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GE develops offshore alarms management system

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

GE Energy has developed a new system for managing alarms and helping people get a better idea about what is going on.

It was previewed at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston this week.

GE calls it an "insight management system, a decision-making aid and capital asset management product for the offshore industry."

Much has been written about problems managing alarms on offshore platforms and vessels. There are many different pieces of equipment, all with triggers to sound alarms when certain conditions are met, and very little co-ordination between the various alarms. If something really bad happens, so many alarms go off it is impossible for crew to work out which one to pay attention to.

The GE system continually collects data about about how the equipment is operating, so it can help provide people with the best advice.

GE quotes a 2010 study by the "Abnormal Situation Management Consortium" in 2010, which stated, "U.S. industry alone loses $13 billion by incorrectly responding to alarms.

The problem is made worse by increasing regulation (with more requirements for alarms), a reduction in experienced and qualified operators, and an increase in information which operators are expected to absorb.

The GE system can take data from information systems, control systems, alarm systems and CCTV across the entire vessel or platform and present just what is most important to the operator.

It builds on concepts developed for navies.

'Our new management system .. represents an effective solution to the complex issue of multi- source data collection, management and presentation,' says Paul English, marine vertical leader for GE Energy's Power Conversion business.

'By using this new system, marine and offshore customers will be assisted to make better decisions and respond more effectively under stress conditions with greater confidence in their ability to make critical decisions."

'This new product builds upon our extensive experience of customized and integrated marine solutions for power generation, electric propulsion, vessel control and dynamic positioning. Our expertise in these and other areas and our systems engineering skills enable us to engineer a system that can integrate a disparate set of systems on board a vessel or platform and collate the data from each one into a format that is useful to an operator.'

You can see a live view of any situation using handheld units, which crew can carry with them.

The system can also keep a record of everything that happened.

The technology has been developed by the company Converteam, which was acquired by GE Energy in September 2011, to form GE Energy's Power Conversion business.

Associated Companies
» GE Energy
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