Technology to Meet Challenges in Industrial Diving

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Very recently, PaleBlue was invited to participate in the International Diving Seminar 2019. The conference took place in Bergen and, as in previous editions, was organized by the Norwegian Underwater Institute (NUI).

One good reason to attend this event is that you can meet and talk to many professionals from the diving industry, educators from training facilities (like KBA Training Centre in Singapore) but also to recent graduates and students from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. This year’s meetup emphasized the need for better communication between diving industry peers and showed that technology solutions like VR Simulators and robots are some helpful tools and not an enemy to fight against.

The diving industry is an exciting sector, in which new technologies play a crucial role. Rolf Røssland, the Managing Director of NUI, and many other presenters mentioned how the technology changes impact the whole industry. While the robotics hardware remains expensive, for daily operations is still safer and less costly to use robots instead of actual divers.

Integrating technologies advancements led, for example, to an extreme decrease in diving fatalities, only one such event being recorded in the last 10 years.

Going forward, however, there will always be activities that will ask for divers and not for machines. In this context, tech solutions can ensure proper safety training of divers, within which are covered all project familiarization steps, emergency scenarios, and instructional training.

NYD Norwegian School of Commercial Diving using PaleBlue Dive Control Simulator

Some of the main ideas of this conference were the following:

  • AkerBP and Equinor remain the key enablers on the diving market
  • Since the current North Sea Fleet has been replaced and modernized in recent years, no near term fleet investments are expected
  • UK activity supports the Norwegian diving market which will only bring more stability to the diving activity going forward
  • Diving for the oil&gas industry needs to be consciously sustained
  • Continuous good safety track record on diving operations is necessary
  • The oil prices are expected to stay as they are, one reason being a decrease in demand (fewer gas-fueled cars and more electric and hybrid cars on the market) and the other, locating more oil fields

In this context, PaleBlue’s digital simulator technologies bring innovative solutions needed by the Diving sector of the oil&gas industry. That is because they allow one to reproduce exact diving scenarios, increase safety, reduce costs, and allow employees to train more.

For this year’s conference, PaleBlue opted again for direct interaction with the participants, answered questions, and demonstrated PaleBlue solutions for safer diving training. We appreciated attendees’ enthusiasm on testing our simulators themselves, together with their friends, coworkers, and associates.

The participants got a close look at our product family best suited for complex training, already used in the marine industry – VR Full Team Training. As the name suggests, it comprises six simulation tools that work together to allow training teams dispersed worldwide to rehearse on any project, of all sizes. With this, topside and subsea activities are merged in one full training session: Dive Control Simulator, VR Diver, VR ROV, VR Deck Operations, VR Equipment Operations, and VR Crane Operator.

We asked our Managing Director, Felix Gorbatsevich, what are his thoughts on showing the latest PaleBlue Virtual Reality Solutions to end-users. He responded: “It is great to be in an environment like this because we get to interact with actual users but also with administrators and project engineers who benefit from our tools. This helped us understand how they see the real working world and learn from their experiences. It was nice seeing our tools and simulators being used, solving problems, and most importantly helping people”.

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