and no severe problems have arisen caused by delayed deliveries which might have resulted in contractual penalties. Paper based processes in comparable projects were less efficient, which is why the system implemented by MOJIX will be used until the construction projects in South Korea will be finished by the end of 2014.

The article is part of the report "RFID in oil and gas production", published in the September issue 2013 of the magazine „RFID im Blick“.

Last modified on Friday, 30 October 2015 13:27
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