Open Simulation Platform – the next generation of digital twins
Increasingly advanced and integrated vessel systems offer great benefits to shipowners and operators. Key maritime stakeholders have found a way to ensure these systems can be tested before being installed.
|The Open Simulation Platform Joint Industry Project (OSP), founded in 2018, addresses the challenge of testing new and advanced vessel systems before they are installed on board. The project was initiated by DNV GL, Kongsberg Maritime, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and SINTEF Ocean and has also brought together 20 further industry partners in what promises to be a game-changing effort to maximize the benefits of digital twin technology.|
|Co-simulation of multiple models |
The goal for the OSP is to establish a standard for models and simulations in the maritime industry, enabling both the reuse of models and collaborative system simulations to solve challenges in the design, building and operation of today’s and tomorrow’s ships.
|“Software and systems integration issues can create challenges throughout the newbuilding and operational phases, leading to expensive delays, slowing innovation, and causing undesired incidents and downtime. There is a growing need to understand how different systems work together to help owners avoid costly consequences of unforeseen complications,” says Pierre Sames, Group Technology and Research Director at DNV GL. “For example, as owners seek to equip vessels with more sophisticated digital solutions offered by different suppliers, they become more vulnerable to software and systems integration failures,” he adds.|
|Assessing emergent properties using advanced digital twins|
|The OSP approach offers more than what is usually associated with digital twins, explains Smogeli. “Comparing data from the real asset with the digital twin in order to refine the twin and perform condition monitoring is important, but a digital twin cannot monitor or detect system failures in complex systems or predict the effect of changes to software or other system elements. The OSP’s ability to assess emergent properties represents the next-level digital twin.”|
Emergent properties exist in a system only because of the interaction of its parts. For example, an engineer might do a software update for a thruster, which may be fine in isolation, but if it’s not tested in an OSP-like twin environment, it could have a mission-critical impact through other systems on the vessel. Such system issues are difficult to deal with and typically lead to expensive downtime for ships and rigs.
The aim of the OSP is to resolve these issues by incorporating engineering models and the actual control system software from all manufacturers into the digital twin.
| Open-source collaboration on Veracity |
“We are currently developing three use cases to give users a sense of how the OSP platform works,” says Smogeli. “These include the design of a hybrid ferry propulsion system, virtual commissioning of a coastal service vessel, and planning of a subsea crane operation.”
The full OSP ecosystem – incorporating the Core Simulation Environment, the model catalogue and all needed platform mechanisms – will be hosted on DNV GL’s open industry data platform Veracity. This provides a secure and neutral collaborative space for all stakeholders, allowing any partner to use the models they have been granted access to for their own purpose, and enabling a group of partners to establish co-simulation without exposing the inner workings of models or control systems software.
For Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO of DNV GL, the project represents a good example of how the industry can work together to solve common challenges. “At its core, the OSP is a tool for the industry to innovate and co-create next-generation vessels on a platform that has clear benefits for each stakeholder,” he says. “But we also recognize that, thanks to the introduction of new digital technologies that enable everything from automation to zero-emissions propulsion systems, the OSP may also play an important role in helping the industry to improve safety and environmental performance. If we get it right, the OSP could have a profound impact on how the industry works together in the future.”